You’d be extremely hard-pressed to find another game with movement as exhilarating or fun as Attack on Titan’s. Koei Tecmo’s adaptation of the insanely popular anime and manga lands August 30, and it loosely follows the events of the first season by (naturally) putting you in control of various members of the show’s elite Survey Corps – that means using the steampunk-esque omni-directional mobility gear.
Narratively, this wildly imaginative traversal allows soldiers to battle the giant Titans, using dual grappling hooks and gas canisters to slingshot to a high- enough elevation to slash at their napes. It makes for an awesome gameplay concept, and, to Omega Force’s extreme credit, the game has really nailed the feeling of the series.
The real selling point is the game’s crazy controls. Getting players comfortable with the omni-gear could have been a nightmare (and the developers have stated in several interviews it took a lot of trial and error to get it right), but the way Omega has streamlined what inputs dictate actions that look badass and effortless in the anime never stops being entertaining, mostly by virtue of the game taking care of some of the more technical stuff for you.
Blasting into the sky is handled by hitting a single button, shooting cables out onto the nearest high surface to propel you forward; once airborne you can continue your high-speed bell-curving ahead or use a boost to thrust forward at whatever your current altitude is.
Not only can you fly over hundreds of meters of terrain in a matter of seconds, you can feel the kinetics of the speed through the camera. Conceptually it works on the same momentum principles as a medieval Mirror’s Edge, and it proves continuously fun in practice, even when you momentarily lose your speed by, say, flying into the side of a building.
Killing Titans — obviously the bulk of what you’ll be doing — works in a similar, complementary fashion. Rocketing over a giant at close enough range will bring up targeting UI, at which point you can switch movement styles mid-flight, pick from one of several attack points (limbs, usually) and shoot your hooks into it.
Technically, once you’re attached to a Titan you can rotate around it to get the best angle, but you’ll quickly find yourself lining up shots without any physics-breaking illusions. After targeting, you’ll automatically fly towards the Titan in question, and can pull off a high-speed slash by boosting just before you attack. Succeed and you’ll cleave right through a limb or be engulfed in a gout of blood as the Titan falls. (You’ll harmlessly plink off the thing’s hide if you time it wrong, and will have to try it again).
While this may all sound a bit complicated, it’s not. In fact, after a little bit of practice, choosing a Titan from the flock and downing it can take a matter of seconds. Even by Japanese action game standards, there’s nothing quite like it. That alone is reason enough to give it a shot.
Photos via Koei Tecmo