I have always wanted to get into anime, but I never had the time nor the money to really dive into that hobby. A few years ago I heard ramblings of a new anime to hit our shores, Attack on Titan. I threw myself into the show and fell in love. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough for me to get into more anime, but the show made me a avid fan of the series; I’m still waiting patiently for Season 2 and the movies to hit our shores. I also knew of a couple games coming out here in the States — one for the 3DS that I’ve never seen anywhere, and a Koei Tecmo/Omega Force one coming to current generation consoles. Having played several Koei Tecmo fast action games, I was excited for their installment to be released, and now having played it for hours on end I can honestly say that Koei Tecmo and Omega Force have not let a single fan of the anime down. Let the Titan slaying begin!
Omega Force was tasked with telling the first season’s story in this game, and they did a phenomenal job. The only problem I had was that no new information was given about the upcoming season, no hints or even a shout out. However, it is amazing to play through some of the most pivotal scenes from the anime. For those who have not seen the anime or read the manga I’ll give a brief description of the world you’ll be dropped into. For some reason 100 years ago, huge Titans appeared on the planet, devouring humanity. To save themselves, civilization built three walls to protect itself from the Titans; Wall Maria, Wall Rose, and Wall Sina. These three walls have successfully kept the Titans at bay for generations, until one day when the Colossal Titan appears. This Titan kicks a huge hole in Wall Maria which cuts down the living space for humanity and kills about 20 percent of its population.
Eren Yeager and his adopted sister Mikasa Ackerman are caught up in the carnage. Eren witnesses a Titan devour his mother before him and swears to kill each and every Titan. Fast forward five years and Eren and Mikasa are training to become a part of the military. If you’ve watched the anime it does take a little time to get used to the fact that the game is rendered in 3D, but Koei added the right amount of cell shading to capture the feel of the source material. The voice overs are the same from the anime, which makes the movement from cartoon to video game almost seamless. The only problem that I had with that was there was no English voice over. This makes it difficult in combat to figure out what your compatriots are saying. It’s difficult for me to battle a Titan and read the text on the screen; I hope I didn’t miss too many story points and nice throwbacks to the anime.
I was quite surprised to find that the controls are very easy to master. This was my biggest fear coming into this game: a garbage control scheme. Omega Force somehow made the fast paced gameplay very workable with the controllers. Jetting around the towns and the wilderness is quite easy with your VME (vertical maneuvering equipment). To shoot out your tethers you press X; to jump up press A and to give yourself a boost with your gas canister, hit A again. You can whip around the environment very easily – motion is not cumbersome at all. To make the controls easier to master, Omega Force didn’t lump them all together, which was very smart. As you jet around the environment and encounter Titans you hit RB really fast to enter combat controls. These controls are a bit more difficult to master, but they never let me down seeing as I’ve not been eaten yet.
Once you enter Omni Directional Combat you need to be anchored well to the Titan, which you can do by pressing X. To stay out of the Titan’s reach you use the left stick to zip around them in a circle until you see an opening. When you’re ready to finally strike the Titan’s weak spot you let go of the left stick and allow your character to fly at the meaty flesh. Timing is key to damaging the Titan. You must press Y to strike and if you press it too late you will bounce off the Titan and back into a circling pattern. If you find yourself not damaging the Titan fast enough, then hit A after you let go of the left stick because this will grant you an additional boost which gifts massive damage. For an easier path to the nape of the neck you need to disable the Titan’s arms and legs. To toggle between different limbs you hit RT and then X to attach to the body part you desire. I must say it’s easier and much more profitable to take out the four limbs, then the nape. Since you are surrounded by other members of you regiment you can use them in battle by pressing down on the D-pad. Their use isn’t super versatile, but you can have them bombard one Titan while you work on another.
