Today is the day that Attack on Titan is officially released and with that comes my full review of the North American version of the game. I did a preview post of the game last week that you can read here, and a lot of that will be repeated here along with some newer information from having spent more time with the game over the weekend.
I’ll try to keep this review as spoiler free as possible for those who either haven’t seen the anime or read the manga. If there are spoilers, I’ll let you know before hand but I highly suggest watching at least season 1 of the anime before playing this game. While much of the story is the same, you’ll get much more from the anime and will at least have some background information on the characters before starting.
If you’re not one to read long reviews, then I’ll just sum up what I think of this game in one sentence. Attack on Titan is a fantastic game that mirrors a lot of what happens in the anime along with some extra story elements not seen there and plenty of titan combat to make fans happy.
Attack on Titan the game occurs over the events of season 1 of the anime. Humanity lives in what can only be described as walled cages, due to he threat of Titans, gigantic humanoid beings who devour humans without reason. Thanks to these walls though, humanity has lived in peace for over 100 years, that is until a Colossus Titan appears and destroys that peace.
The series follows the lives of Eren Jaeger, his adopted sister Mikasa Ackermann, and their friend Armin Arlelt after the tragic events that occurred to their hometown when they were children. Titans breach the outer wall of their town killing many of the townsfolk including Eren’s mother. Eren vows to take revenge and to kill all the Titans.
If you’ve watched the anime series, Attack on Titan follows very closely to it. You’ll play as many of the main characters as they work their way up from cadet status to full blown members of the Scout Regiment aka The Wings of Freedom. For the most part, the game does a wonderful job of condensing a season’s worth of material into one game by including many of the important parts from the series. They even throw in extra story elements that don’t appear in the anime. You could in essence learn everything you wanted to know about the first season from this game, but I suggest watching the anime to fill in some of the back story and to get more in-depth with the characters.
Aside from that, the story is wonderful and very faithful to the anime series.
Attack on Titan is a very good looking game. It has a look to it that is again, very faithful to the anime series and very much does look like you’re playing in the Attack on Titan universe. Though everything is rendered in 3D, it does have that hand drawn anime look to it. Character designs are spot on and look just like their anime counterparts and they even move and sound like they are supposed to.
The only area in the game that is a little sub-par are the environments. While the cities look pretty good as do the more open areas that include forest and fields, they aren’t quite varied enough to stand out. Many of the cities you play in look pretty much the same and same goes for the forest areas. But then again, the anime is pretty much the same way. What is cool though are that the cities are destructible, whether it be from damage taken by the Titans or from your own canon fire. You can actually use this to your advantage sometimes and clear areas in order to get more space to battle the Titans.
The biggest surprise to me however is just how perfectly they’ve captured the combat in this game and the sense of speed and danger. I’ll speak more about combat later but the game does a wonderful job conveying how effective the omni-directional gear is as well as how powerful dual swords can be in the right hands.
Audio in Attack on Titan is also fantastic. It includes a musical score that sounds like its straight from the anime as well as voice acting that sounds like they used all the original actors fro the series too. Of course I could be wrong on that, but I couldn’t tell the difference. Speaking of acting, many of the cut scenes seem to feature almost the same exact dialog as the anime and features original Japanese voices. I’m so glad they did this and opted not to dub the game in English. The game does have English subtitles, though there are slight differences in the translation when compared to the anime translations. No big deal though.
Much of the game will center around you learning how to use your omni-directional gear and how to properly engage Titans in combat. It might seem like a rather daunting task at first, but the tutorial mission does a very good job of acclimating you to the control scheme, which requires a lot of practice to get good at. It’s not difficult to learn however and you should be able to pick it up after the first few missions.
Moving with the omni-directional gear makes you feel like Spider-Man and you can cover some fairly large distances with each swing. You can even use your gas to perform quick jet bursts that propel you quickly in a certain direction. This works well if you need to abruptly change directions or increase your speed. Note however that using your jets causes you to deplete your gas quicker which means you’ll need to refill your tanks more often. This adds realism to the game and just like the anime, gas is a precious commodity used for both combat and movement.
The omni-directional gear also only works if there’s something to anchor it with, so if you’re out in a wide open area, you won’t be able to really use it to move around. You’ll have to either use your own two feet or your trusty horse.
When you need to engage in combat, get close to a Titan and tap R1 to lock in on the closest Titan. You’re omni-directional gear will work here no matter what the terrain is and will grapple on to one of the Titan’s body parts. You can pick and choose which part to lock in on and if your strike quick and true, you’ll do massive damage to that area. You can either go directly for the nape of the neck to kill a Titan, or lop off its limbs to incapacitate it as well as gain some valuable crafting material.
That brings me to crafting. You can craft new upgrades for your standard gear in Attack on Titan allowing you to gain much better equipment. That means more power blades, speedier omni-directional gear, etc. With that said, I suggest sometimes not directly going for the quick kill and instead try to gain some material instead. You can also buy material, but this method helps save you some money.
For most of the story mode, you’ll be playing as Eren, Mikasa, Armin, and fan favorite, Levi. However, you’ll be able to unlock most of the anime’s central characters to use after story mode ends and in Expedition Mode, which is the game’s multiplayer online mode. (I’m not going to talk about that here though as I have not played that yet.) When you complete the story mode, you’ll be able to go back and replay each mission in order to get the better S-class rating if you didn’t do so before as well as gaining more material for crafting. You can also use any character you want as well.
On a side note, fan of the show will be happy to note that you’ll be able to play as Eren’s Rogue Titan mode. This lets you go head to head with a Titan on equal footing and really adds a different feel to the game.
There’s also another mode included in the game called Survey Missions which are unique, non-story related missions where you just survey new areas and defeat all the Titans there. It’s just more satisfying combat missions and help extend the game’s longevity.
Attack on Titan is a very surprising game because I honestly didn’t expect it to be this good. I’m an Attack on Titan fan and this game gives you so much of what you loved about the series and lets you take control of all your favorite characters. Everything from the character designs, voice acting, environments, and mood of the game are so authentic to the series that sometimes you’ll forget that you’re playing a game and not watching the anime.
The devs did a wonderful job all around with the look and feel of the game and pretty much included all you’ll need to know about the series if you’ve never watched the anime. In fact, I’ll probably guess that after playing this, you’ll want to go check out the anime to learn more about the characters and the whole backstory.
On that note, this is one of the most exciting games I’ve played this month. There’s a lot of story to watch, a lot of action to participate in and plenty of extra modes to keep you busy.
Update (08-31-2016): I forgot to mention that while this game does have a lot of “violence” similar to the anime, you have the option of turning off all the gore and blood. There isn’t any foul language from what I can remember, but then again unless you spoke Japanese, you wouldn’t really know. I don’t remember seeing any foul language in the subtitles. Lastly, the only questionable part of the game really if you’re deciding if your kids can play it or not are the naked Titans, especially the naked Female Titan. Titans don’t have reproductive organs so we don’t see and genitals and on the Female Titan, she has no skin. So yeah, you’ll have to decide on your own if its appropriate. I suggest watching the anime first.
Are there any points I missed? If you got any questions about the game that you want answered, let me know in the comments below. I’ll be happy to answer back. You can also send me message over on Twitter – @samversionone. Also be sure to subscribe to my Youtube channel here where I’ll be playing a lot more of Attack on Titan.
BONUS VIDEOS: ATTACK ON TITAN STREAMING PLAYLIST
Review code provided to us by the publisher/developer.
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