The God Eater franchise has been around for a little under a decade yet in this time there have been more than a handful of entries released in the series in the form of numbered entries, spin-offs, enhanced entries, and even an anime adaptation. Now Bandai Namco has looked to change things up a bit with its release of God Eater 3 as not only does it feature an almost entirely new different setting from past entries, the previous developer Shift has been swapped for Marvelous with the focus being, for the first time in a numbered entry in the series, on a console version instead of portable. So now that God Eater 3 has made its way West, is this entry worth your time?
Many years into the future Earth has fallen into ruin thanks to the appearance of Aragami, terrifying creatures capable of destroying entire cities on their own thanks to their inability to be stopped by conventional weapons. Special soldiers known as God Eaters who are capable of wielding God Arcs are the only ones that can help turn the tide of battle against these beings but the rise of a new devastating disaster called the Ash has left most of the world inhospitable for even the toughest fighters let alone the rest of humanity.
Players take on the role of a customizable protagonist who happens to be known as an Adaptive God Eater (AGE), a new type of God Eater capable of surviving within these Ashlands. Unfortunately for you and your friends, society fears the power that AGEs are capable of wielding and treats them as little more than slaves despite their power. It isn’t long however before players find themselves fighting for more than survival as they obtain a sort of freedom. There are more than a few little twists in the storyline as well as some rather surprising events that will await the player as the story progresses and while we won’t spoil them here, it does create a far more enjoyable setting than one would have expected.
This is partially due to how great the cast of characters happens to be. The player is a generally silent protagonist with only minimal dialogue choices offering no real change while the rest of the cast is given plenty of room to grow and this is especially true in to your fellow God Eaters who are given plenty of time to shine outside of combat. That being said, be prepared for a bit of confusion at times especially if you aren’t familiar with the series’ lore and for some rather cliche moments appearing from time to time.
Outside of spending time managing your equipment by crafting items, visual armor, and new God Arcs from items you obtain in the field, players will spend most of their time in God Eater 3 out in the field slaying Aragami. To do so players will be able to choose from a variety of different weapons, of which there are now two additional melee types, called the aforementioned God Arcs. These weapons can change into long-distance firearms, with one new type in this category, and even deploy a shield to block incoming attacks at will. God Eater‘s signature fast paced combat style remains truer than ever in this latest entry as not only are players able to easily deliver stylish combo attacks but there are now additional movement abilities such as being able to dash long distances. This dash mechanic actually works wonders given how quickly some Aragami can move and the knockback/wide-range on some of their attacks, giving players far more mobility to slide in and out of combat or chase down a fleeing enemy.
The relatively newer but still returning feature of being able to enter Burst mode after using their God Arc to consume the flesh of living Aragami. These vicious bite attacks provide players with a variety of different boosts depending on the gear equipped and the various abilities that the player has chosen to apply to each weapon but for the most part new attacks, buffs to basic stats, and other effects take place while in Burst mode. In fact players can even fire off special burst rounds that can allow your allies to enter burst mode easier and helping them dish out additional damage.
That being said, there are enemies that will eventually be able to use these same abilities so be prepared for that. For the most part however the learning curve and difficulty of the missions you encounter tend to be rather forgiving. This is partially due to the massive amount of customization options available for each weapon such as having weapons inflict certain ailments, etc. but also due to how effective the AI can be as a partner. While it is possible to play with other human players the ally AI is more than capable of holding their own in a fight and players can even customize their allies to a certain degree to help balance your playstyle even more. This creates a style of hunting that allows for players to truly experiment a bit with every weapon until they find what they like and not punish them should they not choose a “top-tier” weapon loadout.
That being said, the move to a console with more control options hasn’t made some elements of God Eater 3 handle any better. Using items requires the use of the touchpad and then cycling through your equipped items before using them which can occasionally put you in a tough spot while looting field items is also tied to the dodge button, making players jump around the field if they aren’t quite close enough. This same problem arises a bit in combat as the “quick devour” attack and the usage of burst attacks also makes use of the same button that swaps your God Arc from melee to firearm mode so if you happen to press it too quickly you’ll find yourself shooting point blank rather than continuing a combo.
Visuals & Audio
The designs of the Aragami range from being mythological looking to being creatures that split the line between machine and animal. While there aren’t an extremely huge variety of creatures to defeat the various looks of them as well as the designs of some of the bigger creatures and boss enemies players battle against make for some extremely intense feeling fights against powerful looking entities. Unfortunately the designs of some of the fields you fight on are a bit on the blander side as they mostly boil down to corridors and arena areas with fancy backgrounds. The various God Arcs are nicely detailed with some rather interesting designs with the Heavy Moon being a personal favorite while the characters themselves feature your standard fair of designs and the player character given a decent choice of customization.
The soundtrack features a number of great sounding tunes that work well as background music while the voice work is also handled quite well. Players do have the option of using either the newly recorded English dub or the original Japanese voice track should they choose though the English dub does fit the game surprisingly well.
God Eater 3 may have seemed like it could have brought about a big change with its new developer but fans of the series shouldn’t be too worried in that regard as this is still the same fast-paced monster slaying game as before. With a fresher take on the story that is still a bit cliche and rough to get into for newcomers and being designed for console first this does feel like a great entry in the series but be prepared for some nagging issues with some finicky control systems.