Attack on Titan: Wings of Freedom Review

Attack on Titan: Wings of Freedom Review

English Title Attack on Titan
Japanese Title Shingeki no Kyojin
Kana Title 進撃の巨人
Release Date 2016
Developer Omega Force
Publisher Koei Tecmo
Series Attack on Titan
Platform Playstation 4
Playstation 3
Playstation Vita
PC

Adapting most of Attack on Titan’s first season with a teaser epilogue for the second, Attack on Titan The Game (or A.O.T. Wings of Freedom  in Europe) puts players in the shoes of popular faces such as Eren and Levi of the Scout Regiment as they fight off horde upon horde of encroaching titans. Beginning with the destruction of Wall Maria up until the appearance of the beast titan, Attack on Titan covers many of the important action beats of the manga.

After the disastrous Humanity in Chains on 3ds, Attack on Titan on Playstation 4 (the copy reviewed) offers something more along the lines of what fans would expect. Developed by Omega Force you can bet the game is packed full of passionate fan service, excellent character models and hordes upon hordes (x4) of enemies to cut through in fan favourite moments. To what end? Well…

To be fair to Omega Force, Attack on Titan while bearing many of the hallmarks of their Dynasty Warriors series stands as quite the departure in terms of combat. Attempting to capture the high flying action of the show gone are the repetitive button mashing encounters gamers are accustomed to, replaced with a something uniquely satisfying as every hit is at least three actions away. In any other series delaying the action would be something of a frustration, but within this formula helps to add a little more thought to the proceedings.

Attack on the Titan Warriors

As with many a musou game however, ultimately the biggest problem is repetition. While the Omni directional gear combat is surprisingly well thought out there’s no real variation in terms of gameplay. Enter battlefield, kill titans, assist friendlies, fight commanders; rinse and repeat. Here you’re tasked with killing roughly 40 identical enemies as opposed to the 400 of Dynasty Warriors thanks to the creative combat, but you’re still acting out the same task over and over. The game attempts to shake things up with titan capture missions and defending priority characters, but the core mechanics always remain the same.

Aside from monotonous gameplay Attack on Titan also has pretty significant problems with pacing. Of the three core acts covering the events of the first anime series, the third act consists entirely of chasing down the female titan. Completely unbeatable as defined by the source material these final stages reach a level of tedium that had me begging to get back to cutting down scores of abnormals and relative excitement of the earlier wall maria missions.

Chances are most gamers picking this up will already be familiar with the series, but if you’ve never seen the anime or read the manga chances are you’re not going to want to start here. The core action beats are there, but character motivations are absent. Upon completing a mission players are kicked back to base camp to upgrade or purchase new weapons and otherwise interact with characters fans are familiar with, but you never get a feel for the rest of your squad. Bizarrely Attack on Titan chooses to hide most of its actual character moments in its post-game content. Lacking context what you’re left with are the unfortunate, angsty shonen tropes the series sometimes finds itself stuck in.

Tied directly to this are the game’s request missions. Requests are goals which can be completed during the standard missions that grant players cut scenes from the emotional to goofy to add an extra dimension to the characters. Ranging from simple tasks such as kill 20 titans in one mission to save 10 characters from death, requests are far from ground-breaking but give players that extra motivation to play beyond the core mission parameters. As with the characterization however, these side missions are hidden in the end game content, by which point you’re mostly finished with the game.

She said what?!

The game also struggles in terms of its presentation, most surprisingly in its lack of an English language option. While I’m a firm believer that the original audio track should be made available where possible, denying players even the option to play in English is an issue. For some Western fans the Japanese Eren, Armin or Mikasa may simply not be their versions of those characters. There are instances in base camp where characters will call out to the player with no text provided at all. These lines of dialogue are little more than player prompts or stock anime clichés, but if there’s no English provided the game should at least be subtitled in its entirety.

Attack on Titan Wings of Freedom Gameplay

Given the titanic stature and popularity of the series, Attack on Titan’s budget approach irritates more than it should. Ugly, oversized text, an issue with pop in despite the sparseness of the environments, the presentation overall feels lacking for a full price retail game. While the character models are surprisingly detailed and the Wall Maria stages provide a nice arena for the carnage there’s a cheapness to the experience that often evokes the licensed games of old.

Attack of Titan (A.O.T. Wings of Freedom) is far from a bad game, and if you’re a diehard fan of the series just good enough may be enough. While the game feels out of place on a Playstation 4, if you’re a Vita owner or if the game turns up for $15 I can’t deny that the combat makes it at least worth a look. However, If you’re only a casual watcher (as I am) or consider yourself as more of a gamer than an anime fan, the level of quality this generation is just too high to get all that serious about Attack on Titan.

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About author

Craig Hatch
Craig Hatch 35 posts

Horror Japan is Craig Hatch, a Brit currently living in Tokyo, Japan. Horror Japan is a project that aims to review and collate media from all aspects of Japanese horror culture.

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Editor review

Rating
3/5

3

Average
3
Summary

Attack of Titan (A.O.T. Wings of Freedom) is far from a bad game, and if you’re a diehard fan of the series just good enough may be enough. While the game feels out of place on a Playstation 4, if you’re a Vita owner or if the game turns up for $15 I can’t deny that the combat makes it at least worth a look. However, If you’re only a casual watcher (as I am) or consider yourself as more of a gamer than an anime fan, the level of quality this generation is just too high to get all that serious about Attack on Titan.