Koei Tecmo’s Attack on Titan is an attempt to bring the insanely popular anime and manga series of the same name to console and PC. When it comes to video game adaptations of popular licenses, it usually doesn’t turn out well. While Koei Tecmo’s Attack on Titan does not necessarily take licensed games to another level, it certainly does many things well enough to stand on its own two feet. It essentially sews the narrative thread of the manga/anime into a musou cloth that is at its core an intriguing experience.
For those of you that have only watched season one of the anime, play this game at your own discretion. The story covered in the game extends a bit past the finale of the first season and goes into bits and pieces revealed in the manga, thereby foreshadowing the second season of the anime. If you wish not to have the story spoiled for you, you may want to only play up till a certain point or pass on the game entirely.
The main gameplay elements of the game consist of sequestered map segments that require the player to run through and kill all the enemies. As you can imagine, there isn’t much diversity in terms of enemy types and variety. The story is broken down into chapters, each of which has several missions. These missions have pretty standard objectives that include: taking out titans, defending a point, escort a target from one point to another, and so on. These tasks combined with the optional side missions, that later become mandatory make playing through the game feel like a job. Typically upon completing these map objectives, a boss titan will spawn as is common in musou games. These bosses don’t feel particularly distinct from other enemies and are relatively easy to take down which is rather disappointing because it doesn’t really feel like the combat ever scales up; it just remains fixed in terms of difficulty which does make the game feel rather bland at times.
The Omni-Directional Mobility Gear feels pretty good to use as a traversal method in the game. Flying between buildings as well as circling around titans in order to get into to position behind them and boost straight towards their necks as a means of getting a one hit KO strike is actually a lot of fun and makes you feel like you are a part of Recon (Scout) corps. Going into the game, the ODM gear controls was one of my biggest concerns, however, it actually turned out to be one of the biggest strengths of the game. There is a fair bit of resource management involved with the ODM gear as well since you need to constantly replenish your gas canisters as well as your blades to preserve your combat effectiveness.
The multiplayer Expedition mode offers no added benefit to the standard campaign mode. You can play up to a total of four players, however, the enemies don’t really scale and so there is no reason to coordinate strategies to take down a titan. Instead, you can just clear the level fast as you can split up your team to different parts of the map and complete all of the objectives.
The art style itself uses the cell shaded style and is actually quite pretty. The visuals are aesthetically pleasant and there is a decent amount of gore including titans eating humans, etc. That being said, the cutscenes aren’t as gruesome as the actual show itself since several of the scenes are cut down right when the extremely gory bits are about to occur.
There is also an equipment upgrade system that is pretty straightforward. You can upgrade your blades and increase the duration you can stay airborne. Furthermore, you can purchase better horses for missions where you exit the walls and explore the fields. However, the lack of difficulty in the game means that you can go through large sections of the game without having to upgrade so there is no real incentive to collect upgrade materials.
Attack on Titan is a musou title that is not without its faults. If you can get over the straightforward nature of its missions and the lack of difficulty, there is an enjoyable game underneath it all that fans of the manga and the anime will like.