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God Eater 3 Action Demo Impressions
Last year, I barely care about the God Eater series. I know it’s sort of like Monster Hunter but more anime, it’s popular on the PS Vita and has a decent following. Until I give God Eater 2 Rage Burst a whirl when it was free for PS Plus last month (for Asia).
Now I’m convinced that I like this brand of action-RPG. So when it was announced that God Eater 3 has a limited-time demo last weekend, I gave it a shot. Suffice to say, I’m pleased with this upcoming new entry.
Making The Right Changes
For God Eater 3, the game has a new developer handling it, Marvellous (Senran Kagura). And unlike the past two games it’s not developed for the Vita first. So the upgrade in visual fidelity is definitely prevailing. Character models still have that anime look but more detailed and animated. From just moving to attacking using the oversized weapons, all the animation gets a big bump in quality.
Yet this still feels like a God Eater game. Your main hub where you can interact with characters is still small. All your customisation happens on the terminal. And you still have to select a mission, select your party and then commit to it by going to the exit.
Missions are still happening in maps with labeled areas with a generous time limit. Finish the objectives, which usually is to kill all the monsters called Aragami, and you’re out to the results screen and back to the hub world.
Though there are meaningful changes that streamlined a lot of its old quirks. The results screen after a mission is now more comprehendible with small icons and lists that all fit in one screen, detailing all the things you are rewarded and why. It looks something right out of Monster Hunter: World now.
Marvelous New Weapons
As for weapons, there are two new for melee and one for ranged. The Heavy Moon is small scythe that has its blades curves 180 degrees back to its hilt making it look like an oversized half-circle dough cutter. It’s easy to use, it feels oh-so satisfying doing combos and it can also change into a giant axe. In that form, you do spine-breaking back swings no other pro golfers could imagine pulling off.
The other, Biting Edge, are essentially dual knives that can combine into a polearm. As for the new ranged weapon, the Raygun fires concentrated laser beams.
All of the past weapon archetypes are returning as well. Each bread-and-butter combo gets a bit more animated, thus longer animations so combat is not as mashy as it was in God Eater 2. Dealing damage still feel satisfying and if you’re familiar with the move sets, you’ll still be right at home.
Stronger God Eaters Versus Stronger Aragamis
A lot of the gameplay mechanics get a slight tweak and rename. The Blood Arts system has been changed to Burst Arts. Blood Arts allow you to change one attack of all your move set to augment into something cooler and more powerful. With Burst Arts, the choices have been reduced to three different attacks but you get to augment each of them.
Accel Trigger lets you pick a passive buff that will trigger once you do certain actions. Like, get more attack power by landing full combos five times during combat. Enhance is a totally new system where the more you stick around with a teammate doing attacks together, you can trigger passives that affect each other.
All these mechanics sound cool, but the new Aragamis also fight a little different too. Some of these can devour and go into Burst, something the party of God Eaters usually do. When an Aragami goes Burst, their attack changes, for the worse, and they look more menacing than ever. Do not get yourself devoured, these bad boys are no joke.
The effect of these new devastating Aragamis can be felt in the new 8-player multiplayer Assault Missions.
The one mission you have in the demo has you and seven other players try to take down an Aragami that can devour and Burst in less than five minutes, which is a really big ask. Matchmaking is quick and if there are not enough players, empty slots get filled by the AI. The connection seems okay and can keep up with all the relentless action happening on screen.
My time playing the demo, we never did enough to take it down. Most of the time we fumbled as the Aragami goes into Burst too many times. But still, you will get some reward for attempting these missions regardless. Think of the Assault Missions as raids in similar games, you (and the rest of the party) need to know what you’re doing to achieve the task at hand.
Hopefully, there is a feature to party up with friends for this, just like the other missions.
God Eater 3 embellishes the series staple action RPG formula in the right way and streamline others, fit for its first console/PC first entry. It’s not a major leap compared to Monster Hunter had with Monster Hunter: World, but it’s still a meaningful step forward. The change in developer should not be a worry, it definitely feels like another God Eater game, now looking better than ever.
God Eater 3 releases for the rest of the world on February 8th for PS4 and PC (Steam).