One of the greatest anime and manga’s of recent years has now received its very own game adaption. Omega Force and Koei Tecmo are bringing Attack on Titan to Consoles and PC this week. Attack on Titan retells the key moments from the first season of the animated series and takes place in a world where citizens must hide behind large walls to protect themselves from human-eating giants whom are invading their city. Their only other defense is the military, who are trained to fight these invaders using strategic attacks and 3D Maneuvering gear.
I’ll start with the controls, which may have been the most complicated part of the entire game. The characters of AoT rely on Vertical Maneuvering Equipment which is special equipment that allows mobility whenever they are facing Titans, or even just getting from Point A to Point B. It did take some getting used to, zipping from Titan to Titan or building to building. Zipping around actually reminded me of a few previous Spider-Man games. I was really impressed by how well this feature played. Sure, there were a few moments where I found myself running into a wall, or stuck in a corner after panicking and surrounded by Titans but the overall mechanism and gameplay was much smoother than I was expecting. I played this on the Xbox One. I understand this game is also getting a release on PC as well, which leads me to question how are those keyboard users dealing with the controls, I’d imagine it’s a nightmare. (PC users, let us know your thoughts in the comments below.)
The story itself isn’t an original story. Actually, It’s more of a retelling of season one of the anime series. This was not quite a deal breaker for myself, in fact, I had not watched the series since it’s first debut so it was a nice refresher. Also, it is subtitled. I did see this issue come up quite a bit from fans when the game was first announced but It didn’t affect my gameplay at all. Even if you are new to the series, following the plot is rather easy. This was actually how I managed to watch the first season as well, as the English version had not made it’s debut at the time. The original cast from the Japanese series came back to voice their characters. The main story, as I said, basically is a copy-and-paste of the series but there are also side quests the player can partake in outside of the main story line. Between missions, players also have the option to talk to other characters in the game, a lot of times they will fill in the smaller points that the main quest didn’t quite cover.
The only enemies of the game, which is of no surprise of course, are the Titans. They come in different variations and sizes, and will require you to zip and weave past and between them to save your city. To take down a Titan, there are 5 points of the body you must target: The arms, legs and of course the Titans weak point, the Nape. To raise your chances of obtaining some of the harder to find materials, which are used to upgrade your gear, you will want to attack the arms and legs prior to going for the kill-shot. Another great feature is the ability to give other members orders. Throughout the map of whatever mission you are on, there will also be smaller side missions scattered around the map as well as other characters you can recruit and give commands to, such as “Guard”, or “Focus”. This was a definite plus whenever getting ambushed by 4 or 5 Titans at a time. The enemies, and side quests appear in waves, similar to the Dynasty Warrior series.
Although, slashing and dashing through Titans and getting reacquainted with the story from the series may be entertaining to some, I can see this game getting awfully repetitive for those unfamiliar or not quite invested into the series and are just looking for a hack and slash. Each level includes either saving or escorting your comrades, while ripping through countless Titans to face a larger “boss” Titan at the end of each level.
The length of the main story was rather short, I spent a total of about 10 hours playing the game. I would have loved to have seen some more story outside of the first season of the series. Yes, a lot of the side quests tend to quench that thirst, but only for a limited time. The manga has is about 19 volumes long and unless they are working on a sequel to be released after the second season, I feel like we could have gotten more gameplay based on the original content. There are still side-quests to be done after the endgame and a small epilogue is included, which was a nice surprise but not too impressive. By completing these missions, such as killing a specific amount of Titans in a certain amount of time, or saving a specific amounts of teammates, you can unlock items such as costumes and gear to equip to your character.
Overall, If you are a fan of the series, like fast-paced or Dynasty Warriors style gameplay, I would suggest picking this game up. As an Attack on Titan fan, this game absolutely does the series justice and is a nice companion pieces to the show or manga. Although, I have finished the main quest, I think I’ll continue making my way through all the side missions as well, as it is a game that really caters to the fans of the manga/anime, such as myself. Annihilating Titan after Titan can be really fun, especially it condensed spaces, just wish the overall story was a bit longer. Perhaps we may get some DLC in the near future.
**Stay tuned when I update my review to include multiplayer gameplay. For those who purchase the game on Xbox One and would like to join us for a few matches, let us know in the comments below.
Attack on Titan will be available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and available digitally on PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita and PC via Steam on August 30th.