Also On: Xbox One, PC, PS Vita
Publisher: Koei Tecmo
Developer: Omega Force
I will start off with assuming that most of the readers have at least heard the name “Attack on Titan”. It’s an extremely popular manga/anime that took me by surprise back in 2013. The anime is the only form that I’m familiar with, which happens to only be one season, that left more questions than answers. There was a ton of filler episodes that sometimes took away from everything. I however still enjoyed the show for the action and especially the protagonist “Eren Yeager”.
What really works for game adaptation of Attack on Titan was how it retells key moments in the story and even expands beyond the anime. This means, you’re getting right into the meat and potatoes of what makes A.o.T. as enjoyable as it can be. Keep in mind, this is an action based game with a mixture of some other favorable mechanics that make the game feel fresh. Most of my time was dedicated to the single player component that plays through the story, switching your playable character throughout.
Playing through the single player “Attack” mode is highly recommended so you can unlock the full roster of characters for Scout Mode. As you progress through the story, you will level up and be able to upgrade your equipment that will be used for all your characters. The gameplay takes a bit getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, using the Onmi- Directional Mobility gear to traverse each level becomes easily one of the best parts of the game.
Omega Force has taken their Dynasty Warriors formula and revised it to accommodate such a unique form of gameplay. The premise of the game is pretty straight forward. You need to clear out all the areas of Titans, which requires you to use your 3D maneuvering gear to anchor onto the Titans, and slice them at their most vulnerable location, at the nape of their neck. At first glance, accomplishing this seems simple enough. Then you get a front row seat to some frustrating camera issues.
After a couple hours, the controls became second nature and I got used to the camera. I’m not sure if everyone else will tolerate it as well as I did. The real drawback with the camera frustrations are when you’re swinging in for the final strike, sometimes it zooms in so close, you can barely see anything. If you can work past this issue, the game itself has a lot going for it.
One thing that I really enjoyed about Attack on Titan was the traversing. It felt like a Spider-Man game when zipping from one side of the level to another. This feature only works when you are in a location that has buildings or trees. In other scenarios, you will use a Horse to get around, but I didn’t particularly care for that option. I felt a bit spoiled, like when Saints Row 4 came out and you get most of you powers early on including running fast and gliding. Why would you use a car if you have abilities like these?
This was the same way I felt after playing several levels that rely on the 3D maneuvering gear, then be given a horse as an option. Another nice touch to my overall experience was how well the NPC scouts not only supported me during each level, but actually were assisting in taking down Titans on their own. I was shocked to see this, because to me, NPCs are usually fluff characters that don’t help progress in defeating significant enemies in previous games I’ve played.
The RPG elements are fairly simplistic as you can upgrade existing equipment or make new ones with materials you gain from attacking certain noted body parts of Titans. I didn’t utilize this component as much as I should’ve because I was busy going straight for the nape like a boss! Some of the leveling up comes in the form of new moves that are earned after completing a level with each character.
Most of these upgrades will be shared between your characters with the exception of some signature moves that are specific per character. As I mentioned earlier in the review, it’s vital to play through the story to not only unlock more characters, but also more moves to help elevate your multiplayer experience. What was a surprise during my game play was getting to play as Titan form Eren, which I thought was pretty awesome.
After several hours, I decided to jump into the online “Expedition” mode. After making the mistake of jumping into this mode first and barely making it though a level, I knew it would be a better experience. The online mode isn’t very different than “Attack” mode sans the story components. The game's premise is simple and to the point. Kill Titans. This time you get to play with three other people which can elevate your experience depending on your team, of course.
I was able to play a couple sessions with fellow editor Matthew and despite us not using headsets, I felt we were able to efficiently work together and at one point Matthew, came to my aid when I was near death. A neat component that I mostly overlooked during my single player sessions was the ability to fire your signal flare once you fill up the meter. This brings you A.I. support as well as temporary buffs to your equipment when running low. I guess I was being more reckless with my equipment online because I found myself refilling my gas and changing my blades more often.
Overall, on the performance side, the framerate was a solid 60fps in both on and offline modes. I have heard of some frame drops by other players, but was fortunate enough not to encounter any. For me, when it comes to playing a “Warriors” style game, I know that the combat gets repetitive. It’s a bit different this time around with the mechanics more focused on aerial combat/traversing. Despite the minimal diversity found in A.o.T. there is a lot to enjoy, and some may have a better experience playing in small spurts.
Omega Force has once again taken a popular license and made it fun and accessible to gamers who may not familiar with a series such as this. I recently had a great discussion about game mechanics with my close friend Andy, and both the game and he reminded me how important mechanics can be overlooked in a game when talking about an overall experience. Omega Force knocked it out of the park with Hyrule Warriors in my opinion, and if they continue to evolve their mechanics to accommodate each game, we have a kickass future of games to look forward to.