Yo! It’s time for my first game review! If you guessed Attack on Titan: Wings of Freedom from the ambiguous clues I gave in my last update post then congratulations! You’ve earned 100 Kaleem points. (non-refundable) but fake currency aside, what a stint for game developer Omega Force! (One Piece: Pirate Warriors, Dynasty Warriors) Within the short time of the game being released, it did very well (7.3 IGN, 73% metacritic) and why wouldn’t it? Well let’s get stuck in shall we?
Gameplay: Upgrade, Kill, Cut scene, Repeat.
First off for you still sceptical gamers wondering whether the game is too repetitive from all the E3 gameplay demos, then read closely as I lay all your inhibitions to rest. Yes. The game is very repetitive. But I’m not saying that in a negative way at all. Actually everything about the gameplay mechanics make the gameplay what it is; brilliant. and before you start commenting that I’m being biased because I fell in love with the anime and that I needed psychiatric intervention to cope with the never ending delays in season two (the last one is a lie but not far off the truth) the repetitive nature of the gameplay is what makes the player feel immersed in Titan killing as you pave the way to humanity’s freedom. The gameplay is also super responsive, when you upgrade your ODM gear (Omni-directional mobility gear) and your reel speed is increased, you as the gamer really feel like you’re flying at that titan’s nape at a hundred miles per hour! Which is very immersive and plain old fun. The frame rate doesn’t drop noticeably when a lot starts happening on the screen like some other titles. (Just Cause 3… I’m looking in your direction. *review coming soon*) the button commands are very manageable and easy to learn, basically Square then X then Triangle = Titan ‘subjugated’ (or dead in more simple terms). The simplicity in these button commands are not justified when looking at all the hard work the character is doing on screen. But that adds to the universal accessibility of the game i.e. you aren’t required to have platinum trophy expert hands of a street fighter player to be able to conquer this game at all. It’s all very easy to have fun in this game whilst enjoying the story in season one of the anime. These are the benefits of having simple, elegant gameplay mechanics which almost never fail.
Now, all great gameplay has to have its flaws. Since completing AOT, there was only one issue I was having that is worth mentioning; the third person camera. Not that this game would be better first person (because it definitely wouldn’t be) but sometimes due to all the exhilarating speed and blood spewing with each titan limb being lopped off, you kind of lose your barings. After seeing the subjugated message appear on screen from successfully neutralising a titan in slow mo, I kind of found myself waiting to see where I would immerge. In some cases I’d be on a roof, other times I somehow end up in front of a large titan that is poised to pick me up and try eat me. So before I knew it, I’d be mashing the triangle button to escape it’s clutches with my life in tact without having savoured the last kill. Which at times was frustrating. I suppose it does add to the realism of being on the battle field in the world of AOT but at least let me see where I’m catapulting myself in to Omega force! Jeez…! What would’ve been better if once locked on to a titan, the camera following you would become a still camera observing the titan whole, like from an audience perspective? Then you would see clearly where you are on screen, without removing any of the titan slaughtering satisfaction.
Graphics: 2 in 1
I suppose the first thing that has to be said is that the art work of Hajime Isayama (the original illustrator for the manga) is not compromised at all in this game. The game whether it is a cut scene, or live gameplay, Isayama’s genius is captured in full. And this aspect really helps this game. Staying true to the anime’s art is no surprise coming from omega force when we look at One Piece: pirate warriors 3, they do a great job there as well. They showed with this game as well that they can really adapt the anime in to a gaming format seamlessly as I found myself reminiscing over season one of the anime (which feels like decades ago).
The real problem being for me with what I see on screen is glitches. And there were very few it’s fair to say. An example which happened to me on more than one occasion was subjugating a titan and then being unable to move until the titan fizzled away, as I was stuck inside his body…. and when I pan my camera all I see is black for a few seconds. Not a big deal of course but definitely noticeable. These kinds of occurrences can sometimes render a game’s quality to be regarded as poor. Thank goodness it didn’t happen to me all that much. Otherwise…. this could have been a very different review. Lol.
Other Game Modes: Wanna go kill titan’s bro? Sure, I’ll be on in 5…
Aside from the epic single player ‘Attack’ campaign Mode where you take control of all your favourite characters (only 4 of them….) depending where you’ve reached in the story and progress through season one of the anime. The game offers an online co-op mode called Expedition Mode where you can send an invite to all your titan killing amigos and go out together and subjugate. With a maximum of 3 other players you can either invite to a lobby you create with your personal preferences in place of where to go and what to do. Or you can join a random online session with people you don’t know and take on a survey mission or expedition together. Regardless of what you choose the online multiplayer is fun. Ever since I watched the first season when I was a hella lot younger, (sigh…) I always wanted to go titan slaying with my friends and this game has finally made that strange dream of mine a reality, so good on ya Omega.
Now it’s not all roses unfortunately, it has its limitations. For example, only 4 players?! Including yourself?! Well that was a huge shock considering the maximum number of characters to unlock in-game was a resounding 10. I would’ve thought eight online would be manageable. But then again, it could have been too epic and probably have a whole host of Assassin’s creed brotherhood style problems if ya know what I mean… *cofseriouslagcof* ahem, excuse me… but regardless of how few friends you can play online with, at least with a decent upload and download speed of your internet connection you can enjoy smooth, lag free, air manoeuvring and blood spewing.
Conclusion: living up to expectations?
The main issues surrounding the game are obvious quick fixes by the developers at Omega, I mean with a little more time, who knows, maybe they would have been able to come up with more playable characters or a function where you can create your own player to join the recon corps. The short campaign mode (8 hours) is balanced out with the slightly longer survey and expedition missions. Either way I am just grateful they didn’t start something that they kept delaying like season two of the anime. Sorry I keep bringing that up but it has really upset me so this has become a half review half rant. My bad, twas never my intention. Nonetheless, the question at hand is, is the game good enough to carry the name of Attack on Titan? Does it live up to the expectations and the hype during that e3 all those years ago? (Last year) I can say with plenty of confidence. Yes. The game as a whole captures the horror and action of the anime whilst still making the gameplay fun and accessible. The art work is nothing short of impressive and voice acting was as good as it always was.
Rating: 8/10 (Great)
- Incredible jaw dropping animations
- very accessible gameplay
- Online and offline immersive and addictive fun.
- Camera tracking glitches out
- Too few playable characters
All in all a fine game. If you enjoyed reading this review as much as I enjoyed writing it then share the love (literally) and share this review, leave a like to tell me “keep doing this” or comment where you can actually type “keep doing this” or ways in which I can improve or if you want to say what your favourite aspects about this game are? Make your voices heard people. With that I look forward to seeing you in my next post, till then, jaa ne! (See ya!)