It’s humanity’s last stand. For fans of the mega-popular manga/anime Attack on Titan, the brutality and horror of the remnants of our species being trapped in a cage, surrounded by walls and under constant assault from the terrifying Titans makes for good entertainment.
Now, Atlus USA has taken Hajime Isayama’s story and adapted it into a new game for the Nintendo 3DS and the battle for our survival has never been better — or more fun.
Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains is the first Titan game to reach North American shores. It takes the story of the anime (and the manga, but the use of actual anime cutscenes dictates the focus is more on the animated version) and presents it chopped up into missions for the game’s five characters, including Eren, Mikasa, Armin, Levi, and Sasha. There are 42 missions in total, ranging from fetch goals (collect X number of X items) to all out — well, attack on Titans.
Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains captures the feel of the anime splendidly, and the action is fast and fierce. Combat against the Titans is a series of calculated attacks. The Titans’ weak spot is behind their necks, and even with the ODM gear, getting that high can be troublesome. The in-game tutorial teaches scouts to hit a Titan on the ankle or leg to stagger it, leaving the neck exposed for more damage. Using a combo of Y to lock on and X to attack, with the circle pad used to alternate differs types of attacks, and a timed second press of the X button to deal critical damage, swinging/flying back and forth to turn a Titan into coleslaw is a blast. Blades get dulled and break, and sharpeners and gas canisters to power the ODM are essential for hunting. Keeping an eye on both the blade strength and ODM power, all the while attacking, makes for some serious planning. This is not just a simple hack-n-slash game.
Using the ODM gear to fly freely through the air is exhilarating and very reminiscent on playing as Spider-Man in Activision’s early Spider-Man movie tie-ins. Using the stereoscopic 3D of the 3DS really creates a visual feel and puts the player into the game. In fact, Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains is one of the rare 3DS games where I keep the 3D turned on, as it actually makes the game better.
Graphically, Humanity in Chains looks great and is one of the best looking 3DS games yet. The character models look just like they do on the show, and the Titans — who are mostly generic, lumbering nudists with bad teeth in both the manga and anime — are spot on, and the detail is refined. One issue I’ve discovered is that while the characters and Titans look good, the three general locales that make up the game are very bland (city, forest, and plains). And in the city, there are ZERO people on the streets. Sure that can be explained by the fact that towering monsters are attacking and the townsfolk are hiding, but seeing at least ONE other person not adorned in the uniform of the 104th scout regiment would have been nice.
Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains is a little on the short side, as the story mode can be finished in eight to 10 hours, but a scoring system and mission replay mode can drive hardcore fans to strive for top scores. Once the story mode wraps, there is a World Mode that allows players to take their characters into a multiplayer mode (both local and online) to hunt Titans together. Four players can team up and the characters are completely customizable, and weapons and items can be crafted. There’s something to be said about watching skilled players work together to take down a Titan. World mode is where the majority of post-story gameplay occurs. Leaderboards push dedicated fans to keep hunting, and while not on the same level as, say, Capcom’s Monster Hunter, the multiplayer mode does serve fans with additional content.
Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains is a Nintendo 3DS exclusive, and as I said before, the 3D is some of the best I’ve seen. On the New Nintendo 3DS XL, the c-stick — and circle pad pro attachment for older systems — are both usable, which helps with some of the more inane camera issues. With that being said, the Nintendo 3DS is the perfect system for a game like this, and I’m not sure I would enjoy it as much on a bigger, more powerful system, save for more power to include NPCs to populate the world.
Attack on Titan is a world-wide phenomenon that is beloved by fans. I count myself in that number, and I truly enjoyed playing this game. Atlus USA has crafted an incredible gaming experience for fans of AoT, one that captures the spirit of the anime — and the manga — and makes for some exciting, if not short, gaming fun. Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains is a must have for fans of the show, and will create new fans in the endless battle to save all of humanity from the towering, frightening Titans.
Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains is a digital-only title and is available now exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS via the Nintendo eShop. Early adopters will score a free AoT 3DS theme with purchase. This review was based off a review code provided by Atlus USA.
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