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GOD EATER 3 Review

Edited by: Tiffany Lillie

While it won’t make any new fans of the Giant-Monster-Slaying genre, God Eater 3 introduces enough new with a new coat of paint for fans of the series to enjoy.

Odin with a Side of Rice

God Eater 3, developed and produced by Bandai Namco, is a third-person action game where you go toe-to-toe with giant, all-consuming monsters called Aragami. Literally translated as “powerful deity,” these monsters rove the surface of a desolate world, devouring anything that gets in their way. Only God Eaters, equipped with God Arcs, can stand up to and ultimately defeat these apocalyptic threats. In this third game of the series, God Eaters have evolved once more in tandem with the Aragami. Where first there were Generation II God Eaters and then Blood God Eaters, now there are Adaptive God Eaters (or AGEs for short). The Aragami have evolved as well, becoming Ash Aragami, which are able to devour God Eaters to improve their own strength.

New Coat of Paint

I'm a fan of the God Eater franchise, though I'll admit to not having completed God Eater 2. It seems that somewhere between the second game and this one, a plague of consuming dust coated the earth. While at the start of the game the origin of this ash is a mystery, new players to the series will find that this is the only narrative hurdle to overcome. God Eater 3 introduces a new suite of characters with few, if any, old characters returning.

On top of the new characters in a new story along with a new threat, God Eater 3 introduces three new weapons. These weapons fill some interesting niches that the previous offerings left empty. The one exception is the Ray Gun, which functions as a replacement for the Canon. The other two weapons, the Biting Edge and the Heavy Moon, replace nothing. The Biting Edge is a pair of knives, offering quick, short ranged attacks. If you want a little more damage output, they can transform into a glaive. This damage boost comes at the cost of your stamina regeneration and shield. The Heavy Moon is a slower-paced weapon that can transform into a great ax. While I haven't played around with it, favoring the Biting Edge myself, it looks to be something of an offshoot of the Variant Scythe. The old standbys are still there as well, from the Long Sword to the Boost Hammer.

The new additions don't stop there. God Eater 3 sees a minor graphical upgrade from the previous iterations, which is to be expected considering those were ports from the PSP. There is also a new mode of online play called Assault Missions. These are large dust-ups between a single Ash Aragami and eight God Eaters. Most of these God Eaters will be human controlled, but any slots that matchmaking can't fill with a human will be computer controlled. This, of course, can lead to the worst-case scenario where matchmaking can't find anyone for your particular Assault Mission and you're left to fight a challenging opponent with seven dog-brained NPCs. The poor AI is only exacerbated by the shorter time limit present in Assault Missions. As opposed to the standard 40 minutes, you and your team only have five minutes to hunt down and slay this Aragami. As such, it's still better to drag in as many of your friends as possible, but the inclusion of matchmaking for this online mode is appreciated.

Fight for Freedom

In the new, ash-covered world of God Eater 3, Adaptive God Eaters are treated as inhuman. God Eaters, in general, require an injection of something called Bias Factor in order to combat Aragami. AGEs require a more transformative Bias Factor injection to resist the ash for longer periods of time. The story spins this as making them more Aragami-like, but mechanically this new generation functions the same as the previous generation of God Eaters. As such, the disparity in treatment between the generations doesn't really make sense, especially when you consider that AGEs are the best hope humanity has against the Ash Aragami. Normally I would mark this up to mere contrivance, but the whole of the plot revolves around the discrimination of AGEs. Granted, such hatred usually doesn't have a lot of reasoning behind it, so perhaps that's the point.

God Eater 3 doesn't have a lot to say about the subject of prejudice. The story is about what you'd expect from a shounen anime. No one believes in the protagonists, but they are the strongest, and they have to show it to everyone and be the best. This plot works well enough for an action game, certainly, but doesn't leave a lot of room for nuance in the general plot structure. It is, however, an easy source of pathos to draw the player in. This keeps in line with the previous games which ran pretty much purely on pathos. I still remember each of the narrative arcs of the characters in the first game and when I went back to the second game to more thoroughly analyze the changes I found it very easy to remember just who each character was. The story itself, however, has always been a little thin. But why bother with intricate stories when you can fight giant monsters and get to know your teammates?

7

The Verdict: Great

On the whole, God Eater 3 is more of what fans of the series are used to. You still equip oversized weapons to fight oversized monsters to get money and materials to create more oversized weapons to fight even larger monsters. While this is certainly similar to the Monster Hunter series, God Eater stands out in its distinctive anime style, particularly where it comes to its monsters. God Eater also has a greater emphasis on team-oriented combat. Whether alone or with friends, you'll be fighting alongside others against these large creatures. I would heartily recommend anyone that enjoys this particular sub-genre of action game pick up God Eater 3.

John Gerritzen
Written by
Friday, 08 March 2019 06:00
Published in Action

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John Gerritzen is a programmer by education, author by hobby, and game critic by occupation. While he usually favors RPGs, he will play anything that engages him narratively or mechanically. When he's not playing games for fun or profit, he's usually reading or watching anime.

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