God Eater 3 is the first game in the franchise to take a step away from the Playstation handhelds in order to strengthen what is already a fun and stellar game. Its fast-paced action combat just got faster while its massive enemies became even more deadly. Taking in the features and mechanics from previous games while losing some in the process, it gives the titular game a broader approach to its gameplay but still friendly for newcomers wishing to get into the world of god-slaying. Now after a little time, God Eater 3 comes to the Nintendo Switch and I must admit it runs well, plays well, and is just as much fun as it is on all other platforms.
Structurally, it’s a Monster Hunter game seen from a new perspective. And that’s the flashy anime perspective just to be clear. You embark on missions to take down oversized and obviously dangerous beasts with your own ridiculously massive weapons. Upgrade or craft new gear from the dead corpses that lie in your wake and master your weapon of choice with the *ehmm* many choices of Burst Arts and its special effects. This ultimately increases your power all throughout your adventure. It’s a process that becomes repetitive for just about any game with a similar taste in fashion.
The world of God Eater has never been something you’d want to be in. With large monsters roaming about, who would right? But incidentally, it always starts off with you taking part in an aptitude test to know if you’re compatible with a God Arc. And in case you’re not, there are massive guns pointing at you before you go berserk. So that’s that.
It’s a game that started off strong with the introduction of the world. The main protagonist is an Adaptive God Eater owned by Port Pennywort with Aragami extermination as its main line of work. Treated as an expendable hound to die for their master’s survival as well as globally being discriminated and exploited. It’s a world ripped apart between the AGEs and the world’s leaders. However, when an Ash Storm was fast approaching, the AGEs were abandoned but rescued by Chrysanthemum’s leader, Hilda Henriquez, who’s delivering a top-secret cargo for Gleipnir. Thus starts the story of how our brave protagonist takes back their freedom and build up their family. Uhhh… what?!
It’s the start of a long and bumpy ride with its main purpose of taking back their own freedom while starting a family of their own. With Hugo Pennywort at its helm, they’ll be taking on even more dangerous beasts and deadly missions before stopping by to save the world from its true enemy. The story as a whole is best to describe as predictable but in its best interest with a few hiccups in between for the slow progression and lack of some voiced story dialogues. However, just like the protagonist of protagonists, you’re insanely powerful and has the blessing of the gods themselves with an absurd level of resonance which makes you invaluable to Hilda and her crew’s survival. It’s an overrated setting but despite all that, resonance plays an important role in keeping the game’s mechanics as a whole. Since resonance acts as the connection of you and your squad, everything else like the Engage System to share the abilities of your comrades makes sense in an awkward way. They’ll beat the Aragami threat with the power of friendship! Or so they thought.
Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the world as we know it has changed forever, Fenrir Headquarters has been lost to the Aragami threat and its new godly monsters. But while the general premise is quite different, the way the game is played is generally the same but faster and flashier! While the Blood Arts has been lost, what we get is a more advanced and outrageously cool-looking Burst Arts. These can be attached to your loadout with ease ranging from the ground, jump or step-changing abilities. Improving upon the regular attack move or altering how it works when burst. That also gets better with higher levels upon use and it is BA effect attachments that add even more flair.
Dive attack, generally a way to close the gap between friends or foes but also a way to get the fuck out of them when the need arises. And that need includes the newly discovered Adaptive Aragami’s devour attacks that work similarly to how God Eaters devour beasts. They rob you of your power which enables them to change their attack patterns and move sets for a certain period of time. Providing more challenging fights while corrupting you in the process. But as devastating as it is, these attacks can be very predictable and can be blocked when timed perfectly.
Blast Guns are out, Ray Guns are in. However, overpowered gun damage builds aren’t as OP as they were in GE2RB. The revamped system of custom bullet creations made sure that it shouldn’t be an exploitable system where you can fire hundreds of bombs at point-blank and live to see the day. Customized bullets are now part of a different slot table and instead of using up oracle points they’ll instead have costs to decide how many bullets of that type can be taken on a hunt. Meanwhile, regular bullets would still consume your oracle points.
Two new melee weapon types have also been added totalling to eight with four gun attachments and three types of shields. Biting Edge being the dual-wielding black swordsman that you are offers fast chaining combos that could also be combined to a glaive form while Heavy Moon is a half-moon blade that is able to transform itself as a whirling chainsaw death axe to unleash a world of hurt. Immediately, I fell in love with the Heavy Moon in all its glory and gore!
Progressing towards the end of the road of the somewhat 24-hour journey was a breeze, to say the least. Nothing ever felt challenging enough to make you stop and grind for better equipment and missions take far faster to what a session would usually take when progressing on Monster Hunter World. It makes playing in short bursts desirable but much more if it ever became a handheld title. But with that said, I fired up the good old PS Vita for remote play, and after minor tweaks towards the options, it obviously makes you think that it would’ve been a more enjoyable game as a handheld title. Despite the number change towards its title, it’s generally the same game after all with updated graphics and more or fewer mechanics to juggle with. So I wouldn’t be surprised seeing this as a Nintendo Switch title in the future. Something that I would really hope to see happens.
The world and its environment are lacklustre to the things you can do within it. Being a game in the same genre as Monster Hunter, it’s almost unavoidable to compare the two. But where it really got killed is with areas that all felt too repetitive and their small spaces that even a Quadriga on a diet could never be a fun encounter. Some areas could even pass as a racing game circuit for its one-way circular design and I’m not kidding. Although with the fighting already at a frantic pace, the Aragami is where you really need to be looking at. And what we have is a fantastic line up of godly creatures. That offers diversity at its finest without constraints of life.
While the game does take a visual downgrade from the PC and PS4 version of the game you do get in return consistent performance and a steady framerate, along with local co-op. The game also comes with all the patches and content already released, which makes this a rather good game for switch owners not having to deal with the issues the game had on launch. Playing docked or mobile is a treat, with intuitive well thought out control schemes. Overall the Nintendo Switch version of the game is amazing, I can not put the game down even though I have Fire Emblem Three Houses to play, this game keeps dragging me back.
THE GODLY VERDICT
Ultimately, the game goes well beyond what I initially expected during the demo. Taking in a more melee approach puts in the action right in your face. Its frantic combat offers an overall fun experience that is obviously the main star of the game with its predictable story offering a decent but not as engaging journey when it started breaking what it started. The Assault Missions that offers a five-minute raid of eight players gives an excellent way into introducing joint caravan operations which is something really enjoyable to look at for its tons of flashy effects coming left and right. However, the menu itself lacks the quality of life improvements that requires a much-needed upgrade to the outdated system it had. It might not have an ambitious world design but it really just makes up for its fast-paced action.