Fair or not, many, including myself, had high expectations for Omega Force’s Attack on Titan game. Early footage of the game impressed fans with its promise of massive epic battles that mirror those seen in the anime. AoT fans just want to relive their favorite moments from the anime, damn it! But does Attack on Titan the video game live up to the public’s Titan-sized expectations? Read on fellow Survey Corps’ members.
The bulk of this title is based on the first season of the anime, and doesn’t deviate much from it. It follows Eren Jeager’s origin story all the way to the epic showdown against the mysterious female Titan. When appropriate, you’ll also be switching between Mikasa, Armin, and my favorite character of the series, the no-nonsense Lieutenant Levi. On top of that, you’ll also bump into the other beloved characters, including potato girl herself, Sasha.
Revisiting the brutal journey of Eren and his friends as they face impending peril from of the goosebumps-inducing Titans is enthralling as it has ever been thanks to the fantastic cutscenes sprinkled throughout the campaign. For an even more authentic experience, the game’s voice acting is entirely in Japanese with English subs (you can’t change it), with the original voice cast along for the ride. I’m a fan of this route, but I know there are many who’d prefer a dubbed version—so you’ve been warned!
There are a total of 24 missions in the main campaign, each about 10-20 minutes long. Just like in the manga and anime, you’ll have to use your Omni-directional Mobility Gear to swing around the inner walls (or between trees, in some cases) of the human’s last settlement. I must say, a few games have tried to replicate the high-speed and mobility seen in the source material, but this is the best rendition of said movement yet. Latching onto surrounding structures is only a button-click away, and soon after that, you’re off and running. You also have the gas tanks to boost you through the air like Spider-Man. And really, that’s all you can ask for.
How about using your gear to take down Titans? Well, it’s actually rather simple as well. Any time you’re near one of the monstrous beings (there are plenty), you’ll hit the bumper button to enter battle mode, and will then get the chance to anchor onto one of five limbs. Once you’re close enough to reach skin, hitting the strike button unleashes your mighty blade. Though challenging at first, you’ll be repeating the same technique a lot (emphasis on a lot), so it’ll eventually become second nature. Seriously, it’s basically what you’ll be doing for 20+ hours. The biggest challenge is not getting overwhelmed with numbers and making sure you have enough gas and blades to survive the barrage of attacks.
For this, I give Omega Force a whole lot of credit. They got the main component of an AoT game right. The camera can get wonky during combat in tight spaces, but it’s the price you pay for having such freedom with your movements.
Before moving on, let’s talk about Titan designs. Omega Force did a fantastic job of recreating creepy Titans. Their blank gazes pierce through your soul. Most of them move slowly and offer very little resistance when you’re going for the nape of their neck, but they’ll become a real problem in large herds. During latter parts of the game, their sheer numbers make it tough to focus on just one. Some of the abnormals (strange acting Titans) will give you a hard time, or even the ones that have more armor.
Most of the game will be spent going out on missions, but in between those, there will be hub locations where you’ll be able to gear up before going into battle. The missions themselves are set in large maps either in town, outside the city walls where you’ll use a horse to get around, or in a field of trees. Each of the environments are destructible (though it never changes the complexion of the battle, unfortunately), and filled to the brim with Titans. In these areas, you’ll be tasked with slicing up the massive creepy creatures, the most frightening (and coolest looking) of which being the Colossal, female, and Armored Titans. Taking these three on in particular make up some of the most thrilling moments in the campaign. You’ll basically box against the female Titan several times, and it’s kind of great.
There are also side quests which will require you to do things like assist a fellow member of the Survey Corps (in other words, take out more Titans), which will either reward you with them joining your squad or some sort of item. Recruiting someone means you can order them to do simple things like focus on one Titan or scatter. I honestly forgot about being able to order members around because it’s not all that useful. The commands are way to simple, and they’ll do their own thing anyway.
Completing more side quests and subjugating Titans efficiently will determine how much experience your character gets, increasing both their character skill (unlocks new skills) and Regiment skill (unlocking new purchasable gear). It’s a simple way of keeping you interested in completing missions as skillfully as you can.
