Attack on Titan
Koei-Tecmo’s Omega Force team have to be some of the busiest folks in the industry. Ever since Dynasty Warriors became a huge hit, the company’s been laser-focused on taking its proven formula to new and interesting frontiers beyond historical fantasy. We’ve recently seen Fist of the North Star, One Piece, Dragon Quest, Zelda, and even Gundam get the 'one-man army decimating hordes of weak foes' action-game treatment. Now, Omega Force is taking on the biggest anime and manga property in years, Attack on Titan – but they’re changing things up quite a bit.
In the world of Attack on Titan, humanity is under siege, living in fear of grotesque, gigantic humanoid beings known as titans. Little is known about these massive, mysterious monsters, except that they consume humans for reasons unknown. Eren Yaeger watched as his mother was killed by a titan, and years later, he and his friends Mikasa and Arin have joined the elite Survey Corps – a military group specially trained to combat the titans, who have few weaknesses and can regenerate quickly.
Considering the premise, it’s clear that a traditional Warriors-style game wouldn’t work – Titans don’t go down easily. Instead, Omega Force has created a game that captures the intense struggle the Survey Corps must undergo in order to slay these terrifying creatures. Players control characters equipped with OmniDirectional Mobility Gear, which allows them to achieve the mobility and height necessary to strike at Titan weak spots while also zipping around large battlefields. By using a combination of the ODMG and a fuel-powered booster, the player can vault around large areas very quickly – a vital technique when multiple titans are attacking at once and people all around the level need rescuing from the monstrous foes.
Striking a titan down isn’t as easy as mashing a button for a flashy combo, either. In order to kill a titan, you must target the vulnerable points on its body by anchoring your ODMG to the beast, then leap and jet in for a swift, clean kill. Depending on where you target the titan and how well your button-press timing goes, it’s possible to slay some titans in a single slash. You may want to focus on chopping off limbs and appendages, however, as they can debilitate the titans as well as drop valuable supplies. Judging when to take your time to carefully dissect titans and complete auxiliary stage goals is important, as is realising when to ignore everything else for the sake of the primary mission target.
You won’t just play as the human characters, however. You’ll also have the opportunity to control a titan several times as part of the story. Titan battles are very different – you’ll still be fighting against other titans, but as a fellow slow, lumbering monstrosity. Here, you can perform simple combo attacks, pick up and throw foes, and even unleash a devastating Titan Rage attack. But don’t expect speedy Warriors-style combat here, either – as a titan, your movements are slow and cumbersome, and you’ll need to take that into account as you confront your towering enemies.
Genuinely interesting anime-togame adaptations are few and far between, but Omega Force has done a superb job here of making the lifeor-death stakes of titan combat feel tense and exciting. You won’t need to wait long to take them on, either: Attack on Titan: Wings of Freedom is slated to hit at the end of August.
Heidi Kemps takes on a titanic preview and lives to tell the tale
DEVELOPER PUBLISHER PLATFORM RELEASE DATE Omega Force Koei Tecmo PS4, PS3, Vita, Xbone, PC 26 August, 2016