Review: A.O.T: Wings of Freedom [PS4]

Release Date
26th August 2016 (EU), 30th August 2016 (NA)
Platform
PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Steam, Xbox One
Publisher / Developer
Koei Tecmo / Omega Force
Genre
Action
Player(s)
Single-player, Multiplayer
Rating
PEGI 18

Koei Tecmo’s highly anticipated Attack on Titan game has finally landed. Titled A.O.T: Wings of Freedom (not Attack on Titan for legal reasons), we take on the role of Eren Jaeger, and many others, in taking down titans in some of the best and most satisfying gameplay we’ve experienced all year!

A.O.T: Wings of Freedom easily became of my most anticipated video game titles since it was announced and I’m sure that goes for any fan of the series. I didn’t play the 3DS game prior to this release due to, in my opinion, how bad it looked. Thankfully Wings of Freedom was developed by Omega Force, and for home consoles, which left me feeling confident. However, my biggest concern was how they would implement the combat of Attack on Titan, as it is an entirely different beast to their previous titles. Let’s just say I was blown away by what Omega Force has managed to achieve here but let’s get into the review.

The story, as you would expect, follows the events of the anime and manga closely giving you the opportunity to relive and play through those iconic scenarios. I have to praise Omega Force for always making sure that, when creating a game based on an existing franchise, they always stay true to its source material. The main story itself will keep you busy for some time and will see you take on the roles of Eren, Mikasa and even Titan Eren, and more, which is a great addition. That scenario itself is pretty cool as you get to experience it from multiple characters’ viewpoints. Outside of the main story, you can play as a modest selection of different characters once you have unlocked them. I would take issue with the number of playable characters but, unlike other series, the cast of Attack on Titan is always kept quite small so I’m okay with it and all the main characters are there anyway. The side-missions give you something to do outside the main story and are great for collecting materials and can even be played online with friends.

ss_65512416719232c1f0e9d48ee58c826d69c562c8
I think it’s fair to say that the biggest concern going into Wings of Freedom was how well the combat would work given the series’ use of Omni-Directional Manoeuvring Gear which is something we have never seen in an Omega Force game before. Fears were almost immediately cast aside as I started playing. The first mission works as a tutorial and very simply but effectively teaches you how to move and attack and literally seconds after I was soaring through the air and taking down Titans with ease. Omega Force has really done a brilliant job with the combat system and it couldn’t be simpler. You launch your anchors with the square button, assuming there’s somewhere to anchor to, and you’re away. Continue to press square as you move and hit X to give yourself a boost in speed. When approaching a Titan you need to press R1 to activate combat mode, this will lock to the nearest Titan, now when pressing square your anchor will attach to that Titan. There can be multiple anchor points on a Titan allowing you to hack off their arms and legs. This can be essential with some of the bigger Titans as landing a killing blow to the nape of their neck can be hard. Once you’re anchored to a Titan you can press X to reel in your anchor pulling you closer to the Titan, then press triangle to deal a finishing blow.

Missions can progress very quickly and you’ll be racking up kills easily as going straight for the nape of the neck will work the majority of the time. It is, however, wise to take time killing a Titan by chopping off their arms and legs as these will yield more materials to upgrade your equipment. During missions, you’ll see side-missions popping up now and again much like other Omega Force titles and they’re great for resupplying and picking up stronger teammates. You can enlist different characters by pressing circle when near them during a mission. You can have up to four teammates with you in a mission and they vary in rank.

ss_7cb7fbe29e4fc0780012d28ac9d71ab1cf7fcb6e
Probably for me personally, one of the best features in the game is the fact that your gas and blade supply run out. This makes the game feel a lot more real because if you’ve run out, you’ll be running for your life defenceless until you can resupply. You can craft and upgrade different types of Blades, Scabbard and Manoeuvre Gear that can give you the advantage in different aspects. If you prefer to have a longer-lasting gas supply then you’ll take a hit in mobility or speed and vice versa. Regardless of your character, you can create a setup that works with your style and upgrade from there. All of these elements combined have really made for a challenging but extremely satisfying experience.

Much like the One Piece Pirate Warrior series, Wings of Freedom features some fantastic visuals that really do justice to its source material. The world that fans have come to know can now be explored and it’s so satisfying soaring through the air taking down Titans as you go. Being an 18 rated game, and given the nature of the story, it can be rather gruesome, obviously, that’s why we love it, but if you feel little queasy when seeing blood then there is an option to turn off gore which the game prompt you as you start the game.

ss_0d04e9e2182378c8c54075fa18a9eda33076e092
Wings of Freedom features Japanese audio-only which I’m sure many fans will be fine with; it’s always my preferred choice but it would have been nice to see an English dub option for those who want it. The soundtrack is pretty good, though it has to be noted that the game doesn’t feature any music from the anime series, a shame yes, but it doesn’t negatively impact on the game as a whole.

Verdict
A.O.T: Wings of Freedom has easily become one of my favourite games of the year and I’m really happy to be able to say that. Any concern or worries that I had going into the game were blown away and my anticipation was met and far exceeded. The game is equally challenging and satisfying and I highly recommend it to anyone. Well done Omega Force and Koei Temco on yet another great anime based title and I can’t wait to see a follow-up game soon.
9
GREAT