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Arts in Review

Wings of Freedom fails to take off

Based on the popular manga and anime of the same name, Attack on Titan: Wings of Freedom was a dream come true. I could finally fly through Eren Yeager’s hometown, the Shiganshina District, with the 3D maneuver gear, outride titans on my warhorse through the plains outside the walls, and play as Levi Ackerman in his cleaning garb.

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Contains spoilers from both the game and the manga / anime.

Based on the popular manga and anime of the same name, Attack on Titan: Wings of Freedom was a dream come true. I could finally fly through Eren Yeager’s hometown, the Shiganshina District, with the 3D maneuver gear, outride titans on my warhorse through the plains outside the walls, and play as Levi Ackerman in his cleaning garb.

After accepting that the game was unplayable with a keyboard (no mouse), I grabbed my controller and really started playing. Once you get the hang of the controls, you can tether from tree to tree, building to building, and respond to green “Help me!” flares in a mere minute. It feels exhilarating to dodge the titan’s hands and proceed to dive in for the kill, spinning around like an ice skater to strike at its only weakness. But wait, there’s more! My God, they’re surrounding you, taking swipes left and right, what will you do? You kill them, because they’re lumbering fools with no coordination whatsoever. You are a badass, pure and simple.

If you are really overrun, you can use up your energy to make yourself better depending on the character you are playing. If you’re playing Eren, he takes on his titan form, and you beat the hell out of the other titans in the area for a short while. Levi, however, simply becomes more badass than he already was. How can one set the bar so high?

The game follows the exact storyline that the anime does throughout most of the game, and I believe they stay true to the manga for the most part. The only times where they deviate are during side quests, which I will get to later. So for those who already know what the story contains, you can skip most of the cut scenes, because they will bore you to tears. If you don’t skip them, you can listen to Eren saying something cringey from time to time.

The game is in Japanese, but all of the text is in English, and there are subtitles. So for those who wanted to listen to Matt Mercer voice Levi, tough luck. We all love his sexy voice, but, after all, this is a Japanese game.

Despite the promising mechanics and the strict following of the story, the game lacked far more than it made up. As I said, using the keyboard is simply impractical without the mouse, which is not configured for the game to recognize without unconventional means. That was of no issue for myself, as I had a controller, but I felt cheated of my weapon of choice. The biggest problem I had with the game, however, was the repetition. Think about it: what else is there to do in a game about killing titans than to kill titans? There’s nothing else to do. Kill titans, celebrate victory, upgrade your equipment, rinse and repeat. I don’t think I would have gotten tired of it after six hours if it wasn’t for the sidequests.

After a certain point in the story, the game developers just gave up. I don’t know why, but they eventually require you to complete at least 60 to 70 per cent of a sidequest “area” to move on to the next storyline mission. I don’t know who came up with that lazy design, but it happened, and I was very disappointed.

Simply put, the game is not worth its retail price. In fact, I think it’s only worth $10 at most. If you enjoy Attack on Titan, want to kill titans, and / or just want to play the Spiderman game we’ve all been waiting for, pick it up for, I recommend, $5. It will never drop that low anytime soon, but just wait a year or two, and the developers might realize their game is not worth its price any longer.

It has been over a month and a half since I last launched the Koei Tecmo game first released in Japan February 16  of this year. I happened to find this game by chance, as the release was unknown to me until the Steam store page recommended it to me. I shelled out $55 on August 24, and after nine hours of slashing at titan’s limbs and napes, I uninstalled on September 4, and never looked back.

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