A Colossal Hit
Attack on Titan has been massive ever since its popularity explosion in 2013 when the anime adaptation was released. It was everywhere, and still is, and of course it was only safe to assume that videogame adaptations would be released in due time. We’ve had a few in the past released in Japan, such as the 3ds adaption, but we’ve had none as big or as ambitious as Wings of Freedom. Omega Force treat the property with utmost respect, and I had an enjoyable time for the most part, even if the last quarter of the game drags on.
A Sufficient Adaptation
Attack on Titan: Wings of Freedom’s story follows very closely to the original anime storyline. It’s passable, but definitely not the best way to experience the story for the first time. It just doesn’t hold the same feeling of dread that the anime consistently has and if you haven’t experienced it already, try to do so before playing Wings of Freedom. It’s definitely passable but not amazing. The epilogue of the game follows some of the story from the manga but it’s nothing ground breaking or worth buying the game for. For those who are unfamiliar, Attack on Titan is set in a world where ever hungry titans roam the land and solely feed on humans. As a result, the survivors built three walls in order to protect themselves from titans, and one day a colossal titan appears and destroys the outer wall. This sets the story into motion, and it’s definitely passable, just not the way first timers should experience it.
So how does a developer take what makes Attack on Titan so special, and turn it into a fully functioning and entertaining game? I wouldn’t know myself but it seems like Omega Force does, with some ideas for gameplay that are appropriate and enjoyable for the type of game Wings of Freedom strives to be. Gameplay is what you imagine it would be for an Attack on Titan game, you can zip around using Omni-Directional Mobility gear which feels great. Zipping through forests and buildings feels fast, tight, and responsive and I found it never got old. Combat is also fairly innovative, you can target specific parts of titans in order to deal with them. Killing a titan only requires that you cut out the nape of their neck, but cutting off specific limbs like arms and legs can further cripple a titan and provide resources that you can use to later upgrade your gear. Specific titans require different strategies depending on how they differ from normal titans. Titans come in all shapes and sizes, and abnormals are as terrifying as they are in the anime. As you zip around and kill titans, the durability of your blades and gas levels of your ODM gear slowly drops and requires to be replenished every so often. I never found these elements too intrusive or annoying until the last quarter of the game. There are also sections where you can play as Eren in his titan form and it’s as awesome as it sounds. Wings of Freedom has a few modes you can choose from the get go. Initially you start with Attack Mode, and Expedition Mode. Attack Mode goes through the entire storyline of Attack on Titan, and the Epilogue from a section of the manga. Attack Mode for the most part is very enjoyable, with a plethora of characters to play and different objectives to achieve. The biggest problem Wings of Freedom has comes from Attack Mode, in the form of its epilogue. In order to complete the epilogue missions, a number of boring, dull survey missions must be completed. It a massive drag to do and overall it didn’t feel worth it, it took a lot out of me to not turn my console off and play something else. Expedition Mode is fairly entertaining, you can use it to farm materials for use in Attack Mode, and playing with other people really makes you feel like you’re in the anime. The only problem I have with the crafting and upgrade system is that it feels like there’s no real progression or improvement. Earlier I mentioned there are a plethora of characters to play and each character plays differently. For example, Eren can transform into a titan and has a reasonable amount of strength to take titans down normally, while Armin is weak, but has the ability to command fellow allies to attack titans. Each character feels separate and unique, and it kept gameplay very fresh. Side missions pop up over the battlefield as you progress through a level, there simple and quick to do, but I was always compelled to do them when I had the opportunity.
Fully Functioning ODM Gear
Attack on Titan: Wings of Freedom does a fantastic job of harnessing the power of the PS4 to provide a smooth, great looking experience. The trademark anime art style looks beautiful for the entire experience, character models look great, environments are colourful and titans are as terrifying as ever. I never encountered any bugs throughout my play through, but the frame rate was fairly inconsistent. I had random drops and when there’s too much on the screen it drops even further. It didn’t impede my progress but I found it a bit annoying.
Wings of Freedom is for the most part, the Attack on Titan game fans wanted and deserved. It treats the IP with respect and translates a lot of elements from the anime into a video game. It’s enjoyable, especially for fans, and while I can’t immediately recommend Wings of Freedom to a first timer, you might get a kick out of it. Other than a drawn out Epilogue, neutered crafting, and performance issues, Attack on Titan: Wings of Freedom is the Attack on Titan game I always wanted.
-ODM Gear is fun to use
-Enjoyable attack mode
-Varied characters and abilities
-Looks very nice
-Neutered crafting system
-Drawn out, dull epilogue
Thanks for reading guys, up next is Metroid Prime: Federation Force!