Attack on Titan gaming - A.O.T.2
More than 2 months have passed since the premiere of the fresh Koei Tecmo release signed with the flagship Hajime Isayama’s manga title. Starting from basic Story Mode (former Attack Mode), Another Mode (former Expedition Mode) and Inferno Mode (former True Attack Mode), the game received various online compilations like Annihilation Mode, Expulsion Mode, Showdown Mode or Predatory Mode - where you can research titan behavior by playing one’s role.
A.O.T. is the series published by Koei Tecmo and developed by Omega Force, working closely with Kodansha and the Shingeki no Kyojin manga author in case of plot details. Koei Tecmo is a Japanese holding company founded in 1978 as Koei, then renamed to Tecmo Koei Games after the fusion, currently branched into international offices also in the USA (Koei Tecmo America Corporation) and Europe (Koei Tecmo Europe, Ltd.). Omega Force sub-division obtained creating action games as its goal (quasi-historical Dynasty Warriors, One Piece: Pirate Warriors, Arslan: The Warriors of Legend - adapting the manga design by Hiromu Arakawa, Fullmetal Alchemist creator). The reason why the game title - Jap. 進撃の巨人 2, Shingeki no Kyojin 2 - was not expanded to ‘Attack on Titan 2’ for the UK region, remains firmly mysterious.
Custom character creation leads to becoming part of the Scout Regiment (beginning with Cadet Corps) and to experiencing well-known cutscenes from the first-person perspective. Although, from the first sight, it feels a bit disappointing to replay the 1st Attack on Titan anime season plot - adapted before in A.O.T. Wings of Freedom - once again (including every remade cutscene), being oneself a ‘mysterious protagonist’ and looking by his/her eyes on familiar ambience can recompense the lack of a fresh view, introducing into the 2nd season adaptation right after. The only missing element is the random name option, coming handy if you’re out of ideas.
Character development is based on expanded skills, boosted and supported thanks to Friendship progress (reported - among other status updates - in personal Scout Journal) and earned “winged” currency exchanged into gifts, joint fellows in training/lecture and handle Regiment Administration consisting of multiple Policy variations or just base building ensuring supplies, artillery, mining, garrison or SC reinforcement (everything helpful during scout missions). No voice (gestures only) in cutscenes/events and no audible custom name mentioned by characters you interact with, seem to be essential shortage.
War canvas, battleground, battle time - they’re inseparable parts of the SnK world, same in the anime as in the original manga. Survey missions take their place on mission maps and require tactics. New possibility is capturing a titan (in pair with collecting them for Titan Research), playing a titan shifter for w while or changing fate by saving allies who died in action according to the original Shingeki no Kyojin plotline.
The most precious in AoT combat is team action. Except that every relationship is blurred, faded and incomplete, every character created by Isayama Hajime seems to be older than it’s necessary - young cadets sorely tested by life, middle-aged soldiers (Military Police, Garrison) sharply realistic, Survey Corps veterans - then 104th trainees - shaped by their life experience and the need to survive. Selected Garrison, MP or SC members assist noticeably affects subjugation results, whereas “rescue on time” feature alternating with bonus combos can save your life.
SnK universe have been always associated with human-animal relations and importance of mutual communication obligatory for survival. The other, very special one, are Titans and their communication problem. Human-titan relations are based on typical prey-predator dependence, in pair with the fact that not human but the titan is the apex predator in the context. Animal Bound Week policy lets straighten connection effectively (battle, mission), being a reason of more animals roaming scattered around (daily). Anyway, there’s still no possibility to whistle on your horse (use a recall command) as in the original manga and the anime adaptation.
Technically, A.O.T. aspires to be a hack-and-slash game, which refers to combat emphasizing destined to exterminate monsters, gain a skill and character statistics.
In comparison to previous KT AOT game, battle combat is visually and technically better (vide forest mobility), titans don’t run after you blindly (you can successfully execute a sneak attack), team strike against bizzare titan causes a visible effect (not mentioning that a strike attack is tactically possible at all and every time it looks splendid). Circling map which follows player’s direction, appears very useful. Sadly, weapon farming (necessary for gallery completion) is still obligatory to reach platinum, still being a nightmare for the competitive player who wants to enjoy exploring, adventuring and interacting. Two rethought lines would be appreciated - making advanced “red mode” fit to the settings level chosen by a player or making “red farming” require few rare materials instead of a dozen. For a casual player, difference between playing on easy/normal level and “red missions” challenge is still too extreme.
Attack on Titan music deserves a separate paragraph. Game OST is another - beside AoT anime soundtrack masterpiece by Hiroyuki Sawano and new cover album by Epica - spectacular audio experience - intensive, emotional, reflective or just thrilling. You can discover it again when played in Music Collection section, even if you
still can’t download or play complete OST in sequence.
I didn’t change my mind - A.O.T. remains a game dedicated to the SnK manga fandom residents, technically and fictionally evolving the best way it could do
or just keeping going in the right direction. Spoiled with DLC costumes and additional missions SnK fan is able to appreciate a play-thorough in the best way of possible, especially that one who play console games, and/or who always wanted to try a scout team-mate formation and interact with Survey Corps pros. Playable characters available to unlock - count 40. Useful bonus awaits a player of previous A.O.T. (Wings of Freedom) game.
Both, my steadily favorite Uprising and finalizing it Return to Shigashina arc, approach the way of saying goodbye to 3DMG in its prey-predatory survival form. I’m waiting for the game continuation, hopefully it will come to existence.