Subjugate all Titans in ‘Attack on Titan: Wings of Freedom’ (PS4 Review)

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Anime fans, rejoice! You now have a new way to scratch that Attack on Titan itch with Attack on Titan: Wings of Freedom. The game encompasses the entire anime released so far and even goes beyond what fans have seen thanks to some exclusive game content. Relive all the great moments from the first season of the anime with Eren, Mikasa and the rest of the cadet corps and Scout regiment.

Gameplay and Story

For those new to the series, Attack on Titan centers around characters Eren Jaeger, Mikasa Ackerman, and Armin Arlert as they struggle to survive against larger-than-life Titans that have no motives other than devouring all of mankind. The campaign will cover the entirety of the anime’s 25 episode season as well as some extra post-story content that will definitely please the fans. Throughout the campaign, you will swap between various members of the scout regiment, each with their own stats and skills. As you subjugate Titans and complete missions, you will earn experience to level up each character. Each level will bestow helpful abilities such as the ability to boost twice in succession, swap your damaged blades out in mid-air, and even gain the ability to rotate while reeling in to attack.

Besides upgrading your character, you will also be able to craft better blades, ODM (omni-directional movement) and your Scabbards/canisters. Upgrading these are a crucial element of strengthening your characters. Upgrading these various portions of your gear require copious amounts of materials, many of which are acquired by severing specific limbs on Titans. Thankfully the parts that house materials are marked on each Titan, making the hunt for materials during missions easy and intuitive. After completing missions, you will also be rewarded with specific materials as well as bonuses for earning an S-rank, or completing special objectives.

Attack on Titan plays similar to other KOEI Tecmo games made by Omega Force (Dynasty/Samurai Warriors, Toukiden, etc). Their previous games all share a common gameplay formula and this game is no different. Your character will be the deciding factor in every mission. Whether allies or NPCs die or live will all come down to you being able to prioritize and kill as many if not all the targets on the mini-map in the most efficient order. Combat is easy to learn but will take some time and precision to master. Sure you can just attack the nape of the Titans to go for the quick kill, but this won’t always be the case. Often times it will be more efficient to take out a weaker limb to make the Titan more vulnerable, thus easier to land the killing blow. As you progress through the story, you will eventually be confronted by the special Titans from anime. These fights will be the most challenging, as to be expected. Each of the special Titans that you fight will have special conditions that you must fight under such as invulnerabilities to allies, hardened limbs, and various other defenses to overcome.

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Highlights

You can really tell which areas of the game were focused on. High on the list was the studio focus on authenticity to the subject matter. The Titans, characters and environment look to be directly ripped out of the manga and anime. Each scene feels like you are reliving the anime from the perspective of the characters, between the gorgeous visuals of the destructible environments, original Japanese voice actors, and its sheer amount of content. It is further enhanced with extra backstory into the world and its characters. Besides the main story, there is also 50+ episodes of side missions to take on, many of which can be played online with up to 3 friends. Overall I’d have to say that the gameplay, while simple, is just plain fun. It takes me back to the feelings I had when games like Dynasty Warriors were fresh and new. It can feel repetitive at times, but this is remedied by swapping of characters, the crafting system, variety in the missions, and larger-than-life boss battles.

Final Reaction

Attack on Titan: Wings of Freedom does a lot right with very little content. It makes up for its lack of content with excellent execution, especially when compared to other games based off of popular anime series. The action game is a breath of fresh air in the genre of games based off anime. The pacing and storytelling keep it from ever feeling too much like just another hack and slash title from Omega Force. The studio did its research and put together an amazing example of what anime-to-game adaptations should aim for. This is a great time and way to get reacquainted with the series, or for first timers to jump in and see what all the hype is about in regards to one of the most popular currently running anime.

Final Rating:  4/5 Atoms

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Attack on Titan is currently available for PlayStation 4, PS3, PS Vita, Xbox One, and PC.

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*Attack on Titan: Wings of Freedom was reviewed using a retail download code provided by KOEI Tecmo Games.

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