Sinking my teeth into a JRPG with deep mechanics and addictive combat is often all I ever want in life. Completing mission upon mission, to craft new items, upgrade my equipment is as satisfying as it is entertaining. Fortunately, God Eater 2: Rage Burst does enough just right to scratch that itch, albeit not always hitting the heights of some of the games close competition.
God Eater puts you in control of a massive weapon-wielding badass tasked to take down a litany of behemoth creatures that are terrorizing the world. Set in post-apocalyptic Japan, the world has been mostly destroyed by the mysterious monsters known as Aragami. Your character works for the organization known as Fenrir, who was created to try and rid the world of Aragami using weapons known as God Arcs. The story weaved throughout God Eater’s campaign can be quite intriguing at times although it takes way too long to get moving. The first section of the game lacks the depth of the latter half, which sadly lets you lose focus on some of the blander NPCs and made me care less for them in the long run. Thankfully, though, the story isn’t the aspect of the game that will have you sticking around.
Taking cues from other action RPG’s such as Monster Hunter and Freedom Wars, you and up to three other teammates are able to accept missions where you will need to go out and take down a certain number or type of Aragami. Most of the missions allow you to choose who you take along and this can be incredibly important especially later on in the game when missions become increasingly more difficult. Each mission drops you into to one of a handful of bland environments where you will need to search for and destroy every Aragami in the vicinity. There are a huge number of Aragami that you will be going up against, ranging from ground, air and sea creatures. Despite some of the unique boss-type Aragami being unique and great to look at, sadly, there will be many other times where you will be facing off against the same enemy on repeat. Rage Burst is riddled with palette-swapped enemies that fight a hell of a lot like their similar-looking cousins. Each mission differs in difficulty and it is up to you whether you want to only complete the story missions or take on the litany of the other optional missions on offer in order to score better loot and upgrade your skills. The missions towards the front-end of the game had me taking down these beasts with no problem, although in the latter half, you will need to use all of your skills, tenacity and teamwork in order to pick apart the tougher enemies.
Each God Eater is in control of a God Arc, a massive weapon that can change between a melee weapon, which can be anything from a sword, hammer, spear or a scythe and a gun, which can also differ from a shotgun, sniper or machine gun. Changing freely between these two in order to pick off enemies at a distance or tear apart the ones up close. Your melee weapon also has the ability to devour your enemies, this ability not only picks up materials that can be used for crafting but it also grants you a limited use ability, similar to one of those of the Aragami’s.
Devouring your enemy becomes more and more important the later you get through the game, allowing you to collect crucial materials that are essential in crafting new weapons as well as upgrading the weapons you already have. Each weapon has up to four slots that new skills can be applied to. These buffs can be anything from raising your HP to boosting the amount of credits you get at the end of a battle. Applying these buffs can really determine what sort of the playstyle you want to go with.
This time around Rage Burst has introduced some new mechanics and once the game finally starts to hit its stride, these mechanics become integral when determining if you can overcome the giant beasts you are about to take on. In the beginning Rage Burst doesn’t teach you these systems very effectively, a convoluted tutorial system, that forced me to dig through notes just to find out how to use some of the more satisfying and deeper mechanics frustrates at first. Although overcoming this oversight and witnessing when mechanics begin to click into place is quite satisfying.
New mechanics introduced in Rage Burst come in the form of Blood Arts, which are attack add-ons, that enhance normal attacks, making them even more powerful. Character episodes are also introduced, allowing you to perform special missions for each of your NPC teammates, sadly due to the slow start to the campaign I wasn’t as invested in some of these characters as much as the game wanted me to be, although by completing these side quests, each of those characters will gain gameplay bonuses, making them well worth your time. Finally, Link Support Devices are also introduced which add additional buffs to your characters after completing the previously mentioned character episodes.
Despite the convoluted tutorial system and the slow start to the story, God Eater 2: Rage Burst delivers deep and addictive gameplay. Fighting in similar looking bland environments and against many of the same palette-swapped enemies over and over again can begin to feel repetitive although with the constant increase in difficulty and desire to try out new weapons, upgrades and abilities you will be wanting to step back into the same arena as soon as you can. The new mechanics introduced in Rage Burst allow combat to become deeper and more tactical as well as adding additional missions for those invested in the story. Despite not being able to reach the level of depth and polish of the Monster Hunter series. Rage Burst is a deep and satisfying foray into the monster battle RPG genre.
This review is based on a review copy of the PC version of God Eater 2: Rage Burst developed by Shift and published Bandai Namco Entertainment.
- Deep mechanics
- Addictive gameplay
- Slow start to the story
- Convoluted tutorial