Anime styled games in recent years tend to be one of two extremes; good, with a huge deal of angst or bad with even more angst. This one unfortunately for me falls into the bad category. The horrific titans, the ODM gear and your full dose of anime angst is present, without the fun gameplay. I’m actually surprised that the game is so bland considering the development team had a lot of good source material to work with. Yes, the novelty of whooshing around using the ODM gear is fun, until you realise that unless you’re playing on the newer 3DS model, the camera controls just don’t work for you. It’s a shame really, because without fluent camera controls, you end up relying on the map/radar at the bottom portion of the screen, rather than being able to enjoy the game fully.
Now that I’ve gotten my gripes about the camera out of the way, the other main issue with the game is repetitiveness. Dynasty Warriors has proved the doing the same task over and over can still be entertaining, whereas with Attack on Titan, I really don’t get that sense of achievement whenever I take down a Titan. If you’ve played through the tutorial, you get to grips with all of the moves you will be using for the rest of the game, no variation. Do it this way, or forever see “Mission Failed” as you didn’t kill the enemy quick enough before they reach a certain point on the map.
In the story mode, you take control of one of a few characters which appear in the show, Aren being the first character you play as. His missions aren’t too bad, as they mostly involve just killing things against a time limit. Nothing out of the ordinary. But when you unlock Sasha’s missions, oh my god, the game takes a nosedive. 4/5 of her missions involve collecting food littered across the battlefield. Yes, you’re objective is not to kill the Titans, but to collect food. I spent about an hour trying to stop the Titans from breaching the defend point only to find that when the time limit expired, I failed the mission to collect steamed potatoes. The game doesn’t prompt you, or have a reminder anywhere of what you are meant to be doing, so if you misread the objective first time round, you need to start again, read the objective and then try the mission. I just assumed that because there were enemies, I should be fighting them, but doing so only hurts your chances of completing the objective, because when one dies, it spawns more enemies. You know, I only vaguely remember Sasha from the show, she ate a lot…I guess that’s where they got the inspiration for her missions. But they aren’t fun, they aren’t cleverly designed, and they certainly remind you of the old trial and error games gone by.
The other characters tend to have more defend the point, or kill this many titans within a set time limit style objective, so there isn’t much in terms of variety. Even worse, the fight mechanics are incredibly boring. The novelty to swinging around with the ODM gear and slicing titans’ necks in the first few missions exists, but that quickly wears off when killing titans is as easy as a one or two-strike combo. As most missions task you with eliminating all the titans in an area, the majority of the game just feels like a monotonous chore. There are different sizes and types of enemies, such as jumping, crawling, small, and wild abnormal titans, al of which die in the same fashion.
World mode combines character creation, money management, and weapons research and development to test your ability to complete more boring missions, which made the new features feel shallow since they don’t do anything to improve the quality of the missions. This mode also offers a higher difficulty setting for missions, Brutal mode.
World mode also had a ton of other items that aren’t included in the campaign, including bombs, decoys, traps, healing items, and weapons. I liked the new items, but they created new problems within the missions. Items are kept in an upgradable bag, but your bag’s maximum capacity isn’t specified in the menu. Even more annoyingly, if my bag was full I couldn’t pick up items required to complete some missions. Instead, I’d have to waste my items to make space for an inactive item to complete the mission. Why couldn’t key items be kept in a different section, or not take up bag space, or the game not allow me to use a slot if it’s REQUIRED to complete a mission?
Graphically, the game looks more or less okay, for 3DS standards, but some of the character animations look dated from years gone by, where characters stand awkwardly while the game catches up to the next screen. All in all, boring game, give it a miss, unless your a HARDCORE fan of the anime.
Attack on Titan, developed by Atlus, is available for the Nintendo 3DS.