Attack on Titan: Wings of Freedom (PlayStation 4) Review

By Drew Hurley 27.08.2016

Review for Attack on Titan: Wings of Freedom on PlayStation 4

Attack on Titan has become a global phenomenon, with a popularity that rivals almost any manga or anime series. Manga and anime adaptation games are often a worry for fans, mostly because it's tricky to find the perfect fit between the genre of game compared to the source material. Thankfully, this isn't the case in Koei Tecmo's Attack on Titan (A.O.T.: Wings of Freedom in Europe). The universe is superb, filled with highly promising aspects that lend themselves well to gaming and especially to the Omega Force style. The huge maps combined with the high-octane method of travel of the Omni-Dimensional Mobility Gear (ODMG), the dynamic combat style paired with the Titan-style enemies—all the ingredients look good, but can the final product live up to the fans' expectations? Cubed3 finds out.

Attack on Titan is made up of two primary modes of play: Attack Mode and Expedition Mode. The former is the story mode of the game, and follows the source from Eren and company's enlisting into the Corps up to past the end of the anime, giving players the opportunity to take on the Bestial Titan that anime viewers have yet to meet. That's not to mention including some extra story covering what Levi et al. were up to during Eren's initial transformation. This mode is made up of numerous stages, each following the story from the point of view of the major characters, including Eren, Mikasa, Levi and Armin, and all with unique abilities that differ enough for players to find a favourite. The stages are pretty standard fare, set in the housing districts and farmlands of the wall, and with plenty of revisiting and repetition. The missions usually consist of a rather basic objective, such as killing a certain number of Titans, or rescuing civilians, with occasional side missions appearing to help flesh out the stages and rack up better rankings.

Screenshot for Attack on Titan: Wings of Freedom on PlayStation 4

Between each stage are hub type areas that hold a handful of NPCs to interact with. Some of these simply give snippets of conversations, some give replays of missions, and some are merchants called Logisticians, who offer to buy and sell materials. These can be used to craft and upgrade the three pieces of equipment essential to every Corps member: Blades for slashing Titans to pieces, which differ based on sharpness, blade length and durability; scabbards hold spare blades and gas, which can be customised based on gas capacity, gas pressure and number of blades carried; then, finally, the ODMG itself, of which the reel speed, anchor range and anchor strength are each customisable. The hubs expand as the game progresses, adding the ability to replay older missions and to take on new challenges in Survey Missions.

Expedition Mode is available alone offline or with friends online, and allows any unlocked character to be used on Survey Missions and Expeditions. Any equipment upgrades and items collected in either Expedition or Attack Mode are shared between both. In gameplay terms, Survey Missions are fairly indistinguishable from the story missions, and the Expeditions are simply series of Survey Missions to complete without a break to get extra rewards. They do give plenty of replay value, though, with each Survey Mission completing a "Scouting Percentage" of an area, which can give some rewards at key points and unlock further areas for new missions.

Screenshot for Attack on Titan: Wings of Freedom on PlayStation 4

Whether in Attack Mode's main story stages, Survey Missions or Expedition Mode, the missions suffer from a flaw that will be familiar to anyone who enjoys Musou-style games: Repetition. The stages and objectives offer very little in variation; it will often simply consist of: Kill all the Titans in the area, pop over to any green exclamation mark side missions that pop up, take on the red exclamation mark to fight a boss Titan, and finish the stage. There are the occasional boss stages that change things up considerably, and even stages where Eren in Titan form is playable in a Tokusatsu/Rampage-style slugfest.

What greatly helps combat the repetition is the absolute joy of the ODMG. One only needs to look at some of the Spider-Man games that have been released over the years to see how much of an impact just the web-swinging can have on whether the game is amazing, spectacular or, frankly… crap. With that in mind, the prospect of the ODMG was something to be cautiously optimistic about; it looks breath-taking in the anime, and if a game could capture that feeling... Well, in this title, it is better than fans could have hoped. The controls are tricky to get to grips with at first, but, after getting the hang of it, this is the smoothest and most stylish method of transport imaginable. Soaring across the fields, swinging around enemies and amputating them piece by piece—it makes for astoundingly addictive play. There are plenty of Titans to cut to pieces, too, coming in different sizes and types. The game doesn't disappoint with the iconic enemies from the series, either, with boss battles against the Colossal, Armoured, Female and Bestial Titans.

Screenshot for Attack on Titan: Wings of Freedom on PlayStation 4

These towering behemoths can be instantly taken out by slicing off the nape of the neck, but, often, it's worth taking out limbs first. The main reason for this, regardless of logic, is it not only looks ridiculously cool, but it's highly enjoyable and satisfying. Logically, too, some enemies will protect their nape with their hands, so need to be disarmed to reach their weak spot. There is also the possibility of rewards for the dismembering, such as materials for the crafting and upgrading system, with some limbs marked on the UI by a treasure chest.

Other than the repetition, there are few flaws to speak of. There is a slight issue with motion sickness that some players may experience, and the camera can be annoying at times. There is a single huge issue with the game, though, and it is one that is completely unforgivable regardless to the reasoning behind it. The opening theme to the anime—one of the best and most catchy themes in recent memory—is completely absent! Imagine how much more epic the combat would feel if suddenly "Sie sind das essen? Nein! Wir sind die Jaeger!" burst out over the speakers!

Screenshot for Attack on Titan: Wings of Freedom on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Attack on Titan: Wings of Freedom is absolutely superb and is all the fans could have hoped for—and more. Exhilarating and addictive, it manages to do justice to the source material and deliver moments fans will adore. A must-buy for any fans of the series and even worth picking up for newbies, too.

Developer

Omega Force

Publisher

Koei Tecmo

Genre

Brawler

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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