Attack On Titan Review
Attack on Titan is one of the hit anime of this generation with its story of humanity’s desperate struggle against man-eating giants that plague their existence. The long awaited second season has fans stirring with anticipation but what better way to spend that time waiting for it than to play a video game based on the entire first season? This hack ‘n’ slash title includes many iconic and lesser characters from the series as the player takes control of them to take down the Titans. Anime-to-game adaptations usually don’t turn out well in the market, except when normally turned into fighting games like Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 and One Piece: Burning Blood, as they suffer from rushed development or poor RPG-style implementations. Will this Attack on Titan game break that tradition?
Satisfying slicing gameplay: Flying around and doing acrobatics in the air has really brought an air of originality to gaming that hasn’t been felt for awhile. Instead of typical hack ‘n’ slash games or shooters we get something new that makes the player feel like a total badass as you boost towards a Titan to slice its neck out. Not only does it control well, but the targeting system is easy to get used to after the player is adjusted to the motion and adjusting camera angles to follow their target. It is a bit of a steep learning curve, giving some frustration at the beginning of the game when trying to navigate around the map to find an enemy, but when the player finally gets the hang of it it begins to feel effortless and gratifying.
Gets your heart pumping: There is a progression to the difficulty in the story as the player comes face-to-face with more Titans throughout Attack Mode. At the beginning is the first Titan after training, which is terrifying when you believe its lumbering movements are all it has until breaking out a sprint towards you. Facing off against one or two later on isn’t that tough but when they begin to swarm in later levels – introduce leaping, crawling, and other types – it starts to get quite thrilling in a death-defying way. It’s safe to say that each step of the way introduces something new for the player to get used to, providing that thrill when avoiding the grasp of a Titan’s extended arm or getting hit into grogginess.
Accurate to the source material: There isn’t just hacking and slashing through all the Titans as players will be able to escort civilians, ride on horseback outside the Walls, and even battle as a Titanized Eren. The developers did a great job trying to include everything from the anime, capturing the main plot points and side stories that were in the show. The attention to detail is great with the Titans’ actions, the voice actors, coordinating other characters to attack, and even horseback riding across planes. Much of the political side of the story is missing from the game’s cutscenes, but that shouldn’t matter much in the long run and is a great refresher for those who’ve watched the show already.
Helpful post-death messages: For those not particularly coordinated at the game or having a hard time getting used to the mechanics there’s useful tips after the Titan bites your head off. This is great because the messages pop-up and explain exactly what you did wrong with your controlling of the character and what strategy you should have taken when approaching the Titan. This is a great hand-holder for anybody who’s having a hard time understanding where they went wrong without getting frustrated.
Cel-shaded graphics are top-notch: It’s always amazing how developers are now able to perfectly capture the look and feel of anime drawings but in 3D-rendered form nowadays with heavy lines and cel-shading. Attack on Titan is no different as Omega Force spent a lot of time making sure their characters and the Titans looked good and pull off the same transitions and movements featured in the show. Actually, in some cases, it’s aesthetically more pleasing to the eye as the models are consistent while drawings aren’t, providing a more polished version of what we know and love from our favorite shows. The developers did a very good job ensuring the player is enthralled by what they see and feel like a total badass pulling off crazy acrobatics flipping in the air.
Can get repetitive: Although its been said that there’s something thrilling introduced each time along the way there is a repetitiveness to it that doesn’t offer much in the way of originality. After the player becomes acclimated to the controls everything will seem pretty simple with missions to clear an area of the big folk. Not to mention the extra side mission list to complete when in-between episodes have TONS of different levels to exterminate Titans, usually aiding in increasing experience for characters but they still become tiresome to finish the list as they’re all redundantly bland.
Music/sound cues are off: Many times when transitioning between cutscenes to battle scenes it’s noted that the soundtracks pop in at irregular times that don’t represent the mood of the moment right. Also, the battle music will appear randomly during certain conversations or just before a battle scene, disjointing the player from being immersed. Oftentimes a sound effect won’t activate when an action is performed in a cutscene (like the picture below, in the game the punching sound never happened) or during gameplay when too much is going on in an area.
Granular, lighting, and shadowing graphics look bad: It’s clear that the team at Omega Force wanted to focus a lot of time and effort into making the characters look good as was mentioned earlier, but the smoke effects and the way light hits certain objects is lacking in comparison. Attack On Titan could have looked top-notch if only steam and smoke looked better pouring out of their respective sources and almost dampens the effect of a cool character like the Armored Titan bursting through a wall. This is a nit-picky observation but it definitely affects the overall immersive environment while playing.
I would definitely recommend Attack On Titan to anyone that’s into hack ‘n’ slash games and something for others to give a try for its unique gameplay. Reminiscent to Spider-Man 2, arguably the best Spider-Man game, zipping around the city is extremely fun and satisfying to pull off. Killing Titans as both the Scout Regiment and as a Titanized Eren makes the player feel powerful when they finally adjust to the disorienting camera angles and bad smoke effects that may block their vision. This is a must-get game for fans of the anime/manga and definitely something for others to give a shot at when they get the chance.
Attack On Titan was developed by Omega Force and published by Koei Tecmo. It was released for Xbox One [reviewed], PlayStation consoles, and Steam on August 26th, 2016 in PAL regions and August 30th, 2016 in North America. A press review copy was provided for The Hidden Levels. Many studios submit copies for site review but this is in no way factored into our review scores. Games are scored on their individual merits and our rating system is explained here.
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