E3 2016: Koei Tecmo Hands On

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This year at E3 I was able to play two of Koei’s upcoming games: Attack on Titan and Nioh.

Attack on Titan is, of course, based on the hit anime/manga. In it, humanity has been confined to a single walled city thanks to the presence of giant humanoid titans. However, when a titan is able to break down one of the walls, the militia must fight them off.

In the show, the humans have developed the 3D Maneuver Gear, which allow them to essentially launch themselves via gear attached to their hips. The effect is flashy, which some characters being incredibly agile even in the air and I was curious how Koei would be able to translate this to a video game.

They were able to do it surprisingly well, actually. It’s basically a simple button press to launch into the air but way the characters control is smooth and fluid. I wasn’t able to get to the level of being quite as agile as the show depicts it but I was still impressed with how I could get around given the short learning time I had with the game.

Outside of that, the game reminds me a lot of Koei’s Dynasty Warriors games. The map in the demo was pretty large, with allied forces fighting titans all over it. Allies often call for help and the player has to zip around the map to help clear out areas.

There was also a mode that let the player play as a titan. This controlled more like a brawler, with the player titan able to punch and kick. However, it showed off some pretty nice destruction physics as the player knocked into buildings in the environment.

Based on what I played, I’m pretty excited for this game. I enjoyed the Attack on Titan anime and this looks like it’ll be a great chance to step into the shoes of the Survey Corp and protect humanity from the titans.

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Nioh was the other game I got a chance to play. This isn’t actually my first time playing it, thanks to the alpha demo Koei put out earlier this year. However this was a different section of the game, and it gave me access to some different weapons and some different enemies to fight.

Just like with the alpha, I feel like Nioh shares a lot of similarities with the Dark Souls series. Sure, it has a few unique twists like the ability to change stances, but many mechanics have been lifted wholesale from From Software’s hit.

Not that that’s a bad thing. I love the Dark Souls formula and Nioh feels like it hits most or all of the right notes to feel worthy. The enemy variety in this demo was nice, split between small enemies like little wisps and large hulking fire spitting demons.

The difficulty was pretty high too, as one might expect. I think Koei purposely had the demo character overleveled and even then I was still dying in three or four hits. And those were just normal enemies; in my half hour with the game I wasn’t able to progress far enough to fight a boss.

I’m sure a lot of gamers will enjoy the samurai inspired take on an established formula. I can see this game being big when it releases, especially among the Souls fanbase.

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Written by Andy Richardson

Andy Richardson

A longtime PlayStation fan who enjoys JRPGs and rhythm games when he’s not tweeting about his parrot.

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