As I said earlier, destroying the limbs of Titans is profitable for you. Seeing that this is a Koei Tecmo game and they rely heavily on weapon and item upgrades, this falls true for Attack on Titan. Destroying Titans and their limbs grants you a few things such as materials, Regiment Funds, Regiment Skill and Soldier Skill. All of these are distributed to you after you beat the level, and they are all very, very useful. Materials are useful when you are in camp as they allow you to upgrade your gear and your weapons; however, you need to have Regiment Funds to allow that to happen, so make sure you get as much as you can of each. I focused on the strongest blades and the gas canisters that held the most gas. I didn’t really care about mobility since I struck so fast as I played. Regiment Skill unlocks new items to develop in camp, which is very helpful as Titans are not easy to fell, so gain as much skill as you can to become the best Titan killer there is. Soldier Skill unlocks moves for you in battle which is also very useful for those tough battles with Titans all around you. The more points, materials and skills you can have, the easier of a time it will be getting those Titans to dissolve.
Oddly enough, I thought that the multiplayer would be insanely lame since I wouldn’t be able to connect with anyone before the game is actually released. I can proudly say I was wrong. I’m sure many of you never played Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce, but the multiplayer area is almost exactly like that game, which is great news. I played this game for hours with my buddy and enjoyed every minute of it, now I can relive those memories in the world of Attack on Titan. Thankfully you can play this section alone or with friends, either way I suggest playing it. Should three of your friends also purchase this title, which I suggest, the quartet can take on the Titans in various missions that build your skills and allow you to level up your gear as well. The game confused me here though. The tutorial said that I kept my equipment in the main game and multiplayer, but when I went back to single player I had to re-upgrade what I already had. Maybe I did it wrong, but keep that in mind when you are upgrading and building up your characters. These little missions allow you to hone in your Titan slaying skills and slowly unlocks the world around you. While the single player campaign takes you through season one, the multiplayer grants you that open world feel.
I love this game. I can’t wait to pour more and more time into it so that I can bulk my equipment up to the max. Koei Tecmo really dedicated a lot of heart and soul into this licensed game. History has proven to us that most licensed games are throwaway trash for a quick buck, whereas recent history has been changing and Attack on Titan is a licensed game to own. Fans of the ever ongoing Dynasty Warriors series should consider picking this game up, while it doesn’t have the hoards and hoards and enemies attacking you the combat is still fast paced and the mission structure is very similar. Attack on Titan fans should also give this title a peek as this game will somewhat quench the hunger for the next season to hit our shores. Plus, it will be a huge blast taking on Titans will fellow fans in the multiplayer. I cannot gush more about this game, it is something that you just have to experience. After playing this game from Koei Tecmo, I am truly excited for their take on Berserk, which will probably be another must buy for me.
Second Opinion (PS4) – Logan Schultz
Attack on Titan is a series that has taken the world by storm, and most people recognize the name, if nothing else. Koei Tecmo and developer Omega Force had a difficult job in presenting such beloved content in video game form, but there’s a lot here to love and enjoy. There is some post-game content that expands on the world just a bit, but the game is primarily built around the anime’s first season, as Jerry mentioned. There are some aspects of the story and world that I missed throughout the game (particularly things not pulled from the manga), but overall the teams have offered up a worthwhile project that honors the essence of the franchise with some seriously badass gameplay.
I’m not going to lie — I never really grew tired of swinging around like Spider-Man and ripping apart giant Titans. The controls work well on the Dualshock 4, and everything feels natural (save for the camera during large-scale battles, but this is easy enough to deal with). Jerry made an accurate comparison to Dynasty Warriors, and I’d have to agree. As a fan of that series and its approach to high-numbers, high-action gameplay, Attack on Titan is a great fit for me. Fans will most likely enjoy the sense of gameplay and style that this project has to offer.
The RPG elements add some necessary depth to the game, and it just feels good to spend time in the open-ended maps and world that Omega Force has created. I would probably give the game an 8 or even an 8.5, though I respect Jerry’s 9. This is a game that fans of the series will adore, and those who aren’t yet integrated can enjoy. The game’s 15-18 hour campaign, multiplayer, and extra content means that those who love it can spend as much time in the world of Attack on Titan as they like.
Both PS4 and Xbox One review codes for Attack on Titan were provided by Koei Tecmo for the purpose of this review