All I wanted from Attack on Titan: Wings of Freedom, the video game adaptation of the action horror anime sensation, was to feel like a badass swinging around town in my 3D maneuvering gear. As long as Tecmo Koei got that right, everything else could be wrong.
The 3D maneuvering gear is the coolest anime invention ever. A harness attached to a soldier fires out a pair of wires in the different directions, based on how the user wants to move, while a combination of gas-powered jets and elasticity send them flying about. Need to hook a left? Just fire the one weapon. Need to do major damage to a massive lumbering hunk of hungry gender-less giant? Fire both wires into it and drive the point home.
That’s the experience developer Omega Force needed to impart, and impart it they did. Players might have complete control over where their wires fire, a’la The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but Attack on Titan does a fair job of anticipating where the player would want the anchors to latch, and then follows through with a rush of motion and mid-air acrobatics that make the notion of fighting for your life against unfeeling monsters hell-bent of devouring humanity seem like fun.
That’s what I wanted. That’s what I got.
Thankfully Omega Force and Tecmo Koei aren’t only catering to me, so the rest of the game (so far) is pretty nifty as well. The tone is just as lighthearted and fun as the anime it comes from, which is to say not at all. While later on it treads unfamiliar ground, the story initially follows the events in the anime. The mission I play in the video above takes place after the gargantuan titan (the one with without the skin) kicks a hole in the wall protecting cowering humanity from the monsters beyond, flooding the streets with simple, smiling terrors with teeth.
In a way, I’m enjoying the Attack on Titan game much more than the anime itself, which I realize is blasphemy to many. It’s just that the show feels so hopeless all the time, like the end of the world is just something we’re holding back. Piloting the 3D maneuvering gear through trees and towns, skewering towering giants through the nape of their necks, it almost feels like we can change things.
Attack on Titan: Wings of Freedom arrives on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStations 3 and 4 and Vita on August 30. The PC version was supposed to be out then as well, but wound up getting an international release via Steam today. Look for more on the game, including multiplayer, next week.