Title: God Eater 2 - Rage Burst

Platform: Windows, Steam, PS4, PSVita

Reviewed on: PS4

Genre: Action RPG, Hack n’ Slash

Players: Single player, Online Co Op (1-4)



Written by Whistler 11th October 2016














While usually it can be easy to discern a video game’s genre there are certain titles that use such a specific formula that they almost become genres of their own. Titles like Dark Souls and of course Monster Hunter are so unique in their structure that when others copy or produce a similar framework to them, they are often referred to as clones. In most cases it serves as an almost derogatory label to deter people from an inferior product. However it can help people looking for a similar experience with a different perspective and the Monster Hunter series has no shortage of clones.

But where titles like Ragnarok Odyssey and Toukiden struggle to garner bigger audiences, can the enhanced PSVita/PS4 God Eater 2: Rage Burst make claim to a wider appeal or will Monster Hunter stay king of the jungle?


Oddly enough compared to even Monster Hunter, the God Eater series has stretched into several other mediums including several manga, light novel adaptions and an anime series. But what is all too familiar is God Eater’s set up; launching operations from your hub you’ll select, customize and craft equipment then set out of various missions with the objective of eliminating the designated target. What is a nice addition however is the inclusion of a story similar to that of Monster Hunter 4U’s single player portion.


























The world of God Eater is set in a post apocalyptic setting where humanity has been hunted to the point of extinction by deific-like monsters known as the Aragami. Three years after the events of the first God Eater, a crimson rain has descended upon the Far East region, infecting humans with a deadly plague. You’re the newest recruit into the Blood division, an elite group of God Eaters capable of wielding God Arcs (the only weapons capable of defeating the Aragami) who go out on missions, eliminating threats and investigating possibilities for humanity's survival. However it must be said that while there’s potential for an interesting story and the cast are passable, all of this is largely to dress up the mission to mission routine.


Thankfully the gameplay itself is rather refreshingly fast paced and easy to get a hang of, in fact more so than Monster Hunter titles. A lot of the formula seen in Monster Hunter has been distilled then streamlined to focus on an action focused experience. There’s actually plenty of small changes that as a longtime fan of MH, I can appreciate the lengths to change up and in some cases improve on. There’s still grinding needed for when you need to upgrade your equipment but it’s a lot less prominent especially in the earlier portions of the game with less focus on utilizing a monster’s weakness (which unless you were a MH veteran pretty much required an onhand wiki) and Aragami data can be accessed from the terminal. Small aspects like faster use of items, less focus on gathering field items and the ability to play through the story mode alongside friends make the early portions far more enjoyable as opposed to the single player in Monster Hunter Generations (or MHX in Japan). An interesting departure from the norm is most notably the God Arc itself, a weapon capable of swapping between blade, gun and shield modes with each mode further diversifying into weapon types. You can swap out various types of swords, a hammer, a spear and even a scythe to help you specialize in slashing, crushing or piercing damage. The gun module can then be switched between the long range sniper barrel, a shotgun barrel, gatling and so forth while the shield types determine how fast you can deploy the shield and how much damage they can absorb. This allows you to further specialize solo and in group while spicing things up enough to give the gameplay it’s own distinct feel.


























In combat you can also utilize the predator form, where the God Arc produces a massive pair of jaws capable of devouring Aragami that gain precious materials and grant buffs in the form of Burst Mode. In Burst Mode the wielder gains temporary boosts to power and abilities dependent on the Control Unit equipped. Later players also gain access to Blood Arts and Blood Rage, the former are abilities you can equip to augment certain attacks which increase in potency, change how you can attack and unlock advanced Blood Arts as you continue to utilize them on missions. Blood Rage is a sort of overdrive mode, boosting damage, speed and giving temporary invincibility at the cost of your Awakening Gauge.


Similar to the Toukiden series, companions you meet through the story are available to join you on single player story and free missions. While it doesn’t hold a candle to actual multiplayer it does help the combat feel a bit less lonesome and they can even be given orders. However it must be said that while yes you can turn off a lot of the chatter, the AI tends to not really shut up creating some rather chaotic noise as you try to listen to them and your tactical assistant.

I do wish there was also a choice for the original Japanese dialogue, the English dub is passable, but certain characters begin to grate after a while and honestly pale in comparison to the cast in Resurrection (who do make a reappearance later in the story).


























God Eater 2: Rage Burst is a solid enough title and has a genuinely awesome style to it but the three year gap between it’s Japanese and Western release arguably damns it. Subpar animations, hit and miss audio (certain segments sound like they were designed for a DS’s speakers) and especially when it’s played on the big screen damage the overall experience. And yet the more I play it along with the multiplayer I can honestly say I think I found what I’ve been missing in Monster Hunter. It’s certainly fun to play for fans of previous installments and those looking for a similar Monster Hunter experience without as much grinding/material hunting or who lack a 3DS. While the initial retail price of £50 still feels a bit much, when the price drops or goes on sale God Eater 2: Rage Burst is certainly worth picking up if you can manage to rope a friend or two into playing.



Pros:

Removes some of MH’s more obtuse elements,

Distinct visual anime style,

Comes packaged with God Eater: Resurrection as free DLC,

God Arc allows for more varied combat without having to change equipment,

Story elements can help alleviate the repetition.


Cons:

Somewhat one dimensional cast,

Lacking visual fidelity on PS4,

Hit and miss audio quality.

 

Final verdict,

God Eater 2: Rage Burst scores a 7.5/10.

 

Written by,

Whistler


 

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