Review – God Eater 3
My experience with the God Eater franchise is admittedly limited. I’ve only played a dozen or so hours of Rage Burst on PC before. It was a highly entertaining Monster Hunter-like game that made a surprisingly good transition to PC. God Eater 3 is the first game in the series to be designed for PC and current generation consoles. But does it hold the same caliber?
Earth has been devastated by monsters known as Aragami. These monsters aren’t able to be killed with conventional weaponry and the only way to destroy them are through specialized tools known as God Arcs. The world is in a bad place and the soldiers that have the ability to defeat the Aragami are imprisoned, feared by the rest of humanity. They are kept around only to be forced into battle to push back the Aragami threat. You play as one of these soldiers, known as a God Eaters.
Beyond the many cliches, predictable plot twists (though some are clever), and cringe worthy dialogue, there’s actually a lot to like about the story. The world setup is interesting and I would like to know more about it. You learn a lot about the characters that inhabit the world and outside a select few, they are all mostly likable. The story may be unremarkable, but it’s at the very least engaging with plenty of backstory to delve into and some great cut-scenes sprinkled throughout. It’s not the deepest universe and the games are completely separated, so you don’t really need to play previous entries to understand what’s happening.
Like I said earlier, God Eater 3 is the first game in the series to be designed without portables in mind and it shows. Whilst it’s not the most visually impressive game, it’s got a distinctive style that looks simply vivacious. Character models and environments are a treat to look at with great use of colour. Aragami designs are excellent for the most part, with plenty of detail that makes them look unique. On top of this, there are tons of nice visual effects that constantly fill the screen without becoming too distracting.
The beginning of God Eater 3 is a bit of a chore. You will be spending the opening hours just grinding through easy mission after easy mission as it tries to introduce new mechanics. It’s a bit off putting when the difficulty curve starts so low and you are forced into mind-numbing encounters. I was really concerned this was going to continue throughout the story. Thankfully it gets better, much better, when new interesting and challenging Aragami come into play after a few hours. This is when God Eater 3 finally shines.
On the surface, the combat is very simple. But as you play more, you discover the depth that it goes. As a God Eater you have access to Aragami killing God Arcs; a set of weapons that you will use in your battles. You’ve got your basic X and Y attacks and chaining them together will give you a combo. Holding the Y button (or pressing RB+Y on the fly) will perform a devour attack. If you successfully land one of these, then you will enter Burst Mode; a powerful mode that upgrades your attacks whilst also giving you some new ones. On top of this, each weapon allows you to equip three Burst Arts, which further alters your attacks in Burst Mode and even these can be further modified with Burst Art Effects. It’s impressive how much diversity you can have with a single weapon and experimenting with different builds and Burst Arts is a lot of fun.
There are a total of seven different weapon classes your God Arc can be; ranging from long swords to scythes, each with their own combos and gimmicks. For fans of the previous games, a new weapon class has been introduced. Biting Edge are dual blades that can transform into a singular glaive weapon, essentially giving the weapon four modes of attacks. That’s not all your God Arc can do; there are also several gun modes and shields that you can equip. Go wild and experiment with different combinations. There’s certainly plenty to discover.
There’s a wide variety in the Aragami that you fight, some of which provide a brilliant challenge whilst also being fun. The earlier ones aren’t all that exciting and provide very little challenge, but they eventually become tougher and much more exciting. Ash Aragmi, the newest threat in God Eater 3, can perform devour attacks that will also give them the same benefits as you. It’s a creative addition to the series. Things can get chaotic when trying to fight two large Aragami at once and it can be a bit frustrating when getting thrown around, but it never stops being fun.
You can bring up to three computer controlled allies in your fight against the Aragami, who are surprisingly effective. They do a fine job of keeping up and not becoming a burden whilst providing good support, healing often, and simply dealing damage. It’s rare that friendly AI is worth praising, but here they do a remarkable job, making them a valuable addition to the game. They aren’t perfect however, often failing to avoid devour attacks or not focusing on the proper targets.
The structure of the game is identical to previous titles as well as the Monster Hunter series. You start a mission and have a set amount of time to hunt your target, then turn it in and hunt the next target. It’s an engaging gameplay loop thanks to the variety. Usually fights in Monster Hunter stretch over thirty minutes, whilst in God Eater 3 it’s rare for them to pass the fifteen minute mark, making it easier to play in short bursts. Between missions you will be exploring your hub. At first I wasn’t a huge fan of being forced to go around the base talking to the crew, but the more I played, the more I became invested. The characters get more fleshed out in the hub and the dialogue choices whilst not impacting the story, are a nice touch. The hub is also a great place to prepare for your next mission; buying resources and upgrading or crafting better gear with the resources you gathered during the missions.
Beyond the decent length campaign, which takes around twenty hours to complete, there’s a huge amount of optional content to battle your way through. Whilst it does mostly consist of fighting the same enemies over and over again, it rarely gets boring. There are also Assault missions that allow up to eight God Eaters to team up online to take down a single buffed up Aragami. Bandai also promises some strong post launch support that should add hours of content for free.
The sound design is a fairly mixed bag. The voice acting ranges from passable to downright bad, with some cringy dialogue. The soundtrack however is great. Each of the games Ash Aragami has uses a great rock style boss theme that hypes up the battle.
God Eater 3 is a fine addition to the monster hunting genre. The deep combat and great enemy designs save the game after the dull opening hours. For fans of the genre and newcomers alike, this is a great game and one that you should play.
Great visual designs all around, but it’s nothing mind blowing.
Has deep combat and plenty of options to appeal to everyone.
Great soundtracks somewhat make up for the mediocre voice acting.
Fun Factor: 8.5
Outside the opening few hours, God Eater 3 is a total blast.
Final Verdict: 8.0
God Eater 3 is available now on PC and Playstation 4.
Reviewed on PC.
A copy of God Eater 3 was provided by the publisher.