God Eater 3 finds itself in an interesting position. It’s part of the hugely popular (in Japan) hunter genre. These games typically have the player tracking and taking down monsters in order to create weapons and equipment. This new gear lets them hunt better monsters more efficiently, creating a solid gameplay loop. The West got its first massively popular dose of the genre thanks to Monster Hunter World.
God Eater 3 is in the uncomfortable position of comparisons to MHW, and that’s a comparison it cannot win. That’s not to say that God Eater 3 is a bad game. In fact, it’s excellent despite its flaws. It’s deep, involving, and thematically distinct from its peers. While it cannot hold a candle to MHW in scope or polish, it presents a decent experience for the people looking for a sci-fi themed hunter game.
The God Eater series got its start on handheld consoles, specifically the PSP. Although some of the games found their way to consoles through ports, this is the first entry in the series designed from the get-go with a more powerful system in mind. Graphically, that has lead to a game which belongs on the modern consoles, even if it’s still a step below its contemporaries.
God Eater 3 takes place in a post-apocalyptic world menaced by giant monsters called Aragami. As if that wasn’t bad enough, there are also huge clouds of toxic dust known as Ash. The Ash forces people to live inside huge walled settlements called ports, and only venture out using Ash Crawlers. From this Ash, even stronger Aragami are born. Generally, things are just not going well for humanity. The final hope is AGE’s, or Adaptive God Eaters, the only humans alive who can kill the Aragami. You get to create your own AGE and control a team going out into the world to kill monsters. As with a lot of hunter games, God Eater 3 gives you a variety of weapons to choose from. Each one has its own play style and unique attack combos.
Missions in God Eater 3 do suffer slightly from a lack of variety. For the most part, you’re just going on jobs which get you to kill either a specific Aragami or a series of them one after the other. There’s not much peripheral stuff to keep things from getting stale, at least not in the way of different mission types. Each level basically devolves into an instance where you have to show up and kill something. Then you pick a new mission and do it all over again. Although the game does manage to pull of some variety in other ways.
The combat does feel pretty varied, especially at first. During the first 10-15 hours of the game, you’re getting used to the weapons and how they work. There’s a huge selection of options available, so swapping around until you’ve got one you like sorted is the best way forward. Of course, you can also swap weapon types as you create more powerful equipment or add different elements to them which will do more damage to elemental monster types.
The combat variety also comes from the ability to add ‘special attacks’ to each of the different weapon types. Each type has 3 slots, ground, air and step, which can be swapped around between missions. These additions can have a huge impact on how easy particular fights can be, especially ‘boss’ encounters. You can also craft special effects onto your equipment, a decision that can make or break upcoming battles.
Once you’re actually battling, the variety pretty much disappears. You do still have to swap up your strategy dependant on which breed of monster you’re fighting, but since there are really only a handful of different breeds it won’t be long before you know exactly how a fight is going to play out and you start going through the motions. No matter how much God Eater 3 dances around it, a lightning version of the lion-faced monster is no different from a fire version beyond some different animations and damage types.
It’s not just the missions themselves that suffer from a sense of repetition. A lot of the monsters have an annoying tendency to spam the same attack up to five times in a row. Especially their super attacks, which cause tricky status problems. It’s quite a pain to avoid a one-hit kill attack three times in a row only to have the monster repeat the move again and catch you at the edge of your hitbox. The final minor niggle with the gameplay is the way that the camera works. There’s the expected lock-on in combat, but it’s pretty flawed. The camera seems to get stuck if you move around too quickly, easily getting stuck on a monsters feat. This can make the flow of battle a little hard to follow at times.
That’s not to say that the gameplay is bad at all. The battle system is very fluid and suits different play styles well with its numerous weapon combos. Things also ramp up in the game, both within the narrative and just on a challenge level. You start out facing one or two tiny monsters, but eventually, you’re taking on huge monsters with god-like powers. There’s also the insanely long list of craftable equipment, not to mention all the side missions.
Despite all the complaining God Eater 3 actually ends up being a thoroughly enjoyable experience. The mission variety is lacking, but it’s more than made up for with the complexity of the prep, and it’s easier to get into than other hunter games. It might suffer from some awkward control issues at times, but for the most part, it manages to keep the player engaged with new levels of challenge as well as a neurotic temptation to make every possible weapon in the game.
TechRaptor reviewed God Eater 3 on PlayStation 4 with a code provided by the developers.More About This Game
God Eater 3 manages to pull of a deep and enjoyable combat experience, despite some annoyances with the camera and missions repeating themselves.
- Huge Variety of Weapons
- Tons Of Side Missions
- Deep Pre-Combat Prep
- Easy To Get In To
- Camera And Lock-On Is Fiddely
- Some Missions Repeat Themselves
- Certain Monsters Spam The Same Attacks