Each character you play in the campaign has their own appropriate skills. Armin is a tactician, so he can order his members to attack a specific Titan limb. Mikasa and Levi are brilliant fighters, so they have superior strength and can strike multiple times. The bit of added strategy is indeed appreciated, but all I wanted to do was play as Mikasa or Levi since they’re both incredibly adept at taking down Titans.
Eren does have one tide-turning ability worth mentioning: he can turn into a damn Titan. This form basically lets you crush anything and everything, effectively transforming the game into a brawler. It’s the most fun I had during my time with it. Titan on Titan action is pretty, pretty, pretty good.
Outside of missions, the hub world isn’t very large, but there will be plenty of people to talk to that’ll say a thing or two about what’s currently going on. It’s a nice touch for fans. This is also where all your gear, including blades and Omni-directional Mobility Gear, can be upgraded using the currency you received after completing missions. Anything you upgrade or purchase will be shared between all the playable characters. These minor RPG elements made some of the grind worth it, especially when I got a badass blade that made chopping down Titans even easier.
Now we get to the true problem with this game. While everything on the surface looks shiny and inviting, once you start peeling away at missions, you’ll get sucked into a repetitive war that never ends. Every mission will basically only require you to take down Titans one way or another. Do you have to escort someone to the other end of the map? That just means you have to follow them around taking down approaching Titans. The only quest I could remember not having to take down the big brutes was when I had to lure them into a trap, so they could be captured. I wish I were exaggerating, but alas, I am not. Even side quests are dull, repetitive slogs. The first few hours are a blast, but it gets old real quick.
If you’re not tired of repeating the same actions over and over again by the end of the campaign, the epilogue will surely do it. This extra bit of content surrounds the reveal of the Beast Titan, but to get to one of these mission, you’ll have to complete six Survey Missions (a.k.a. more Titan-slaying) to unlock the next episode. The story is interesting enough, but it feels like Omega Force was just trying to pad the game time.
Then there’s the multiplayer mode. While it’s basically the same structure as the main campaign (again with the repetitiveness), it’s more fun with friends. Experimenting with differing strategies is a bit more exciting than anything you do in the campaign.
To end on a positive note, there’s plenty of lore that can be explored. Going through the different menus will reveal information about each character, item, and Titan you encounter. Considering everyone is still waiting on season two of the anime to release, this is a cool way of getting caught up with everything.
Attack on Titan gets the basics right. Flying around buildings and Titans alike with the Omni-directional Maneuver Gear while dicing up Titans feels right. The only problem is that you won’t be doing much more outside of that. The repetitive nature of the missions and side-missions turns this game into a slog rather than the thrilling action-packed hack and slash adventure it should be. It’s a shame really, because the game gets the basics right. If you can muster getting through all the repetitiveness, there’s some fun to be had here with all the extra lore ready to be explored.
RATING: 3 OUT OF 5 BURRITOS
- This feels like an authentic AoT experience thanks to crips cut-scenes and Japanese voice acting.
- Armored, Colossal, and Female Titan are as imposing as their manga counterparts. The most memorable moments in the campaign include these man-crushing baddies.
- There’s a lot of lore on everything about this post-apocalyptic world. Fans will enjoy all of the little details provided about Titans and characters.
- Swinging around the battle grounds is quite enjoyable. For the most part it works the way you’d want it to.
- Turning into a Titan is great. Pounding other Titans as a Titan is all sorts of exciting.
- Repetitive missions. You’ll be taking down Titans, no matter what the mission description says. Protect a building? Do so by killing Titans. Escort a friend? Kill Titans. Provide support on the battlefield? You guessed it, kill Titans. It’s fun for the first few hours, not so much later on.
- Side-quests: read above.
- Camera can get wonky when taking down the massive humanoid monsters.
- Epilogue forces you to play through more repetitive missions.
This review was completed using a PlayStation 4 copy of Attack on Titan provided by Koei Tecmo. The game will hit shelves on August 30, 2016 for the PS4, Ps3, Ps Vita, Xbox One, and PC.
Images: Koei Tecmo