Attack on Titan Review
Attack on Titan Cover Art
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

At the completion of most missions, you are sent to a small hub area where you can chat with some of the characters and craft and upgrade your equipment. But don't get too excited, because the crafting system is relatively remedial. By collecting materials through cutting off specific Titan limbs and clearing objectives, you can create new weapons or enhance your blades, scabbard, and omni-directional mobility gear. The improvements bolster specific stats such as weapon damage, gas consumption, and anchoring distance, but the choices are somewhat simplistic. That could be seen as a blessing as well, since you can quickly tailor your gear and get right back into the action.

Apart from the campaign, there is an Expedition Mode that contains a sizable number of missions separate from the main storyline, which can be tackled solo or with up to three friends online. The tactics don't change, but the thrill of cooperative Titan takedowns and attempting to outscore your teammates is alluring enough to keep you sharpening your skills. It also helps that materials acquired and items crafted in the Expedition Mode can be carried over to the story campaign, and vice versa.

Attack on Titan Screenshot

Character models and animations have made impressive gains in graphical quality with regards to Japanese art styles in video games of late, and Attack on Titan is a prime example of this. Considering most of the cast is outfitted in the same uniform, the superb work on facial expressions gives each character their own individual presence, and the fast and fluid combat animations combined with in-game cinematics add to the immersion into the dark fantasy. However, despite the near flawless character portrayals, the environments are substantially bland. Buildings are dull, gray and brown hued, and lacking any notable details. They mostly serve as barriers that shatter at the slightest touch of a Titan, but even the destruction animation lacks authenticity, looking more like something out of Blast Corps or a similar 1990s demolition-based game.

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Attack on Titan's music score marries action and drama perfectly, instilling uptempo energy when engaged in combat, and tapping into the melancholic aftermath when the carnage and corpses are discovered. The dialogue is intense and well acted, but is entirely voiced in Japanese with English subtitles. As a presentation I rather enjoyed the original voice work, being able to keep pace with each character’s emotional state. However, having to divert my eyes during cutscenes to read the text, and pausing the game in the middle of a mission to read what my allies were shouting while I was focused on defeating a Titan, broke the pacing far too often.

There is no question why Attack on Titan is garnering such acclaim in many different media forms. It has an interesting cast, a gripping narrative, and is shrouded with questions that just beg to be answered. The gameplay, while repetitive, is enjoyable nonetheless. If you have even a shred of interest in the series, immersing yourself in this video game will satisfy your craving to be a part of story from start to finish.

By
Sean Engemann
Senior Contributing Writer
Date: August 26, 2016

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.8
Graphics
Character models are well drawn and expressive. However, the rest of the scenery is bland and destruction is poorly animated.
4.4
Control
The control scheme is not complex, but does require finesse, and is comfortable when you find your rhythm.
4.2
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The music provides the appropriate atmosphere, the sound effects are sharp and potent, and the voice acting delivered well. However, with no English voiceover, having to constantly break the action to read the text can be irritating.
4.5
Play Value
Though the gameplay is repetitive, it never seems to get boring. The story will keep you moving forward towards the credits, and the plethora of Expedition missions will satisfy you long afterwards.
4.2
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Fight in a violent and relentless battlefield where the situation constantly changes from moment to moment. Every strategic decision you make will link directly to a new and exciting action.
  • Using the "omni-directional mobility gear" created specifically for battle with Titans allows you to fly freely across and above the battlefield. Close in with Titans at high speed, weaken them by severing limbs such as arms and legs, and then sink your blade into the weak point at the nape of their neck
  • Experience exciting drama unfolding across the battlefield that changes in real-time. The destruction of buildings when fighting in the town will also change the range of actions available to you.
  • "Custom Toon Shader" - the latest graphical fusion of anime and game styles that uses physical rendering brings the rich Attack on Titan world to glorious life!

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