God Eater 3 is a brand new entry in the action RPG franchise developed by Marvelous! and published by Bandai Namco and is the first game in the series to be created solely for current generation consoles. While I don’t think it has fully utilised the power of the new systems it has delivered a game that is fun, addicting and packed full of customisation options to allow players to enjoy the game in their own play style.
God Eater 3 is set a few years after the events of God Eater 2 and continues to expand the lore of the world and introduces new threats for you to face. The world continues to be destroyed by the creatures known as Aragami and just when the dwindling numbers of mankind thought things couldn’t get any worse a new looming threat the Ashlands is rolling through the world bringing with it a vicious new species of Aragami, the Ashborn.
The government is rounding up children, imprisoning them and forcing them to take the God Arc test to create new AGEs (Advanced God Eaters), these are people able to survive out in the Ash for extended periods of time and are the only ones capable of eliminating the Aragmi and Ashborn threat.
Despite being the only people that can help, the government imprisons the AGEs and use them like dogs of the military. Keeping them restrained and behind bars until it’s time to go out into the wild to take care of new enemy threats. And even then they are monitored and reprimanded if they stray from the mission objective while out on the battlefield.
Right after the opening cutscene you’ll be able to make your own custom character you’ll be controlling in the game. You’re able to pick key things like male/female, hair type and colour, face and eye shape, skin colour, visible accessories and even your character voice with each of these key attributes having a decent number of options to pick from.
The core mission structure of the game remains the same for the majority of your experience and will be compared a lot to Monster Hunter, another game in the same genre that has you heading out accepting missions to take down bigger and bigger monsters to come back to the hub and modify your battle gear.
You’ll have the options to walk around what I’ll call the hub environment and talk to the other characters in the story before accepting a new mission from a computer terminal and heading out into the dangerous Ash filled environments to eliminate various Aragami and complete mission objectives before being brought back to your hub world to continue the story and start the loop over.
The opening of the game has you retained to living in a cell with other captured AGEs but the game does open up shortly after providing different ‘hubs’ and places to jump into missions from.
There is a deep level of customisation and you’re able to control everything from what your character looks like, which can be tweaked at any point throughout the game all the way down to what kinds of primary weapons, guns, shields and Burst Art skills so you can shape your character in a way to perfectly fit your playstyle with most of the weapons and shields in each category acting differently from one another.
During your missions you will collect items either on the ground or as mission rewards that you can use to enhance or unlock new items. Scoring a higher rank in missions or completing sub-objectives can change what rewards you receive upon completing the mission. Beating the mission within a certain time limit or retaining a certain amount of health or endurance during the fight will result in you getting more items before heading back to your current hub.
This is a game where you’ll be constantly earning bigger and better gear and then going into further missions to try them out to see if they fit your playstyle and see how much they’ve improved your combat ability. Because you’re always in need of more strength and defense to tackle the missions ahead of you, being able to upgrade and change your gear doesn’t just keep things fresh, it’s a core requirement of the game.
The zones you enter into for the missions, the mission types and enemies faced get quite repetitive throughout the story mode. But unlike other games in the same genre there is a strong core narrative in God Eater 3 that provides further incentive to push on, complete the story missions and see where the narrative goes next.
There are a number of different primary weapons available in the game ranging from swords, spears, clubs, scythes and more. With each possessing their own pro’s and cons such as the scythe being fast to swing but dealing less damage than the slower to wield club weapons that deal lots of damage on a successful hit.
I did find that changing your weapon forms and locking onto an enemy in the heat of battle seemed to have a bit of a delay. Rather than just tapping L1 to lock on I had to press and hold it for around a second for it to register I wanted to lock on which in the chaos of battle was just time I couldn’t spare at times and would have preferred a more responsive system that wasn’t so slow to react to certain actions.
I also found a large variation in the visual fidelity of assets in the game and feel like the game could have utilised launching on current generation hardware to better effect. While the character models for both the main characters and the well designed Aragami and Ashborn look great and fit the anime aesthetic the game was going for, I found that many of the zones were fairly boring to navigate, repetitive in design and had assets that were made using textures that looked dated and muddy. This doesn’t affect the whole game though, the textures throughout are quite inconsistent which only made the ‘bad’ looking things become more noticeable when placed on or near something that looked great.
One big surprise for me was to see that the game is fully dubbed in English, with voice actors voicing all of the cutscenes. In game dialogue between characters in the hub world in silent and presented as text on the screen but all other scenes and mission dialogue is fully voiced. I didn’t expect this as most Bandai Namco titles besides the Dragon Ball and Naruto games rarely receive an English track when released in the West and normally release with Japanese audio only. Even the highly popular Sword Art Online games continue to release without an English track.
God Eater 3 is perfectly enjoyable solo, but for those out there that want to team up and play through missions cooperatively there is also an online multiplayer mode you can activate from the terminals in the hub world too.
God Eater 3 provides a fun and addicting action RPG set in a post apocalyptic world with a constant looming threat. I enjoyed constantly tweaking my character and crafting bigger and better gear to take out the next Aragami boss. While I do wish the game was more consistent visually and did find the core structure of the game becoming quite repetitive as I went on, the character driven story was interesting and drove me to continue pushing through missions. If you’re a fan of the monster hunting genre and are looking to jump into a game that is fun even with some flaws I think you’ll enjoy God Eater 3.
A PS4 review copy was provided by Bandai Namco Australia for the purpose of this review.
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