God Eater 2: Rage Burst Review – Dated but deep

Written by Pete Gallagher.

The world is being ravaged by huge godlike beings known as Aragami. You are part of an elite group of God Eaters known as the Blood Unit. Use your unique abilities to wield God Arcs – the only weapons that can slay the destructive deities.

Being a newbie to the God Eater universe I was unsure what to expect. Although my initial feelings towards it were not the most positive, eventually, through persistence, I discovered an excellent monster hunting game that was well worth seeing past its initial flaws to experience.

There’s no doubt that if you are looking for slick visuals, God Eater 2 will let you down. Just try to forget this is running on the same console that Final Fantasy XV is. God Eater 2 looks like a bad port from the Vita version; at times it even looked as far back as PS2 era. The characters are irritably clichéd too; if you’re looking for something to break free of those old anime tropes then you’ll struggle to pick this one out from the crowd. The story didn’t grab me and the characters seemed awfully chipper considering the world was on the brink of destruction. You just don’t really feel the gravity of the situation. Flat voice acting doesn’t help either.

However, we play games for the gameplay, not the graphics. As I progressed, I’m pleased to report that I found the game to be engrossing and addictive, offering a good counterpoint to the Monster Hunter series, which has been absent from Sony platforms for too many years.

The gameplay essentially revolves around combat in a ‘go here and kill this’ kind of way. The core battle mechanics are rich and complex, rarely becoming repetitive. This is due in no small part to the fantastic loot system that’s easy to get into but offers lots of depth when you progress deeper. When you consider the lengthy time you’ll be spending with your average RPG, a decent combat/loot setup is arguably the most important element to get right.

I have to give God Eater 2 credit for dropping you into the gameplay very early on, it’s not one of these JRPGs were it takes 20 hours to learn all the techniques. So while the story won’t keep you hooked the combat just might.

Using the God Arc weapons is tremendous fun as they can shift from a blade to a gun with the press of a button. I found the burst mode – a system where you devour your prey for a temporary increase in stats, extremely satisfying to use. There are also midair combos that splice up your repertoire nicely.

Even though the game does ask you to return to certain areas, it never feels like going over the same ground and the game constantly develops and is more rewarding the further you play.

The lesson to be learnt here is: don’t judge this particular monster hunting RPG by its off-putting appearance. It’s a game that is well worth the effort, especially for fans of the genre and even for newbies like me.

8/10

Written by Pete Gallagher.

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