Coming off the massive success of reviving famed anime series Dragon Ball Z, One Piece, My Hero Academia & Naruto into massively successful RPGs and / or fighting titles, Bandai Namco Entertainment returns to console and PC gaming with a vengeance as they proudly present the third entry to their famed God Eater series, God Eater 3.
The game cinematic opens to a city in ruin. Buildings lay damaged, splattered with gigantic lava covered holes, showcasing a previous bombardment. The year is roughly 2080 and Earth is a fragment of what we know it to be now. The Aragami, terrifying demonic creatures that live only to consume the world around them, are laying waste and paving a path of destruction in their wake. To combat this opposing threat, God Eaters, a group of vastly skilled heroes, are recruited to try and save humanity from its brink. God Eaters fend off the Aragami with specialised weapons known only as God Arcs, maintained by Oracle Cells. However, the God Eaters are started to suffer and it appears that the only way to save Earth is to free themselves from the cursed handcuffs that restrict the limitations and power of the God Eaters soul.
A hooded child (dubbed PW-01408), accompanied by another child with black spikey hair, is forced to sit inside a chair, strapped down with the gigantic restraints used for God Eaters and is forced to undergo an experiment. The child is infused with Ashblight, God Arc and Oracle Cells, after which the process is deemed complete and the child is successfully knighted as an Adaptive God Eater. Before the screen fades out, a guard informs the child that he/she is now property of ‘The Port’.
The screen fades back in and we’re inside a jail cell of ‘The Port’. An unknown amount of time has passed, as the child with black spikey hair, named Hugo, is now a young adult and PW-01408 (the hooded child) is revealed to be alive, still an Adaptive God Eater, who has also aged and is now with wavy silver locks to boot! This silver-haired young adult ends up being the player for the rest of the game. The character selection screen then pops up, allowing you input your Name, Codename (its default set to PW-01408), and Gender (male / female).
The next screen provides variable amounts of customization options, allowing you craft your hero as you see fit. After you’ve crafted your perfect hero, you return to the game to be treated to the tutorial section of the game. This is broken down into various parts.
- There are a few tutorial missions to complete via the computer console, located in the centre of the jail. Note: A side console, called the Terminal, provides a plethora of valuable information including: History of the world you’re playing in, enemies encountered, weapons, information on other characters you’ve encountered and unlocked moves / moves list.
- Per completion of each tutorial mission, a new in-game feature becomes unlocked, with either the in-game screens or an on-screen character guiding you through the changes.
This is a perfect method to learn, as God Eater 3’s new features can become quite overwhelming at times. Telling you what to do, how to do it then allowing you execute the commands / controls first hand really provide a guided edge to your upcoming battles.
Like other Bandai Namco games, God Eater 3 brings the hack-n-slash button bashing style gameplay that you know and love.
Your main weapon is a God Arc, which can also transform into a gun. Majority of the missions are time-based tasks, required you either to hunt down Aragami or source resources. As you fight against these creatures, your character absorbs energy in order to build up a feature called ‘burst move’. These have various benefits, the main of which sees an increase to your attack damage and speed.
During some missions, you will team up with companion characters (which are computer controlled), providing an advantage to the upcoming battles. After a few missions, the game rewards the player with a mode called ‘Engage System’, allowing you and your chosen companion to share perks during combat. These perks can be chosen, upgraded and customized from the terminal. Once you’ve advanced even further in the game, a new range of missions called ‘Assault missions’ become playable, allowing for up to 8 players! Trust me, these missions are well worth the grind to, for seeing 8 people hack and slash demonic creatures back to oblivion really is a sight to behold.
Coming off the former game in the series, God Eater 3 goes to the ‘new features’ buffet, loads up a gigantic plate and serves it to you (with or without a cherry on top, your choice). The new battle features are as follows:
An aerial-based attack, allowing to hone in on a locked-on target and attack from the skies.
- Burst Arts:
These are special attacks only available during ‘Burst Mode’. The moves are totally changeable, allowing for Burst moves from any position your character finds itself in (ground, air, running)
- Burst Plugins:
These are additional addons for your weapons and / or armour that can boost certain traits during the previously mentioned and activated ‘Burst Mode’.
- Skill Install:
Your God Arc weapons can be upgraded and housed to hold various skills that help out with everything from raising your HP to increasing your attacks.
- Acceleration Trigger:
A passive skill that boosts the players strength.
After duking it out with a fellow God Eater, the Engage meter fills up, eventually notifying you of your ability to initiate the Engage Effect, sharing buffs between you and your in-game battle partners
- Biting Edge:
A close range God Arc weapon.
- Dual Wielding
Attack with fast paced attacks.
Boosts strikes and aerial attacks damage. Downside is it stops stamina regeneration, which is important for moving, running and jumping around the battlefield.
- Dual Wielding
A long range God Arc weapon. This weapon has an area of effect shot called ‘Radiation’.
- Heavy Moon:
A gigantic God Arc curved edge blade weapon. The weapon may shift in its design during specific combos, turning into a huge battle axe, brimming with high attack power.
The only downside to these missions is that they tend to feel somewhat repetitive after a certain amount of time. It does give the sense of grinding: Kill this demon, collect this item. Developers have stated that future content will be available post-launch, which will hopefully flesh out this problem.
The controls in God Eater 3 do tend to get a bit overwhelming the more you advance throughout the game. Sure, the game does its best to guide you through the new and updating control changes, but unless you’re a seasoned pro to the God Eater series, you’ll find yourself blindly button mashing and hoping for the best. This isn’t a bad thing though, as you’ll still be knocking back enemies left, right and centre, but there’s a feeling of something missing if not all the controls are fully understood.
The only downside to God Eater 3’s controls is the sensitivity. Especially that of the lock-on targeting system, which is a bit hit and miss. Locking-on to a target is initially fine but, a few strikes from either you or the Aragami, the lock gets lost. If not noticed quickly enough, you’ll end up wasting your attacks or abilities against thin air or a nearby wall. Doesn’t look too cool when the others companions are busy carving up a demonic death storm and you’re busy trying to teach a wall who’s boss.
GRAPHICS + SOUND
Game Developer Marvelous First Studio, arguably most famous for their work on the Monster Hunter series, has done an impeccable job on generating amazing graphics, when comparing it to its former game in the series, God Eater 2. The colours are vivid and bright, the worlds are intricately detailed, complimented by the amazing designs of the weapons and Aragami throughout the game. It’s nice when a hack n slash style game takes the time to generate a world / fighting zone that truly feels like you’re in a different world, heading into the unknown.
The sound design is fantastic too. Yes, it is an English voice over dubbed game, meaning that the in-game models’ mouths suffer from a bit of latency, as they were originally made to recreate the mouth movements of Japanese dialogue. It’s not a distracting feat, however, but it does have its cringy moments.
The soundtrack is fantastic, backed by huge orchestral tracks, which sets the tone for the cutscenes and increases its intensity for the upcoming and enduring battles.
Considering the huge leap in graphics, sound and gameplay, God Eater 3 gives the series a massive update that it desperately needed. Its story is easy to follow, the gameplay produces its famed button mashing carnage and the art design is out of this world (literally!)
Unfortunately, the downsides to the game are its somewhat sensitive controls, at times overwhelming gameplay mechanics and a sense of ‘grind it ‘till you make it’ vibe.
- Huge leap in graphics
- Great hack-n-slash button bashing style gameplay
- Sensitive controls
- Overwhelming gameplay mechanics