PS4 Review: Attack on Titan

Attack on Titan takes place in a fantasy steam punk world where humanity has been on the brink of extinction for over 100 years after the appearance of Titans: large zombie like humanoids. Mankind has retreated behind a city-state guarded by three large inner walls. The game covers the first season of the anime adding in some extra details from the manga including excerpts from Lieutenant Levi’s adventures as well as post content not yet seen in the anime. It does a good job highlighting the plot points of the anime, but misses some of the finer, more character developing moments, which isn’t a terrible thing for fans, as they already know the source material by heart, but it may give newcomers a lack of context in some instances.

 

Humanity may be dwindling, but there’s hope yet. Through years of science and technology they created the 3D Maneuvering Gear in order to quickly swarm around Titans while attacking their weak points, the nape of the neck, with sharp, disposable blades. After watching the show I had hoped to one day experience the thrill in a game and Omega Force and Koei Tecmo did an amazing job of capturing that feeling. Gliding around huge enemies, dodging them at high speeds only to strike them down in the coolest ways possible while the most epic music is blaring is something few games nail just right. If I had to review Attack on Titan in one word it’d be exhilarating. There’s nothing quite like this traversal in games aside from a handful of good Spider-Man experiences in a sprawling web created mostly out of trash.

 

In the campaign you’ll play through most major battles with small optional objectives sprinkled in for good measure. Most of these side objectives are basically rescue requests, which will usually attract that ally to your team as well as award the player with medals at the end of the level. Speaking of which, players can request the assistance of up to four members while hunting for Titans. They’ll follow you and attack on their own free will, but can be given basic commands like going into a defensive stance formation. Some heroes can actually issue them attack orders like Armin and Erwin.

 

Other than those specialties, most characters play the same albeit with a few different abilities that unlock upon leveling up as well as stats. To bring up Armin again, he’s relatively weak compared to most heroes, but his ability to issue proper orders makes up for that. Thankfully equipment can help make the weaker characters stronger. One can improve the quality of their blades, holster, and gas tank by upgrading them, or simply buying newer models with scraps and money. It, aside from survey missions, is the most video gamey thing about Attack on Titan. It takes some narrative liberties from the fiction without feeling too obtrusive, or untrue to the concept.

 

These survey missions unlock about halfway through the campaign when characters take on the role of Lieutenant Levi and his squad. Completing these quests will net bonus materials, gold, and other awards. You can complete them during the story, or off in the main menu where you can add up to three other friends online for co-op. Sadly there’s no couch co-op, something I usually herald Koei Tecmo for including, but due to the fast paced action, I’d imagine two people playing on one TV would stress the frame rate immensely. That said playing online is great although connections were a tad infrequent since I was playing before the game was officially released.

 

Attack on Titan does wonders with its license, giving fans the opportunity of feeling like a badass from the fiction. I want other developers to take this concept of the 3D Maneuvering Gear and add it into other games. Imagine these controls clashed with a sequel to Shadow of the Colossus. Holy crap right? Jokes and ideas aside, this is a fantastic game that is a little light on content, doesn’t look graphically stunning on PS4, and is repetitive, but at the same time it’s hard to put down. Fans will love it to tears and newcomers will hopefully be inspired to check out the show. Again, there’s nothing quite like it.

Score: 4/5 Stars

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