Attack on Titan, the hugely popular anime series is getting the video game treatment.
Attack on Titan has been through a lot over its lifetime. The journey began in 2009 as a Manga series, written and illustrated by Hajime Isayama. An adaption into a television show proved to be very successful. Audiences were captivated by the world of Attack on Titan, in which savage giants marauder and murder the human population. Unfortunately audiences were not captivated by the live action film adaptation. Met with a torrent of abuse and torn apart by critics, Attack on Titan the film was found wanting. Hopefully the video game will be a more successful medium though which to express the truly bonkers world of Attack on Titan.
Omega Force, the development studio behind Dynasty Warrior, leads the project. They promise to deliver a totally different player experience to that of their previous games. Team tactics are the key to success in Attack on Titan, contrasting the one-man army action of Dynasty Warrior.
The title is rendered using cel shading; this is quite a common visual style in games with eastern influences. Having such destructive action shown in a cartoon style is surprisingly complimentary. It is very reminiscent of the Dragon Ball Z game series.
Player movement looks fast and fluid, characters fly around the open world environment with ease. The title is reminiscent of the spider man games, seeming to capture free flowing movement incredibly well. Omega Force have brought 3D movement gear to life and this aspect of the game is sure to be a big plus point. The movement mechanics have remained faithful to the source material which is so good to see. Despite a serious aptitude for aerial acrobatics, players are never the less confronted by a gargantuan enemy, the Titans. Players will have the ability to take Titan form. Becoming a Titan opens up new gameplay avenues, the big hits and throws available change things up from the zip wiring action in human form. Coupled with a semi destructible environment, Titan gameplay has potential for epic battles.
A semi destructible environment could make the world of difference in online modes. Having the landscape of a battle change over time makes players change behaviour and tactics. From objective based game modes to team death match, even single player campaign would benefit from a dynamic gameplay environment.
It would be nice to see a good range of game modes available in Attack on Titan. The project is lucky to have such good bad guys to draw from and they should prove to be very versatile in the creation of game modes. An Evolve style mode where a small team of humans have to take down a Titan would play very well.
A possible area for concern is the challenge posed from the Titans. Although they are physically massive, gameplay footage shows that they can be taken down with relative ease. Attack on Titan runs the risk of not testing the player in a manner that will remain interesting. Hopefully Omega Force have mastered a new type of gameplay focus with Attack on Titan. If the title shares too many gameplay similarities to Dynasty Warrior, the title is unlikely to have a long shelf life. Although Omega Force have stated that gameplay will offer ‘high tactical freedom’, this remains to be seen.
Another red flag is how the action is displayed on screen. The camera struggles to fit everything in, the player seems to be lost among the blood, damage figures and Titans. This is particularly concerning in the urban levels; much of the story takes place in the districts protected by their various walls. By extension it can be assumed that much of the game will take place in these areas as well. A camera unable to capture the action adequately could take attention away from the Titan killing coolness.
So we have seen a very good manga, turned into a great anime, becoming a god awful live action movie. Lets hope the project finds a more happy medium in the world of video games!