God Eater 3 Review
Anime-style games tend to have a form vs function problem. Everything is crazy beautiful and oozing cool, but it sucks a little bit? God Eater 3 is a prime example of a game that looks awesome but feels rather uninspired, though it’s not without merit. As a massive anime fan, seeing games like this makes me a little sad. Both because they could be better and because I’m still going to play it to death. Alas, we all have our faults.
If you don’t know the story of God Eater 3 you’re lying, because of course you do. Everyone knows this story. A tiny crew of plucky underdogs are swept along a whirlwind tour of moral quandaries, slowly growing their roster of allies until they have an army of beautiful teenagers ready to bring the empire to its knees. One or more of your crew will discover incredible latent abilities, while the adults will consistently underestimate the lot of you, at their peril. Sprinkle in some power of friendship, bake for 40 minutes and serve. No, the real meat of these games are baked into the mechanics. While you might not be touched by their tale, you will certainly be sucked in by the gameplay.
A Bevy of Buster Swords and Blood Spatter
For the most part this holds true with God Eater 3. Actual combat is a gorgeous mess of juggling, charging and devouring. Every moment can be spent zipping around the map, crushing massive beasts under your glistening leather boots. Once I discovered my favorite weapon, every enemy was a snarling, drooling treasure chest waiting to be poured onto the blistering sands. The lovely part is that there are so many weapons to choose from, each one useful in its own way. I found the scythe and never let go. There’s just something sublime about carving a perfect circle of slaughter every time you hit square. For me, things only faded once the mission was over.
The problem is that the missions are crazy short. For every five minutes of gleeful fun, you get four minutes of administrative crap tacked to either end. Between each segment of monster murder is a series of loading screens, inventory shuffling and cutscenes. While I didn’t mind the story for the most part, my feelings cooled for every time it interrupted the gameplay. I can’t dial in to your amorphous definition of human when it keeps assaulting my senses like a max volume commercial break. To be fair, this overall structure is incredibly common in games. Missions are broken up by story and housekeeping, that’s just normal. But when the combat and non-combat sections are the same length, one after the other, it messes with your rhythm somehow.
Though if you want me keyed in between battles, customization is always a safe bet. Between the story segments, the loading, and the wandering around your ship, you can mess with your character. I have a terrible weakness for outfits and weapon loadouts, to the point where I kept playing just to see what other outfits I could unlock. There’s a ruthless carrot/stick dichotomy at work here. Every new unlock requires another mission or two. This was enough to keep me going for quite a while, though your mileage may vary. I have an unhealthy fascination with crafting the perfect avatar, and I recognize this. Whether or not you share my affliction will greatly impact your enjoyment of this game.
All About Those Crafting Mats
I mentioned how pretty this game is, right? A lot of that is thanks to the character models. My avatar was a heady blend of hardass and hella lovely. In fact, more or less every character looks ripped right out of a Visual Kei photo shoot (google that term if you’re looking for a new rabbit hole to explore). There are some exceptions. Hilda, one of the commanders, looks like a sex robot that was forced to find a day job. The wooden expression, the lace half-shirt, the massive boobs, the tiny waist. All of this tells me ‘I WAS BUILT FOR LOVE.’ It’s downright unsettling. She’s a rare counterpoint, however. If you’re all about that art, God Eater 3 is a bountiful harvest of beauty.
This game is upfront about what’s in store, to the point that you can’t mistake this for anything but a gorgeous, grindy mess. Honestly, I’m okay with that! I’m happy to spend hours on end chewing up bizarre baddies for loot. The multiplayer is more of the same, though it feels like the drop rates are more rewarding when you team up with a few other humans. Again, this is fine if that’s what you signed up for. The story isn’t engaging, the overall gameplay loop is weirdly off-balance, and the combat won’t surprise you. But if you want to sink into that loot cycle, be it for better scythes or snappier clothes, you’ll make yourself at home in no time. God Eater 3 is a delightful smashup of monsters, swords and skintight leather. Just don’t be surprised when you discover that’s all there is.
***A PS4 code was provided by the publisher***
- Flashy visuals
- Loads of customization
- Combat is good fun
- Gameplay loop gets old fast
- Story very predictable
- Non-combat sections feel dull