It’s not everyday that you get the chance to face off against enemies that are much larger than you are while working along side your friends to take down the fierce beast. That is, unless you are a God Eater of course. Constantly being thrown into battles that appear to be impossible often are handled with ease thanks to your super human strength and speed when it comes to using larger-than-life weapons.
Bandai Namco’s latest addition to the series with God Eater 3 brings a new look into the story as you are literally forced to fight for survival. However, it is not just your survival that is on the line, but that of everyone in the Port from which you live.
Taking control of a player customized character that starts the game off by going through the process that turns them into a God Eater, you find yourself prisoner of the Port. There are multiple Ports that all work together, or at least collaborate, and their purpose is to ensure the continuation of humanity among the existence of the terrifying and deadly Aragami.
With majority of humanity either dead or missing along with most of world destroyed, the only thing left to do is make life as good as you can make it while fighting alongside your friends and companions. Working together to rack up the kill count outside of the Port and mending your minds to outsmart the evil humans that remain in the various Ports.
The game starts off rather slow with way more time spent on cutscenes and talking to others than there is actual combat. This is the time that you get to know a little bit about what is going on, how to use the terminals and mission select screen, and get a general feel for the controls. It lasts longer than I think is really needed, but in full length of the game it really isn’t too long.
The missions are sectioned off in Ranks, which are much like chapters of the game, and will range from simple missions to full on fight-for-your-life missions. They give a briefing every time and show what enemies you can expect, so there really aren’t surprises to worry about, just enemies. These missions can either be done solo or with a party, although some have mandatory party members. If you choose to go solo, you better be either skilled enough to handle a lot or completing one of the simpler missions because your team mates, AI or human, provide a lot of help.
As far as multiplayer goes, they did an excellent job setting this up. You and a friend, or even a random player, can join together to work on the story progress. Nobody can do a mission that everybody isn’t up to, so making progress will be based on who is the furthest behind in the story. I would suggest making a separate save file if you want to progress with a friend who doesn’t get to play as much as you do, since they provide three save slots anyways. Your party size can be up to four players, but even if there are only two of you the leader of the party will be able to choose AI companions to tag along on the mission with you both so you can have a full party anytime.
Now, the part of the game I was most looking forward to trying out was the assault missions where there will be 8-players working together to take down an incredibly difficult Aragami boss. The first assault mission doesn’t show up until later in the Rank 3 section of the game however, so you will have to make some progress in the story line before this option will become available. There was another down side to it once I unlocked it though, which was the fact that you can’t go in with a pre-made party. You have to load in from the single player version of the game and then you are loaded into a lobby that just pulls together 8 players at random to form the assault group. This means that you can not set it up to do an assault mission with your friends and only randoms, which is not what I expected given the rest of the multiplayer set up was rather well made.
As far as the single player part of the game goes, they give you a ton of options for a variety of things. Each of your AI partners earn their own level up points that can be used to give them boosting stats, which you will get to pick from and set up each partner to have the assets you want them to have to help you in your missions. Along with that you are able to craft items, weapon, and armor from the parts and blueprints you find when completing missions. This will allow you to increase the amount of health potions or the damage count of your weapon and much more. Besides crafting, you can simply upgrade your gear to make the items you are using even better than before in strength as well as a various asset depending on what boost you decide to attach to it.
When it comes to combat itself, they went with a free roam option. This means that you can move in any direction at any time in the map, so aiming will also be manual. You can lock on to an enemy which helps your attacks aim towards them, but doesn’t guarantee a hit. For example, if you switch your blade to the gun version of your weapon, being locked onto the enemy doesn’t make your bullets face them and you will still have to aim. This set up means that players will have to heavily rely on their actual skill rather than button mashing, which is a plus if you ask me.
Every weapon has a different fighting style, so be sure to give each one a test run before deciding which one you will stick with.
Graphics and Sounds
Both graphically and audibly the game is a lot like an anime. The shouts during attacks and sound effects made from all the mechanical gear the party has sound exactly how you would expect them to if this were a show you were watching. The way the team works together, thanking each other when one heals the other and stating a change in strategy when switching up their attack, was beyond what I expected to hear as well.
With so many weapons to choose from, the various assault mission options that are never easy, and the constant drive to increase your own skill, there is plenty of reason to return to God Eater 3. Sure, the story mode won’t change much despite there being a lot of options to choose from, but there is always going to be Aragami to go out and fight or strategies to practice.
What Could Be Better
There should definitely be the option to play an assault mission with a friend and not be forced to play with a random group of people. I don’t understand why they wouldn’t have it set up where a full party of four players could initiate the assault mission and then other players could join them now that four new party slots have opened up. Hopefully this will be fixed in a future update.
While I enjoy the story mode, any dialogue that isn’t worth being made into a cutscene shouldn’t prevent the players progress. The fact that you absolutely have to go around in between missions to talk to the various AI’s in the area before selecting the next mission seems ridiculous. Many times these conversations that were mandatory to go through didn’t even really serve a proper purpose. Simply put, if it isn’t worth being made into a cutscene with voice overs then it isn’t worth stopping the story’s progress.
God Eater 3 was exactly how I expected it to be: entertaining, challenging, and with a thriving story. You never knew what was going to happen next and the enemies you faced ranged from easy to hard, but if you try and go solo, just about every mission becomes hard. I had a lot of fun with this game and plan to keep pushing myself further to be able to handle more missions solo despite how impressive their AI system is when it comes to both party members and the Aragami.