- System: Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Playstation Vita, Xbox One, and Steam
- Developer: Koei Tecmo
- Publisher: Omega Force
- Rated: M
- Release Date: August 30, 2016
- Genre: Musou/Adventure
- Official Website: http://www.koeitecmoamerica.com/attackontitan/
- Japanese with English Subtitles
Who it Caters to
Before this new game was created, Spike Chunsoft had a go with their game Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains. While the game had some potential, players soon moved on due to some of the game’s flaws, including a messed up camera and mission repetitiveness that drove away anyone who wasn’t a hardcore fan of the series. Now, Omega Force seems to have taken these complaints into consideration with their new game.
Omega Force is best known for the many Musou games it has created and is no stranger to adapting anime to the genre including Gundam and Fist of the North Star, but can Attack on Titan be successfully adapted? The answer is a resounding yes! In fact, one of Attack on Titan’s strong points is that it stands alone as a great Musou game for those that aren’t even fond of the anime or manga. The game is fun and fast-paced keeping Musou fans on their toes thanks to the unique control scheme which gives this game a twist to an iconic genre.
What to Expect
Attack on Titan - E3 Trailer
The game will also ask players if they wish to start on Easy Mode. For the sake of getting through this review on time, I did play this on Easy but switched to Hard Mode for online. The difference is by leaps and bounds. Do not venture into the harder modes until characters are maxed out in skills and gear otherwise players WILL die constantly, or at least be critically injured for the majority of the mission, which is not fun at all. Resources also become quite scarce, so be careful not to use items carelessly.
Story *Spoilers Ahead for the Show/Manga*
Enter Eren Yeager, whose mother was eaten alive by one of these giant brutes, and his adoptive sister, Mikasa. Both decide to join the military service, particularly the Scout Regiment branch, in order to find answers and seek out revenge for their loved ones. Though they are determined, will they survive the harsh realities the world has thrown them into?
The story not only stays on the same course as the original, but it actually develops faster allowing the game to move at a nice, crisp pace. The first three chapters cover all of what season one of the anime has touched on, but the Epilogue will go beyond the anime and into manga territory. For those anime watchers who wish to avoid spoilers, it may be best to delay this part of the game until the second season starts off. The Epilogue isn’t easily accessed since Koei makes players work for the extra content.
The main mode is the story driven Attack Mode that follows the timeline of the anime through the eyes of various characters. As the story progresses, the game will put the player in the shoes of Eren, Mikasa, Armin, and even, Levi, as they set out on missions to rid the world of the flesh-eating Titans threatening humanity.
Unfortunately, the player has no choice in choosing a character before the Epilogue (I played it all in one giant session, so I am uncertain if this is entirely accurate), which can be annoying at times when wanting a certain character’s skills, but makes sense considering certain points in the plot focus on different characters. The visuals do an amazing job as well. The characters are in a 3D cell shading style, a technique that now seems to be standard in most anime games, but the stages do not get the same treatment. It isn’t particularly noticeable when you’re fighting titans, though.
The controls are something really unique in that players are given the freedom to swing from tree to tree or building to building one minute and then, smite the neck of a titan with ease the next. While traveling, the player uses only two buttons, anchor and forward, to fly through the cities or forests with their Vertical Maneuvering Equipment. The option for a boost is given but uses gas that will eventually need to be restored via a Logistician on the ground. Blades that become dull after repeated use will also require replacement at some point in time, depending on difficulty level.
Once a titan is found, yellow markers will appear and indicate that the player is close enough to switch into Combat Mode by pressing R1. Once in this mode, the controls scheme changes. Players can choose a body part to anchor onto the titan by using the right thumbstick. After the player has anchored, they can choose to wait to attack, be knocked off, or use their boost to move quicker and gain momentum for a more powerful attack. Each character has different abilities as well; Mikasa and Levi can attack multiple times while Armin can order his party members or people he recruited, to take down the enemies for him. By attacking several body parts and completing side missions the DBS bar (Decisive Battle Signal) will fill and players can then utilize increased speed and more powerful attacks by unlocking the Decisive Battle Signals. The only exception to this is Eren, who transforms into his titan form and destroys everything.
Eren’s titan form is unique in that he can take down or severely damage even the toughest of enemies, but he is also slow and can easily miss fast moving targets like the female titan. Regardless, he can wreck weaker enemies so it’s best to save his ability for either a boss or when a player is ambushed by dozens of titans. The ability doesn’t last very long, so you'll have to use it wisely.
Time management plays a key role here, though. Most stages will utilize the VME to travel, but later in the game when Eren joins the Scout Regiment, a horse will be obtained allowing players to travel open landscapes and to anchor titans straight from their mount! Once the battle is done, the horse will return to the player so they may continue on their journey.
Titans vary in difficulty and most are defeated by slicing the back of their necks, but some may take a little more oomph. In order to expose their necks, players must attack various other body parts or use weapons such as flash grenades and sound grenades, before the enemy becomes vulnerable enough to attack their weak point. The only exceptions are some of the more story based bosses, but those are spoilers for anyone wishing to play the game.
At the conclusion of each mission, players are graded on their performance and given bonuses accordingly. Playable characters, skills, and outfits for Expedition and Attack mode may be unlocked with a good performance, and players are able to go back and play these missions in order to gain a higher score to potentially unlock more rewards.
In between these missions, players will be transported to different key areas depending on where their last mission took place. They may upgrade their equipment by purchasing new items, forging several items together, or enhancing the equipment already on hand by using materials obtained during missions, or by purchasing them from another shop. New horses are also available at the stable master and for some odd reason, players may also choose to display giant statues of titans they have previously defeated. Don’t worry about equipping different characters with different items, as all characters share equipment and money throughout the game.
In addition to the extensive story mode, the game also offers Expedition mode that allows players to play online with their friends by choosing stages and characters to finish various Survey Corps missions or special Expedition missions that may reward players with rare items and outfits. Up to four players can meet online to play together adding a whole new level of fun to the game, though it seems that local multiplayer is unavailable. The absence of split-screen is somewhat understandable due to the rapid movement and giant enemies, and could prove to be a giant headache.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
The only indicators of combat mode are the red markings on the joints of the titan and the small icon at the top of the screen which displays what body part is being focused on. This is all fine and well, but in the heat of battle, many of these tiny features on screen melt away, shocking players when they have been thrown from combat mode. This tends to happen more in the town settings, but it can ruin the rhythm of a player.
- True to Source Material
- Online Four Player Co-op
- High Replay Value
- No Local Multiplayer
- Have to Grind for Epilogue
- Sometimes Knocked out of Combat Mode
Honey's Final Verdict:
The only thing missing from the E3 demo was Titan Mode, where Eren remained in his titan form to complete missions. Perhaps this was only in the demo to demonstrate Eren’s ability to use his alternate form, but it would have been an amazing feature had this been an actual mode included in the final version of the game. The lack of a Titan Mode didn’t deter the positive experiences with this game, though. In the end, the game is well balanced, isn’t lacking in content, and is definitely something both Musou and anime fans should check out, whether they know the story or not.