|System: PS4, Xbox One, PC, PS3, PS Vita|
|Dev: Omega Force|
|Pub: Koei Tecmo|
|Release: August 30, 2016|
|Players: 1-4 Players|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Blood and Gore, Partial Nudity, Violence|
by Sean Engemann
When a murder occurs with no apparent motive, the death feels empty and senseless. Seeing loved ones go off to fight a war with no known purpose questions their involvement. A full life lived in a bustling town but surrounded by a fifty meter wall which you cannot exit is a life lived in a prison. These are just a few of the powerful truths presented in Attack on Titan, a story whose core lies far beyond a mere fight for humanity's survival. It is the blistering questions of "why" that not only gnaw at each character's sanity, but also entice readers of the manga and viewers of the anime to cling to every new chapter in hopes of having these questions answered.
The game follows the key points of the first season of the animated series, and does so without compromising the integrity and intensity penned by writer and illustrator Hajime Isayama. Whether you're a devout follower of the series keen on reliving the harrowing moments in an interactive setting, or an intrigued fledgling fan (like myself) gasping at each new revelation, the game promises a firm grip will remain on the controller.
The story centers primarily around Eren Jaeger, the emotional protagonist intent on eradicating every Titan and embracing the freedom of the world outside the walls; Mikasa Ackermann, Eren's adopted sister who wields skill and power far beyond what her reserved demeanor portrays; and Armin Arlelt, Eren's friend whose lack in physical skill is compensated by his keen intelligence and tactical prowess. These three, along with a bevy of secondary characters, all provide compelling backstories and unanswered questions waiting to be exposed. They each draw you into a personal relationship, which makes the vulnerability of their lives to being devoured by Titans, literally, cause all the more apprehension.
The Titans are giant, naked humans of varying sizes whose sole and mindless intent is to eat every person they find. These Titans have brought humanity to the brink of annihilation, and after breaching the wall of the last human bastion, the threat of extinction prompts newly graduated Eren, his cadet classmates, and the rest of the military into a final resistance.
Each mission is straightforward - repel the Titan onslaught. Doing so requires mastering the omni-directional mobility gear - a hip-mounted harness that allows you to swing through towns and forests much like Spider-Man through the streets of New York. Engaging the Titans consists of latching on to their gargantuan bodies and rotating around the beasts in something akin to a Star Wars snowspeeder doing laps around an Imperial Walker with a harpoon and tow cable. Sound exciting? That's because it is, interminably. After finding the rhythm of controlling your airborne mobility, locking on to the limbs of a Titan, thrusting towards it with a gas-powered boost, and hitting the attack button at the precise moment to inflict major damage, you'll find that even after slaying your thousandth Titan, the next one is just as satisfying.
However, the game banks on this singular enjoyment, rarely straying from this format. Sure, there are a few abnormal Titans with more erratic movements, and the occasional focus on defending a location or saving a teammate in peril, but even these deviations require slicing the Titans at the vulnerable nape of their neck to accomplish the goal. The only “big” change in the action is when you are in control of a muscle-ripped Titan yourself, pummeling other Titans into submission and pulverizing every nearby building in the process. It’s a satisfying break from the standard slicing combat, but not overly complex.