Will Koei Temco Save the Attack on Titan Video Game Series?

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If you’re not a anime watcher, you’ve probably at least heard of Attack on Titan. Sadly, I was late to the party of watching it (I watched it for the first time just a few months ago and now I’m eagerly waiting for season 2) but it was worth it. For those who haven’t watched it, I’ll put in the simplest terms: large humanoid monsters called titans have been slaying humanity for hundreds of years, so a kid named Eren – along with his foster sister Mikasa and childhood friend Armin – decides to make it his personal mission to destroy the titans once and for all.

Attack on Titan debuted in September 2009, and since then it’s gained spin-off mangas, adaptions (including a high school one, which I’m going to avoid at all costs) and even a upcoming live-action movie (again, I’m not too sure how to feel about it). So, with such a popular and successful series (as of July this year, it’s sold 52.5 million manga copies across the world), it’s understandable that there are a few video games here and there.

Only problem is that none of have been up to scratch.

Take the recent game for example – Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains for the 3DS. It was developed by Spike Chunsoft (who were responsible for J-Stars Victory VS+ and another Attack on Titan game The Last Wings of Mankind) and published by Atlus (who have developed a lot of games, but are probably best known for their work on the Persona series). While the game was almost a direct adaption of the series by letting the player relive moments from the anime, the game was mainly criticized for it’s boring gameplay. A lot of the story missions were the same – kill a bunch of titans as fast as possible. There was a derision of other missions, such as collecting items (without titans around. Seriously?) and defending fallen comrades. But it was similar stuff – rinse and repeat for 2 minutes to complete a mission (the game supposedly lasts between 5 – 6 hours). And even the mechanics aren’t fun – you have to press just two buttons to kill a titan. Despite having 5 playable characters (Eren, Armin, Misaka, Sasha and Levi) with their own storylines (which did follow the cannon story), it was very jumbled and was not clear on who to follow next, i.e. if you primarily one character, you can skip parts of the main storyline and other characters. Another problem was items – like most games, you have a limited inventory so when you’re collecting specific items (that you cannot tell what they are because they all look like an orb of blue light) to complete the mission, you have to waste your other items to make room for the mission items (even you’re not positive as to what they are). But it does come with local and online multiplayer (via Street Pass) and a World Mode, were you can customize your own character. While it was praised for it’s use of the three-dimensional maneuver gear and feeling as if you were in this post-apocalyptic world, it was still negatively reviewed (IGN gave it a 4.9/10. Yikes).

But here’s my problem with it. When I saw the first trailer, I was pretty excited (even though I wasn’t impressed with the graphics). But when the character trailer was released, I was heavily disappointed for two reasons.

  1. They got character’s names wrong: Mikasa Ackermann (there’s actually only one ‘n’ in her surname; Armin Arlelt (his surname is actually spelt ‘Arlert); and Sasha Braus (her surname is actually ‘Blouse’). I know I’m probably being picky but how can they get the main characters’ surnames wrong? It may be a translation error but surely Nintendo would be all over that, right?
  2. When Levi is revealed, you see him being captured by a titan. I agreed with the outraged comments at the time – there is no way Levi would be easily caught by titan in that way.

So when a Attack on Titan game was revealed at Gamescom earlier this year, I thought “Could this be the saviour we’ve been waiting for?” The answer? Highly possible.

This Attack on Titan game (working title) is being developed by Koei Temco (they are well-known for their series Dynasty Warriors. I also recently completed their game Hyrule Warriors based off of The Legend of Zelda) and Omega Force (who have worked on other Koei games, such as One Piece: Pirate Warriors and Samurai Warriors), so I already have a bit of faith. It will also be platformed for Playstation 3, Playstation 4 and the Vita, which – for me at least –  means superior graphics. Not much has been revealed about the game so far, apart from concept art and trailers. But I have dug deep around the internet to reveal a few things.

attack_on_titan-1  attack_on_titan-2

attack_on_titan-3    attack_on_titan-4

attack_on_titan-5   attack_on_titan-7

First off, the style of the game – it will have a cell-shading technique, very similar to J-Stars, it give it a more anime-like feel. Also, the original Japanese voice actors for the anime will be reprising their roles in the game (yay for Yuki Kaji!).

Much like Humanity in Chains, the game will have the maneuver gear as way of travelling around the areas of the game (taken from the anime) but there is also a high chance of destroying the environment around you, i.e. if you get into a fight with a titan, be prepared to have buildings crumble around you and even collapse roofs. And in true Koei style, this game will have strategy based elements, meaning you can risk everything and attack the titan head-on or you can quiet sneak behind them, amputate their limbs before dealing the final blow. Another thing that Humanity in Chains failed to include (or even project successfully) is that the more titans you attack and kill, the more you get covered in blood. This is something I feel was missed out on – Attack on Titan is a gory anime (word of warning if you decide to watch it), and Humanity in Chains seemed to miss out on that as there was no blood sprays or anything similar to notice.

While it hasn’t been confirmed, many people have speculated that this game will also support local and online multiplayer, which would be awesome. I can just imagine playing with my friends and having the ability to help eachother if we get in trouble, as if we really were members of the Survey Corps.

While we are still waiting on more information about this game, I do have faith in it. Not just because of the names behind it, or the platform it will be released on (3DS titans seem very clunky to me), I believe that this game will not only immerse the player so much that they believe they are part of the anime/manga series but it’s also the game is what they’ve we’ve been wanting all this time. At last.

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  • Attack on Titan (working title) will be released in Japan this winter. Sadly, everyone else has to wait until next year. It will be released on PS3, PS4 and PS Vita.
  • If you’d like to see the points I made about Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains, check on the teaser trailer, the full trailer and the character trailer here.
  • To see more of the new Attack on Titan game, check out the teaser trailer here.
  • Also check on the second (longer) trailer here (it’s also in Japanese with English subtitles).
  • There’s also a demo from the Tokyo Game Show played earlier this year here (again, warning of Japanese commentary but it is 8 minutes long).

Thank-you for reading. Hope you enjoyed – leave a like if you did, I’ll be eternally grateful. Feel free to leave comments too!

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