Let's Play: VR Attack on Titan The Human Race
posted on by Kim Morrissy
The latest Attack on Titan VR attraction got a location test in Tokyo from October 19–26. Called VR Attack on Titan: The Human Race, the game is based on the “Female Titan Capture Operation” arc of the anime and manga. The game appears to use HTC Vive Pro headsets, and you get to wear a Survey Corps cape for the duration of the attraction.
The way the game works is pretty simple: Up to four players become a part of Levi's squad, where you ride on a VR horse riding simulator and dodge obstacles until the female Titan has been captured. You can jump or duck, and whip your horse to go faster. That's about it. Because the game depicts a very specific aspect of the manga's storyline, it doesn't feature the series's iconic maneuvering gear, nor do you wield any weapons.
Fair enough about the lack of maneuvering gear - that stuff's hard to develop, and it's easier to use a pre-existing style of VR game (in this case, horse riding) than to make a full game out of something so specific to Attack on Titan. The lack of weaponry is more of a missed opportunity, though, as it means you don't actually play a role in subduing the Titan. After you've reached the end of the course, a cutscene automatically plays showing the Titan getting strapped down with ropes. It would have been fitting if the game made you cast a rope yourself at this point, but you don't get that opportunity.
In fact, whether you survive the course or not is mostly irrelevant, as your horse will keep running even if your character dies. After the final cutscene has played, a message will pop up on the screen informing you if you died or survived. There are no points or tallies, so there's no way of knowing what the cutoff point for survival is. I got hit a few times and survived, so at least the game doesn't demand perfection from you. But it's still hard to gauge the difficulty level of the game, nor is there an incentive to replay the game for a better score.
Where the game does shine - as any good VR simulator should - is capturing what it's like to ride on a galloping horse within a safe environment. When your horse jumps, it genuinely feels as if it's jerking your body around, which takes some getting used to. Of course, the sensation isn't nearly as precarious as it would be doing it for real, and you're closer to the ground than you would be on a real horse, but the experience is immersive enough that you'll be mildly disoriented when you do finally get off. It's a good thing that the game doesn't stop you from continuing to play after you've died because the point is experiencing the VR horse riding more than anything.
Overall, I had fun getting into the Attack on Titan world through this VR game, even if the setting wasn't what I expected. The game is still in its testing stages; everyone who played it was asked to give feedback afterwards, so it may go through some tweaks when it eventually reemerges in another setting. VR Attack on Titan: The Human Race is a competent VR horse riding game with Attack on Titan graphics, and I can see it becoming a mainstay at VR parks in the future.