Attack on Titan (PS4) Review
So first came the manga, then the anime, and then the live action movie, now comes the game! So cue the German chant chorus because here comes Attack on Titan (PS4) by Koei Tecmo. This game is coming out just in time for the fans that are waiting for the second season of the anime to begin. Is this what all fans are waiting for or is this just another bomb like Humanity in Chains?
This game style is a mix between Dynasty Warriors meets Grand Theft Auto with a pinch of Spider-Man web slinging combined. Those that are familiar with Koei Tecmo will expect Attack on Titan to be a musou (hack and slash) game, but actually, not quite. Yes, it is a hack and slash game that at the end there is a final boss to hack and slash, but at the same time isn’t that basically what Attack on Titan is anyway? The main difference of the game play is the Omni-Directional Mobility Gear (OMD) which takes it up to a new level. Other games have had something similar to this but this creates an immersive experience for fans of this series. The OMD puts the player in the world of Attack on Titan. After a while, I found myself flying from one side of the map to the other with the OMD, taking down titans and feeling invincible. The controls are easy to get use to and they are fun.
The game play mode is broken down into the story mode or exploration (single player or co-op). The story mode follows the anime from season one and bits of season two. The game starts off with a basic tutorial then straight into cut scenes from the anime, then immediately, missions. Missions range from killing specific targets, escort mission, to defending structures or specific characters. Players start off as Eren but as the story progresses the playable character will change and more characters will unlock through exploratory missions. As with other musou games, after the main mission has been completed, players are encouraged to replay the missions with different characters that were unlocked. Also, weapons are upgradable (blades, canisters, OMD) through materials obtained by killing titans and with the currency earned through completing missions. The cut scenes art style looks great, and it looks like some art cells were taken directly from the anime. What it does lack though, is the dramatic element that is from the anime, but overall, the voice acting is well done.
So how do you bring down a titan? Well first, target their limbs and cut them down to size. When you target the limbs you know if it contains any materials but if you just want to go for the kill then you target the nape just like the anime teaches you. I won't spoil too much about the titans but there are of course, different types of titans. Bosses, or armored titans are a bit more complex with the nape reinforced until the rest of the limbs are damaged. Unfortunately, the game suffers from lag when there are too many titans on screen at once. This will make some attacks miss, take otherwise avoidable damage, or even get trapped. One thing I did notice when you are fighting a titan and cut one of his legs he will begin to topple over a building about to fall and the game can't decide if he is falling or leaning so you get a glitch that will make it hard to attack but hilarious to watch.
Once the story is done, it is possible to continue past where the anime left off but to do so, players will have to have completed the exploration side missions. This is an unavoidable grind that players may find boring. During this grinding stage, I found myself completing the side missions by going straight to the red marker. By passing the other side quests and ignoring the other titans, this made the grind easier, but still a tedious task. So my recommendation is to pace out the missions; alternate between story mode and exploration mode - just switch it up! This way, players can upgrade equipment while trying to complete the levels without burning out through the grind.
Overall, I enjoyed this game better than its predecessor. The OMD made this game more tolerable and less of a typical musou game. I noticed little glitches here and there when fighting the titans and that left me frustrated at times. I liked that the game goes beyond where the anime left off, and it’s things like this that fans of the anime will definitely enjoy. Not to mention, being able to unlock Eren's cleaning outfit and crafting the duster as a weapon made a fun addition to game play. Fans of Attack on Titan and musou games should consider checking this game out.
- Omni-Directional Mobility Gear (OMD)
- Anime style cutscenes
- Story goes past the anime
- Game lag when too many titans on screen
- Musou (Hack and Slash)
- Repetitive missions
- The grind to unlock missions past ending
- Difficulty didn't seem to matter much
Review copy courtesy of Koei Tecmo