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E3 Impressions: Attack on Titan: Cutting Giants Down to Size

Attack on Titan | Logo


Attack on Titan is one of those franchises we’ve all at least heard about. In my case I’ve seen bits and pieces of an early episode and am aware it’s a series where anyone can die. Outside of that I know the basic premise is that these giant humanoids are attacking humanity and eating them. The only defense is a group of youths who basically fight back using harnesses which fire cables that they use to swing around and attack the Titans. So when I heard Koei Tecmo was going to do a game based on this I assumed we’d be somehow following the basic Dynasty Warriors format. To my surprise while Attack on Titan does feel like a Warriors title in some ways, it’s vastly different. Let’s and take a look and I’ll explain why.

Attack on Titan | Training
Don’t worry, the real Titan’s are a bit more dangerous.

The game follows the first season of the Attack on Titan Anime so if you’ve never seen it you’ll be ok. If you have though then you’ll have some insight into what may be coming for some of these missions. The demo I played had me trying to defend a city while people escaped. Several Titans had already appeared in the city and my job was to take them out as quickly as possible. Since speed is key here, the game allows you to get around very quickly by utilizing the cables your harness will shoot out to launch you into the air and swing around. Kind of like almost any Spider-Man game would let you. Thankfully there’s no limit to this and if you just want to make a quick short boost, you can press a button that allows you air dash. This consumes gas from your canisters however (basically fuel) and you only have so many replacement canisters on hand. The same actually goes for your blades which will wear down after a while and need to be replaced. While I never came close to running out of supplies, I can imagine in later levels you’ll need to be careful. Speaking of those blades, let’s talk about how you bring these things down.

Attack on Titan | Blade
That blade is your only offense against the Titans. Thankfully, you do have spares.

Once you’ve approached a Titan you’ll need to lock onto it. There are five points you can lock onto. Either leg, either arm, and the neck. Obviously the neck is the kill point, however sometimes you need to target an arm to rescue a civilian that was grabbed or a teammate. One thing to be very careful of, is that some members of the team are mission critical. The game will alert you when they’re in trouble and you need to book it over to them ASAP so they don’t die. Going for the kill though is both simple and challenging. As I mentioned, the neck is the weak point for the Titans. However merely grappling right at their face won’t work to well obviously. The best way I found was to get behind them and grapple into the back of their neck. Once attached to whatever body part you’re attacking, you’ll fly at it and you just need to press your attack button as you get at the right distance to inflict damage. The character I was playing as could actually make multiple passes with a single grapple as she was basically an Ace. However, this may not be the case for each character and multiple grapples may be needed. This is where I think a lot of the challenge is going to come in. Attack on Titan’s demo though was pretty easy to get a handle on, which is good when you only have a few minutes. Speaking of time, let me explain how my playthrough ended.

Attack on Titan | Attacking
Attacking the neck is the only way to kill these things. Even a Titan can’t survive decapitation

I did manage to defeat enough Titan’s to summon giant boss versions of the Titan’s which if I could beat would end the stage. Sadly, I ran out of time as I spent more time working on side goals and just trying to take down every Titan I could find. However, I found the experience very fun. While you can’t just rush in and expect to mow down everyone like Dynasty Warriors, you still feel very badass as you take on these monstrous giants who can easily grab if you’re not careful. I fortunately was able to break out of their grasp when that happened, but I have a feeling it wouldn’t have ended well if I didn’t. In addition, the grappling mechanics work really well. Only once or twice when traversing the city did I get stuck on something and even then it was just a quick adjustment to get back on track. So what’s my recommendation on this one?

Attack on Titan | Titan Mode
One thing I didn’t get a chance to play with was Titan Mode. But, as you can see, you can fight the Titan’s, with another Titan.

If you’re a fan of the anime I think Attack on Titan is in good hands. The combat is fun and there is a sense of both invincibility when you take one of these things down and dread when one catches you. For everyone else I’d recommend keeping an eye on it. If you’re familiar with hack-and-slash titles, then I think this will be a good fit you.

Benny Carrillo
A gamer since the days of the NES, this professional otaku adores Mega Man, Super Robot Wars, Yuri, Visual Novels, the Slice of Life anime genre, and of course Hyperdimension Neptunia. His mission on oprainfall is to help deliver the news straight to you.