After the enormous success of Monster Hunter World on consoles and PC, Bandai Namco decided to respond with the new chapter of his hunting game series: God Eater 3. Developed for PlayStation 4 e PC, was the first title in the saga to abandon portable consoles, only to arrive later on the hybrid Nintendo Switch.
Unlike its older cousin, however, God Eater 3 has remained more anchored to the arcade origins, and pushing towards an even faster and more hack 'n slash style of fighting.
Will this new chapter be able to convince us as a worthy rival of the Capcom series? Find out in the our review.
Fighting for survival
In the world of God Eater, the Earth was rendered uninhabitable by the appearance of the Aragami, monstrous creatures formed from colonies of Oracle Cells.
In more recent times the Terre Cineree, areas contaminated with a toxic substance called Ash, have expanded further, reducing the habitable areas for both humans and Aragami.
The only ones able to move easily in these areas are i God Eater Adapt, or GEA, a new class of God Eater possessing a factor that increases resistance to Ash. Treated like slaves, their main task is to escort the caravans they connect the Landings, the safe oases in the midst of the Ashen Lands.
The plot follows a group of GEAs and their dream of finding freedom and living in a world where they can be treated equally. It does an excellent job in the'expand the setting and immerse the player more, but the lack of twists and the numerous clichés keep it from shining as it could.
The protagonist of the story, however, will almost never speak, just nodding or some other small interaction for most of the game's cutscenes. Although it is an understandable limitation given the wide possibilities of customization, this choice is very out of place with the way other NPCs address us during the cutscenes.
Spectacular action first of all
As already mentioned, God Eater 3's combat system aims to be as fluid and dynamic as possible. Each of the eight melee weapons (called God Arc) in fact it has numerous very fast attacks, and can be transformed instantly into a rifle to hit from a distance.
One is placed great emphasis on air strikes, thanks to the presence of numerous flying Aragami or with weak points placed very high.
Thanks to the ability of chain several moves it won't be too difficult to hang in midair for long, at least as long as you still have enough Stamina to be able to sustain our aerial acrobatics.
In addition to the multiple combinations of melee weapons, rifles and shields, it is possible further customize your play style. In fact, you can equip different abilities to your God Arc, as well as other temporary buffs that are activated under certain conditions.
The element that brings the most variety of all, however, is the Burst Art, which modify some parts of our moveset sometimes giving us completely different moves from the starting ones.
There are many types for each weapon, ensuring a great customization of the experience.
Sometimes this thrill of spectacular action plays against experience. In some cases, in fact, it can happen that the enormous amount of light and particle effects on the screen make it all too chaotic, making it difficult to understand what is going on.
Repetition makes perfect
Like any hunting game, the structure of God Eater 3 is based on presenting us with a huge number of missions, all with the aim of killing one or more Aragami.
Each of them it will have to be repeated several times to be able to obtain all the materials needed to craft new, more powerful pieces of equipment. Each mission will always present new situations from the previous one, be it a new species of Aragami, a new location, or already known elements proposed together for the first time.
During most of the story they will all be quite simple, but starting from a certain point the difficulty will start to rise, making deaths quite frequent for less experienced players.
However, the game provides help to the latter, thanks to the possibility of facing all the missions with a party of 3 other players, both in multiplayer and offline in the company of CPU-controlled bots.
The most skilled players, on the other hand, are rewarded, thanks to an evaluation system at the end of the mission that will provide greater rewards if you finish the mission within a certain time, taking as little damage as possible or facing it alone.
Longevity is further ensured thanks to Assault Missions, where up to 8 players can take part in even stronger missions against Aragami, but which will provide even better rewards.
An excellent artistic sector
Technically it seems that Bandai Namco did not want to be particularly daring in the making of this third chapter.
We find ourselves in front of one good art direction, and it is seen above all with the Aragami, with the scenarios and with the animated cutscenes. The game looks very fluid and without frame rate drops, but on PlayStation 4 it still does not exceed 30 fps.
On the Sony console we could have dared more, but this choice has been very beneficial porting to Nintendo Switch, which was done mostly painlessly by sacrificing only some of the graphics quality.
The biggest flaw is the level design of game maps, consisting mostly of corridors that reduce our mobility. The abundance of dead ends it forces you to travel long sections on foot while chasing an injured Aragami, a problem partially mitigated by the high speed of running.
The sound, on the other hand, is flawless: the dubbing, available in English and Japanese, is well made in both cases, as well as the soundtrack is well done.
God Eater 3, while not deviating too much from the previous chapters, it tries to further evolve its formula by offering an even faster and more frenetic gameplay.
While there are many customization options for their characteristics and abilities together with an excellent artistic direction, the level design and the not too bright plot are two defects that could have been easily avoided.
The result is a quality hunting game, which shines especially when played in company but can offer many hours of fun (and especially farming) even alone.