Attack on Titan is a franchise that I have been waiting years to see get a proper video game adaptation. Sure, there was a 3DS game, and while it wasn’t bad persay, it was far from the best that could be done(I blame the 3DS.). This year, we’ve finally gotten a high quality adaptation for consoles and PC. Wings of Freedom is an action game developed by Omega Force, the developers behind the various Warriors games(Dynasty Warriors, Samurai Warriors, Dynasty Warriors: Gundam, Hyrule Warriors, etc.) and it bears all the gameplay elements that relate it to that familiar style of gameplay. But that isn’t a bad thing.
Wings of Freedom trades massive crowds of enemies for massive Titans that lumber around the battlefield. Players are not confined to the ground as you can make use of the franchises trademark Omni-Directional Maneuver Gear to fly around battlefields like goddamn Spider-Man. Your goal is, essentially, to complete missions that pop up during a chapter and eliminate all of the Titans in the area until a final subjugation target appears. Eliminate the target(s) and the chapter ends. Your score is then tallied, you get materials, money, experience, etc. and then you get a pre-mission break where you can resupply before continuing. And this repeats throughout the entirety of the main campaign.
However, let me tell you right now that it is NOT boring, no matter how repetitive it might be. I’ll be honest, I was worried that an action-focused Attack on Titan game might not be the best course to take, but this game proved me wrong. I was hoping for something with more... horror. Titans are beings meant to be feared and they should be approached with caution. In this game though, they are not to be feared and I always approached them with reckless abandon as if I had a death wish. Titan after Titan fell to my blade, countless “Complete Subjugation” medals. I guess I should admit that I was playing on Easy to get used to the game on my first run. On higher difficulty levels the Titans will probably do a much better job of fighting back. On easy mode, they occasionally took swings at me and sometimes grabbed hold of me, though I broke free thereafter or an AI ally cut the Titan down for me.
So let me give you some basic gameplay facts so that you can understand how this all works a bit better. When you approach a Titan, you hit a button to enter Combat Mode. So now, rather than your anchors hooking into buildings, they hook into Titan itself depending on where you decide to aim. You can hook into five points on the Titan: Left Knee, Right Knee, Left Elbow, Right Elbow, Nape of the Neck. On all basic Titans(Abnormals included.) you can go straight for the neck. Deplete the necks HP and the Titan dies. So long as all your strikes land(Usually it only takes one strike, but sometimes your power isn’t sufficient for one strike.) you’ll get a Complete Subjugation medal, which is gold. If any of your attacks fail, or the Titan grabs you, you’ll then either get a silver Superior Subjugation Medal or a bronze Efficient Subjugation medal. Or none if you just suck that badly. If you’re having trouble hitting the neck, either because your aim sucks, your range isn’t sufficient relative to your distance when you attack, or because the Titan is focused on you and keeps turning, then you’re better off disabling it first. You can slice off its legs which will cause it to fall over(But don’t be fooled, sometimes they crawl using their arms.) and lopping off its arms leaves it defenseless. That will make it easier to take down one and for all. Rinse and repeat per Titan and you’ll eventually complete the chapter.
Don’t let the repetition fool you, you will feel like a complete and utter badass the entire time as Titans fall to their knees before you and die by your blade, their corpses forced to watch as your zip off into the distance to slay their brethren. If you can’t tell, I had way too much fun on east mode. Should probably crank up the difficulty now and cower in fear as everyone around me is eaten alive.
I guess this review wouldn’t really be complete without mentioning the graphical details and the story. So I’ll start with the story. It covers basically the first season of the anime and a tad more past that once the credits have finished rolling. And it’s pretty by the books, everything is essentially a missionized recreation of the anime/manga made to extend the length of the games main story with fluff. Like, you get to play as Levi prior to returning to Wall Rose, the whole journey back. That journey was pretty much glossed over in the anime and I’m not sure how much of it was actually covered in the manga. So if you’ve read the manga or watched the anime, you know the story, it hasn’t changed one bit and is still filled with testosterone induced angst fests. So yes, Eren is still annoying as ever.
Moving on, the graphics are, honestly, pretty solid on PS4, my system of choice for this particular game. The character models look like they were ripped right out of the anime which is quite astounding really. One of the only major gripes I had with the graphics was the lack of anti-aliasing. My god is there a lack of anti-aliasing. Maybe I’ve been spoiled by PC, but there was shimmering EVERYWHERE. Every edge was like a mass of moving razor blades. After a while you sort of blur that bit out of your vision and forget its there, but you will notice it at first and it is grating to people like me who obsess over graphics. the framerate is also a tad unstable. More Titans and more soldiers means less frames for you, especially when the Titans are crashing into buildings, turning them into large broken chunks. It never dropped low enough to hinder my gameplay experience, but it was noticeable.
And that about wraps up my review for this great game. Is it perfect? No, but it does a far better job than its predeccesors and a sequel would likely iron out some of these issues, especially with the help of the upcoming mid-gen refresh systems. I will recommend this game to anyone that loves Omega Forces previous titles and to anyone that loves feeling like a god of death. That being said, I know it isn’t for everyone so watch some trailers and gameplay vids if you’re unsure about whether or not you should give it a go. All I know is that I’m looking forward to their Berserk game and makes me want to reinstall Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn.
Note: I haven’t touched the online features of the game just yet as I’m trying to wait for a friend of mine to get the game so we can play cooperatively, so I’ll likely do a multiplayer-focused follow-up in the future. Depending on how long it takes him, I might just play with some randos so I can give you all some impressions on it. I just wanted to get this review out of the way while it was still fresh in my mind.