Since the Attack on Titan manga and anime have such rabid fans, game studio Koei Tecmo has the tough job of translating the source material’s fast-paced, high-flying gymnastics into a video game. That’s obviously not an easy task. During last week’s E3 festivities, we were able to get our hands on a small section of the game, and while it’s still hard to say how the full package will turn out, what we saw was extremely promising thanks to the game’s focus on the high-octane action, dedication to the characters, and dynamic battles.
First, the basics: The game, simply titled Attack on Titan, will be available August 30, 2016 on PS4 and Xbox One. The campaign will follow all of the main characters’ storylines through the first season of the anime, however, all-new original content will also be included. Unfortunately, it’s not treated as canon, but the new content has the anime creator’s blessing.
Recreating the world of AoT
As soon as you pick up the sticks, you’ll realize just how much work was put into recreating the beloved characters of Attack on Titan. Erin, Armin, and Mikasa especially are rendered perfectly in the cel-shaded art work–which makes it feel more like the manga. All the intricacies of these beloved characters’ won’t go unnoticed, either.
Each character gets their own special ability that stays true to the source material. Mikasa, as the ultimate warrior (and most skilled of the bunch), can unleash devastating combos that’ll dice up any Titan that gets in her way. Armin, the tactical genius, can masterfully command his troops into completing even the most difficult tasks. And from what I’ve seen, it seems like you’ll be making use of all these assets in battle, just like in the anime.
Even the districts within the walls are massive. While the detail on buildings is a bit less impressive (sometimes building can look too similar, making for a bland backdrop), they are certainly destructible. To what extent they’ll be destructible, however, is yet to be seen.
Welcome to the Survey Corpse.
Speaking of battles, there will obviously be a whole lot of combat involved in the game. Since the game will be following the first season of the anime, you’ll be reliving all of the major battles that Eren and his friends waged. No AoT game even has a chance of recreating the action of the manga if it doesn’t get the Three Dimensional Maneuvering gear right, and well, I’m happy to report that this game does get it right. While latching onto buildings and other surfaces will launch you into the air as you glide through the skies like Spider-Man, it’s important to note that it’s not an easy skill to master. The accessibility of the controls can be deceiving because once you’re actually flying around, it’s tough to avoid being smashed by a Titan while you’re doing it. But again, the most important aspect of the game works flawlessly.
The mission I got to check out took place in the Trost District where Mikasa and Armin face unfair odds. What instantly stood out was just how huge this struggle was. Everywhere you look there’s something going on: Scouts flying around, Titans overwhelming the district, and buildings crumbling. Your job is to thin out this Titan invasion, but luckily, there are several ways to do so. First, you can simply ignore everything and try your best to slash your way to victory. Or you could even recruit allies by completing side-missions where you must save someone (or some other small task) to get an another friendly on your side.
The mini-map on the corner of the screen shows all of the madness going on, even providing a gauge that gives you a glimpse of the humans vs. Titans ratio. And as a fighter on the field, you’ll also have to manage your supplies so that you’re not stuck facing these freaky, smiling monsters without being able to swing around with your gear.
Overall, I was impressed by how dynamic the battles were. However, my only concern is that it’ll become too repetitive.
Titan on Titan violence.
*Minor spoilers* True to the story, you’ll also turn into a Titan. As a Titan, you can cause the most amount of damage, especially since this form also provides you with a sick special that’ll be very familiar to those who’ve kept up with the series. I unfortunately did not pilot the game at this particular this moment, but from what I saw, it does seem like the combat is simplified a bit. Basically, you’ll most likely end up button mashing in this form. However, that’s necessarily a bad thing, since you can pull off some brutal combos. Eventually, this Titan mode will be completely unlocked so you can swing the tide of the battle at any moment. There is also a limited amount of time you can stay in this form, for the sake of keeping the game somewhat challenging.
Consider me optimistic. There’s a lot to love from what Koei Tecmo has shown off, and if the developer delivers a massive world where giant humanoid monsters wreak havoc, we could finally have the definitive AoT video game experience.
Are you guys going to be buying this game? What do you think about what was shown off at E3? Let us know in the comments below!
Image: Koei Tecmo