Attack on Titan marks Koei Tecmo’s second anime adaptation of 2016 after Arslan: The Warriors of Legend, though this one is quite different from Omega Force’s usual Warriors spin-offs. For starters, Attack on Titan’s marks a rare departure for Omega Force as its gameplay isn’t based on any of their other known series. The last time Omega Force ventured into something completely new was in 2014 with Toukiden.
When you first start playing, you’ll be asked if you want to turn off the blood and gore and it recommends that if you want to just enjoy the story, to play on easy mode. Personally, I would recommend sticking with the normal mode regardless. The key difference between the modes seems to be how aggressive the Titans are, with easy mode essentially making them docile. You’re free to change the difficulty at any point in the story should you want to make the game easier or harder however. The story mode of Attack on Titan, called Attack Mode adapts the first series of the anime. While you can play without any prior knowledge of the series, Attack on Titan does assume a small degree of familiarity with the series. The opening cutscenes very quickly recaps the opening episodes up to where Eren joins the Cadet Corps which leads into the tutorial where you learn how to use your Omni Directional Gear and how to slay Titans. After the tutorial, the story moves to the end of Eren’s training as he chooses which regiment to join and things being to kick off. You’re still getting the key story points but at the cost of getting to know the supporting cast. It’s a shame the game doesn’t fully adapt the anime’s unique visual style with it’s bold outlines but character designs are fully retained and the Titans are just as creepy as they are in the anime.
Missions are basic in their structure and generally all follow a similar formula. Follow the red marks on the map and take down specific Titans until you reach the final subjugation target. This Titan (or in some cases Titans) will usually be of a stronger abnormal variety than any you faced previously in the mission. If you run through missions directly like that, not only will the missions feel somewhat short but also you’ll be putting yourself at a disadvantage in both the short term as well as in the long term. Each mission has a series of side missions, marked by a green distress signal that are optional to the player to complete. Completing these missions usually gives you access to a high ranked team member as well as additional logistician on the map.
Team members fight along side you when taking down Titans and logisticans provide you with items such as gas canisters and blades for when you’re running low during a mission. At the end of a mission, you’re graded on how many side missions you were able to complete, with a higher rank earning you more more funds. While at the beginning of the game it’ll seem like you’re swimming in funds, the later game upgrades can require a fair amount to buy. While it may sound repetitive, Titan slaying itself is very satisfying to pull off and just really looks very cool in motion. When in combat mode, you’re able to target the various limb of a Titan and launch your anchor points into them. While you only need to attack a Titan’s nape to kill it, sometimes taking out its limbs will reward you with new materials to craft better equipment. Controls may feel a bit alien at first but they’ll feel natural by the time you complete the tutorial and within a few missions you’ll find yourself practically flying around the area. It’s important to note however the limitations of the character’s ODM gear. Trying to gain height can sometimes be a cause of frustration but it’s worth remembering you’re basically swinging around like Spider-Man rather than flying straight in the direction you’re going to. There needs to be somewhere for your anchors to land before you can go anywhere and there’s there a limit to how far they can lift you. You’re better off either going directly down streets or gain some height and skim over rooftops.
As you progress through the story, you’ll unlock new characters to play as, each one having their own unique skills and talents. Eren is essentially one of the all rounders, though his special ability certainly packs a punch. Misaka is one of the stronger starting characters with the default ability to chain dash. After landing the first attack on a Titan, Chain Dash lets you repeatedly attack it, starting with the limbs before moving to the nape. It’s one ability that’s very handy for earning materials quickly and easily. Armin has never been known for his battle abilities and that’s reflected in the game as well. While his physical strength may be quick, Armin has the ability to issue direct orders to his teammates. By selecting a limb in combat mode, you can send someone to attack that specific part. This is not only useful for hunting materials (I would usually send others into attack limbs with materials attached while I aimed for the killing blow) but also very helpful in group situations where you might have five or so Titans together by sending each team member after an individual Titan.
Despite a few omissions (Where’s that iconic opening song?!?), Attack on Titan successfully delivers on creating a playable version of the popular series. It’s plain to see the attention that has gone into it, from crafting each character’s skills to match their personality / abilities to recreating the iconic locations such as the city behind the wall or the vast forests, Even little details like the loading screens imitating the information you see in the show’s eyecatches. If you’re a fan of the show and enjoy action games, it won’t disappoint.