Koei Tecmo, takes on the gargantuan task, of successfully taking the beloved Manga/Anime and translating it into a game. While first watching the anime version of Attack On Titan, I remembered thinking about what an awesome game it would make if done right. The last of humanity rising to fight gigantic and horrifying titans, turned into a game, sounds more perfect than the combo of peanut butter and jelly. The outcome hits several perfect notes while also missing the plot in some areas.
As mentioned, Attack On Titan is a popular Manga/Anime, that tells the story of the last of humanity, living in a walled off city. Gigantic titans suddenly appeared and began destroying humanity forcing them into exile and near decimation. After living a few years peacefully behind their walls, the titans wage a surprise attack on the city, again forcing humanity to face its possible extinction. Factions in the military rise to fight the titans, using Omni Directional Mobility Gear. This technology allows the soldiers to propel themselves by wires and and compressed air propulsion. It allows them to reach heights where they are capable of inflicting enough damage on the titans to take them down.
In the game you begin as Eren Yeager, a cadet who saw his mother eaten by a titan as a child. Eren has sworn revenge on titans and dedicates his life to destroying them.
Through fighting titans, it has been discovered that striking them on the nape of the neck has the ability to kill them if executed correctly.
The game begins with a tutorial that eases you into using your Omni Directional Mobility Gear. The gameplay while swinging around is first and foremost awesome and well-executed.
It is a blast and the crowning achievement of the game. If you wondered what it would be like to use ODM gear while watching the anime. This is as close as you are going to get, next to building it and attempting it in the real world.
Each level is laid out in the same manner. You recruit four members to your team, give them commands in keeping with your attack strategy and use your ODM gear to chop titans down. Each level you begin is filled with titans who are entering the city walls. You use your ODM to grapple onto them, target arms, legs or neck and launch blade attacks. Attacks to appendages, will render the titan unable to defend itself or in some cases unable to walk. Once a titan is down and defenseless, you can swing into action and finish the job by slicing into the back of its neck.
Initially, the battle mechanics are a blast. Swinging around titans and rushing into strike is a visceral experience, where you can almost feel the g forces.
Large titans act as boss battles. Once you clear the boss titans out, you are clear to move onto the next level. During each level, allies will launch green smoke to signal you for assistance. These count as side missions and get you extra points and will save other cadets from slaughter.
Between levels, you are given the option of upgrading your ODM gear and blades. This is a pretty watered down leveling up system. You simply purchase upgrades in the form of sharper blades with longer reach, or ODM tanks that can launch you further, etc. The upgrades do make you a more powerful force but doesn’t add a lot to the experience of seeing it happen. In fact, these are barely noticeable.
You are also able to buy materials that you need in order to build the upgrades. These materials can also be found during titan battles. For example, if you target a titans arm on the battlefield you will see an icon, letting you know that if you attack at that point, you have a chance at collecting rare materials.
From level to level, you take on the role of different characters from the Manga/Anime. Each has their own speciality move. Mikasa Ackerman, can dish out multiple slash strikes to her targets. Armin Arlert, can focus her cadets attacks to inflict more damage on titans, and Levi Ackerman is capable of powerful spinning attacks.
“the battle mechanics are a blast.
Swinging around titans and rushing into
strike is a visceral experience, where you can
almost feel the g forces.
The battlefields lack variety, either they are occurring inside the walls of the city or out on the plains. While the battles and gameplay begins as a blast, the lack of variety in combat against the titans begins to become slightly tedious toward the later levels. Once you master ODM movement, your eyes begin to grow as bored as Levi Ackerman’s.
Attack On Titan, tells the entire story of the first season of the anime and even goes a little bit past it, in order to give you some cliffhangers pointed at season 2. The game does a great job of telling the story and has some fantastic cell-animation to go alone with the storytelling.
The tedium isn’t enough to make this a bad game. Although, combat and levels become more and more of the same later on, allowing you to switch characters and offering surprises in the story make up for the bad bits.
Attack on Titan does a fantastic job of capturing the world that the Manga and Anime introduced us to. It is an strange and at times terrifying world full of naked titans with chill-inducing grimaces on their face. Fans of the anime are sure to enjoy stepping into the ODM gear of the characters they are familiar with. And people not familiar with the series, are sure to enjoy the unique gameplay and thought provoking story. Attack On Titan does just enough things right to make you forgive it for its flaws, while giving you an gaming experience like no other.