With Koei Tecmo’s Attack on Titan: Wings of Freedom heading to Western markets in August, attendees of London MCM Comic Con, which took place over the weekend, had a chance to get an early preview by way of a playable demo.
The demo put players in the shoes of the anime’s primary protagonist Eren Jaeger during a training mission and the Colossal Titan’s attack on Wall Rose. When playing Attack on Titan: Wings of Freedom, one element stands out above all others: the movement. The Attack on Titan manga and anime place a lot of emphasis on the Vertical Maneuvering Equipment the Survey Corps use to battle Titans – with scenes devoted to displaying the speed and versatility of movement gained by those proficient in it’s use.
The game manages to emulate this perfectly, gifting the player with a freedom of movement that is exhilarating. The majority of the game’s movement involves latching onto surfaces with the Vertical Maneuvering Equipment and propelling Eren along with blasts of steam as he swings from surface to surface, moving with intense speed and changing direction with ease. In doing so, Attack on Titan: Wings of Freedom manages to triumph in an arena where other games (cough, Spider-Man, cough) have failed.
The game’s fast-paced combat works similarly. Instead of latching onto a surface, the player is able to attach their cables to the Titan they are fighting by targeting different body parts. The aim is then to use the blast of steam to propel Eren at high speeds towards the Titan, attacking just before impact. The results are visceral and bloody, with arms and legs hacked off in a spray of blood, leaving the Titans less able to move or attack. A killing blow can be made by targeting the Titan’s neck from behind and slicing through it.
One downside of this combat system is that it is a one-trick pony that relies on the enjoyment of movement and flashy visuals to prevent the fights from growing stale – which by the end of the demo they, unfortunately, had. There appear to be steps made later in the full game to mix up the combat somewhat by introducing Eren’s Titan form as an ability, which changes the combat to a ground-based brawler that has you smashing through buildings in Godzilla-esque fights. Whether this is successful in keeping the combat fresh and entertaining won’t be known until the full game’s release.
Regardless, the Demo for Attack on Titan: Wings of Freedom demonstrates the absolute joy that can be gained from a fun and responsive movement system and the promise of a full title offering more of that is easily enough to raise interest.
Attack on Titan: Wings of Freedom will release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita on Aug. 26 in Europe and Aug. 30 in the U.S.A.
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This post was originally written by Oisin Kilkenny-Fletcher.