A.O.T / Attack On Titan – Wings of Freedom Review

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Shingeki no Kyojin – Attack On Titan, if you haven’t heard of it, is one of the largest Japanese anime and manga franchises on the market at the moment. The franchise is about humanity being on the brink of extinction thanks to relentless attacks by a mysterious enemy, known as Titans, for generations. To repel the titans, humanity have built several walls around their territory and have developed some rather unique weaponry that excel in butchering these foes. The A.O.T / Attack On Titan – Wings of Freedom video game follows the storyline of the anime adaptation of the popular manga series, and it somehow is way better than expected.

If you’ve seen the anime or read the manga, the story in Attack on Titan will feel very familiar to you. In fact, it will feel like you’re playing through the same exact story as those. And that’s because you are. Omega Force have done an incredibly good job at adapting the story content of the anime series into this awesomely fun Musou-styled Attack On Titan experience. The story being told here is literally a short-story form, footnote version of the Attack On Titan stories best parts. If you ever wanted to live out any particular moment from the anime, this games story mode covers it!

It’s hard for me to talk about the story in any real meaningful way because I’ve experienced it in so many different mediums that all the plot points no longer feel shocking or have that first time punch to them. But, all of those points that were initially as previously stated for me are in this game, albeit, in a slightly more condensed and to-the-point kind of way. So I can imagine that anyone’s first time experience with Attack On Titan being with this game having an exceptional response to the story. This is simply because the story is such a simple concept that can be told really well across multiple mediums.

What I liked about the story, the way that it is told in the game, is that it consistently switches between the perspectives of multiple characters and has you play as the character that is the current focus of that part of the story. This somehow makes you feel like an active driving force within the story, rather than an observer going through the motions of experiencing the story. It’s a lot of fun.

The highlight of Attack On Titan – Wings of Freedom is its core gameplay mechanics. This game is just so amazingly fun to play. It’s so simple, yet so fast paced and fluid that you can’t easily describe the feeling of playing.

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In the Attack On Titan story, the main cast are part of a military squad known as the Scout Regiment (Recon Corps, Recon Squad, Scout Battalion– I’ve seen this translated 100 different ways). What makes this interesting is that unlike traditional soldiers, the soldiers in this universe are equipped with gas-propelled grappling hook launchers called the Maneuver Gear. This device fires hooks in two opposing directions to form a kind of sling. The purpose of the sling is to turn the soldier into a fast-moving aerial fighter in order to get to the back of a Titans neck in order to cut open the weak-point and defeat them.

Now, as you can imagine, being propelled through the air, on what is essentially a sling, would be a heck of a lot of fun. Dangerous, yes. But a lot of fun. And let me tell you, doing it in this game is really, really, fun. Somehow, flying around Trost and the outer wall districts, is the best aerial experience that you can ask for. It fulfills your “gotta-go-fast” instincts, while also feeding into your needs for more speed. Oh, and if you want more speed, all you have to do press the gotta-go-fast button and use a small amount of gas to propel yourself even quicker.

This mechanic also ties-in with fighting the Titans themselves. By locking onto a Titan, you can select a body part to fire a hook into in order to attack that part. What makes fighting Titans extremely fun is that you can re-attach yourself to a limb after you’ve become detached. I found that it is amazingly exciting to hook into a limb, do a fast slice, propel backwards and then repeat until it is lobbed off. It’s just so good.

Much like other Musou styled games, like Dynasty Warriors, players are put on a map and tasked with completing objectives while also saving their allies from being killed from time-to-time. However, unlike other Musou styled games, A.O.T is slightly different in that you’re not fighting hundreds of enemies on screen at once, and are instead fighting a smaller battalion of giant humanoid Titans. This formula works amazingly well for Attack on Titan. But, I do have to say that there isn’t enough variation in mission objectives in the Story Mode. Almost every battle ends with the player having to kill a bigger Titan, and when the gameplay mechanics do start to kick up a notch, it is literally the last story mission in the game.

I would like to say that the majority of the gameplay in Attack On Titan is in the main story, but it’s really not. There is a massive tonne of side-content that easily eclipses the main story. I personally haven’t worked through it all, but it’s a heck of a lot from what I have played through already. Even more, the objectives do get a bit more complicated, so it seems like this will be the bulk of where players will be spending their time. And they’ll love every moment.

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It can’t be stressed enough how fun this game is to play. I would recommend it– even if you’re not a fan of anime-style games, or game adaptations of anime series’. The maneuver gear mecahnic alone is worth the purchase, but mixed in with actual gameplay, it is just amazing.

There is too much to praise in this game, but I’m going to praise it some more. The music takes its cues from the anime series, with a lot of the notation sounding incredibly similar to the show. However, it has that signature rock element to it that Omega Force is known for introducing into its games. I loved what they did to the Zelda adaptation, Hyrule Warriors, and I love what they have done to the Attack On Titan soundtrack.

A.O.T is a mostly fully-voiced game, with only side-conversations not being voiced. I’m not sure if they’ve simply lifted voice samples from the anime, or if the lines were completely re-recorded from scratch, but the voice acting is highly reminiscent of the source anime series. In particular, I really liked the delivery behind Levi’s lines. They felt really rigor and fitting to the character. (I’m totally not a Levi fangirl or anything, I swear!).

The only really significant fault with this game, much like many Musou styled games, is that the graphics do lack a little. Obviously, this game is a bit more cel-shaded and made to look like the manga, so it does hold up a bit better than usual. But in comparison to many other titles, and even to the anime series, the look does seem a bit strange. However the gameplay is so fluid that you’re hardly noticing the lower graphical fidelity anyway. But still, I feel like a graphical presentation, particularly since this was a PC release, of something a bit more detailed would make this feel like a much more truer Attack On Titan experience. But still, the game we have is fantastic and I’m not going to not recommend this because of the graphical level.

Overall, A.O.T / Attack On Titan: Wings of Freedom is the most fun I’ve had going fast since F-Zero GX. I’ve said this multiple times in this review, but I’ll say it again: The game is a heck of a lot of fun. Even after the 10hrs or so I’ve put into it, it has only gotten more enjoyable. Definitely pick this up, even if you’re not into anime at all.

Rating: Needs more Titan boobs /10

A.O.T / Attack On Titan: Wings of Freedom is developed by Omega Force and released by Koei Tecmo. This review is based on the PC version of the game as provided by Koei Tecmo for the purposes of review. You can buy it on Steam for ~$60.

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