Koei Tecmo tackles the hugely popular anime franchise Attack on Titan.
When the Attack on Titan anime launched in the west, it took the international market by storm which spawned a spin-off series and even a live-action movie. Like most anime/manga series, it has always been hard to adapt it to another form of medium. The Attack on Titan live-action movie suffered badly and was something that shouldn’t even have been made. On the video-game side, there hasn’t been much progress in that department with a few small games here and there but that’s until Omega Force – the creators of Dynasty Warriors got their hands on the property.
Omega Force is not new to video-game adaptation, recently they developed Arslan: The Warriors of Legend which is based off the anime and manga of the same name. It was successful and more a safe bet for them as it almost reflects the Warriors musou genre. When they’ve decided to take on Attack on Titan, I was skeptical at first with how this game would work. If you followed the series, the game involves lots of vertical combat and movements as humans take on Titans (human giants) hell bent on eating making them food. So it was hard to imagine a system that would have worked in this scenario.
However, they proved everyone wrong using elements from the musou genre with a 360-degree style combat system. It works surprisingly featuring a difficulty curve which had me practising on wooden dummy Titans. There’s two levels of movement: navigation and combat. You can move around the map freely pointing out targets and approaching them from various angles. Once you find your enemy, you engage into a combat mode where your character with stick to a Titan and allow you to perform strikes against it. The combat is more tactical than it looks and quite hard to get a grip of as it’s not something I’m used to.
Titans have different attack points, you’ll rotate around the one to find the areas you want to strike. Just like the anime/manga, striking at the back of the neck will return as an instant kill but this area is the hardest. It’s a difficult target as its small and with the Titan moving around – it’s at times impossible to hit because it has noticed your attack. If the Titan notices your attack, you’ll have to weaken it by aiming at easier points like the legs which will slow it down or drop it then you can go in for the final kill. This is why placement is important and coming in for the surprise first strike at the neck is the way to go.
I really like the depth of the combat Omega Force has implemented. While it’s a hack and slash title, the combat features some strategic elements just no straight dumb button smashing on Titans. I like this approach and while it was hard at first to get a feel of the controls, it provides nice level of difficult to the overall game. Throw in various Titans like harder ones that’s faster or smarter, provides a varied experience.
The game also looks incredibly close to the anime which is utilising the engine used for Arslan: The Warriors of Legend. Back at Tokyo Game Show 2015, the developer revealed to us that the engine will be used in future titles based on anime because it represent the same art palette used in that type of medium and they’re right – it does. If you have played Arsland, you will notice how incredible close the game looks to the anime as if you’re playing the TV series – this is the same for Attack on Titan Wings of Freedom.
While I’ve only played two levels at E3 2016, the much needed tutorial and the opening sequences of the city siege – I got a feel of how the combat system worked thoroughly. Other things I’ve noticed is that they’re focusing quite close on the source material with characters from the anime present in the game. Attack on Titan Wings of Freedom has impressed me a lot and as a fan of the series, I’m quite excited with what Omega Force has done with this adaptation. If you always wanted a Attack on Titan game then definitely look out for to this.
Attack on Titan Wings of Freedom is due out on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One August 26th, 2016.