Attack on Titan references are starting to permeate internet. You may have already heard about the Scouting Legion or seen the Colossal Titan and wondered what's going on. It's all because the anime series started airing this year. While I would encourage you to avoid actively scouring Wikipedia or articles searching for detailed information, it is important for gamers to be aware of the series.
Attack on Titan is a post-apocalyptic tale set an undisclosed number of years in the future. Strange, strong, gigantic beings called Titans were somehow set upon the world, and they completely decimated humanity. The story, however, begins with a boy named Eren, 100 years after the Titans appeared. Survivors have been driven back to one city at the start of the series, surrounded by three walls called Wall-Sina, Wall-Rose, and Wall-Maria. Things have been peaceful and calm for a century, but when Eren is 10 years old, the Titans attack.
As he stands with his adopted sister Mikasa and childhood friend Armin, they watch the Colossal Titan, one taller than the 50-meter tall Maria-Wall, kick it down. It then vanishes, and a series of other Titans swarm the outermost regions of the city, destroying everything and eating any humans they can find. Eren's mother falls victim to the attacks, and few are able to make it to the safety of Wall-Rose. In response, Eren swears to destroy all Titans, and the series follows him and his friends as they join the military's Scouting Legion and leave the safety of the walls behind to explore the outside world.
You may be thinking now that the whole Attack on Titan series sounds like it could have potential but wondering why gamers should care. When a manga and anime series gets popular in Japan, it gets video game adaptations. Anyone who follows major Shonen Jump series like Naruto or Bleach will have noticed that. While Attack on Titan is a more mature series and appears in Bessatsu Shounen Magazine in Japan, it's also been getting quite a few video game incarnations, and the most important one is being released in Japan on December 5, 2013.
Spike Chunsoft has been tasked with creating Attack on Titan: The Last Wings of Mankind for the 3DS. Unlike the previous games, which are either browser-based, card games, or visual novels, the handheld installment will put fans exactly where they want to be, fighting the Titans. Though it hasn't been released yet, it's best to think of Attack on Titan: The Last Wings of Mankind as being a faster paced and stranger-looking Shadow of the Colossus.
Though there are two planned gameplay modes for Attack on Titan: The Last Wings of Mankind, the general gameplay will remain the same. Players must master the Vertical Maneuvering Equipment employed by members of the military to put them on equal footing with the Titans. This specialized equipment allows users to quickly grapple and fly between buildings and around the colossal Titans, compensating for the lack of size and strength. If used properly, a soldier is supposed to be able to climb their way up to a Titan's one vulnerable spot, the area at the back of his neck.
It doesn't appear to be as easy as it sounds. Life is fleeting in the Attack on Titan anime and manga series, and it seems like it could be just as transient in the 3DS game. In both the story and multiplayer modes, the player will be working alongside either characters from the anime and NPCs, or up to three other human players. The Titans can, and will, target everyone and could grab hold of you or your companions. If someone is fast and skilled enough, a Titan's hand or arm can be cut off and the hostage saved. If not, the Titan eats the person. If the newly devoured party was an actual human player, that translates to a "Game Over."
As interesting as that sounds, I think there's another, equally good reason for keeping an eye on Attack on Titan and hoping for Attack on Titan: The Last Wings of Mankind. That is, the Titans look hilariously ridiculous. I know. I've just gotten invested in the series, and I know how dire a situation can be when any Titan appears, but the appearances of the Colossal, Smiling, and even generic Titans are so crazy and weird that they become awesome.
So here's hoping that Attack on Titan finds success overseas. It sounds like a promising series with potential, especially for those who loved Battle Royale or are ready to move up from Naruto to something more mature. It'd be a shame if we'd have to miss a game as interesting as Attack on Titan: The Last Wings of Mankind.