The gaming industry is always getting bigger around the world, and being from a small country like Malta, few better than myself can describe the rising phenomenon of games. In Japan, although it is well established as a Mecca for gaming due to the foundations of Sony and Nintendo, gaming is still growing and making progress. This comes to the surprise of many gaming fans who think that no one is more evolved than Japan in games. The main problem with the Japanese market is that games developed for the Eastern countries rarely, if ever, cater for English speaking players.
It is a blessing then that localisation companies or sub-divisions of companies have brought with them the games which we western citizens crave. Games such as JRPGs and the like have never before been as accessible as they are today, and Bandai Namco’s latest series, God Eater, will benefit quite a lot from its release in Europe and the US. It is true that God Eater Resurrection was released quite a while back as God Eater Burst, but the Playstation Portable’s offerings were not quite the games which we can have now. This is why, alongside their major release of Gods Eater 2: Rage Burst, Bandai Namco have decided to release also a sort of reboot of the first title, just to set the player in for quite a thrilling journey through the world of God Eater.
In Resurrection, you play as a newly created character, who in the story is a brand new recruit in the Fenrir Academy. This academy is one of the last places not being taken over by the Aragami, these demon-like creatures who are running the world nowadays. It is up to the Academy in Fenrir and the warriors who live inside, called God Eaters, to prepare the last stand for humanity to live through these tough times. The title God Eater is referring directly to the warriors, who have giant, larger than life (and oftentimes the owner too) swords which can devour these demons. When devouring these demons, these swords become more powerful, but the increase in power is only for a limited amount of time.
In the Academy, you will be tasked on various missions, getting to fight in different landscapes and besides a handful of characters, all with their own personality. These characters are introduced in the game via cutscenes, and each one gives off his or her own particular vibe. For example Lindow, the party leader, sounds very calm and collected in his lines, suggesting that him being the leader was a wise decision from the ones in charge. Then you find someone like Soma, who is an introverted badass, who prefers hanging out by himself. Some of these characteristics are delved into briefly in the game itself, but for the remaining traits the game decides to leave it up to the player to sort out the whys and the ifs.
As what regards gameplay, which is the main part of Resurrection, one must admit that the simplistic formula presented by the game is a plain yet effective one. This is because even though advancing through the game is very easy to figure out, it does not bring about hours of strolling around trying to locate some hidden objectives or missions. The game basically offers players missions which can be taken up from the main HQ by talking to Hibari, who is a sort of receptionist in the Entrance of the Academy. Players can here choose to embark on three types of missions: Standard Missions, which are the main plot missions, Urgent missions, which as the name implies are more immediate than others, and Extra Missions, which are challenge like objectives designed more to grant further items to players instead of story progression.
Missions then are carried out in the simplest of ways really; you just get a target to kill and once that target or targets are dead, you are taken back to mission HQ where you may customize your loadout or your weaponry or choose another mission to dive back into the action as soon as possible. This is the main process in God Eater Resurrection, a process which players will go over quite a lot of times. Thankfully, gameplay is very rewarding and fun. There are a huge number of weapons which players can craft in the Terminal in the Entrance, so players can choose a weapon which matches their play style effectively and go into the fray with it. The Terminal is also the main Customization hub of the game, allowing players to create their own weapons from the materials they retrieve while out on the battlefield. Items can be obtained either by picking up shiny items on the battlefield or also through devouring enemies, which will be explained in a bit. The Terminal can also be used to teach your party abilities, using the AP gained by playing missions. These abilities can range from supportive, like increasing maximum HP of the character, to offensive, like entering Burst Mode when some event occurs on the battlefield.
The missions in God Eater Resurrection are the main element of gameplay, since it contains the battles which you will be conducting in the game. Each mission will present you your targets, which you must kill in order to complete the mission. Mission completion is divided in ranks, and the better your performance throughout the mission the higher your rank, obviously. Time, damage received and damage given are the main criteria for assessment, so finishing an enemy quickly and efficiently are the keys to a very high rating. While dealing with a shapeshifting weapon may seem a bit complicated, the game makes it ever so easy to learn how to use these, since their use is interchangeable quite a lot during a battle. This is because the gun mode uses a bar which builds up when you strike enemies with the sword, meaning that after some effective slashing with the sword, a good barrage of shots is ideal to refresh the bar and keep the damage output to a maximum. When using sword mode, you can also hold the strong attack button for a couple of seconds to unleash the demon inside the sword, which takes a gnarly bite out of the enemy and grants you a boost in your damage for a short while. This is the devour attack, and it can also be triggered briefly or also while airborne, meaning the flexibility of the attack is quite large. This devour can also net you abilities which you can use with the gun mode of the weapon as well as items which you can craft when back at the terminal. This makes players think twice before simply going all out and defeating enemies, making them at least try to devour the enemy once to obtain any relevant items.
As far as the combat itself, the attacks are fairly easy and after two or three missions, players will be already comfortable with the control scheme. The only nuisance about the game is its lock on mode. By all means, it is not terrible, but having to hold L1 (on PS4) to lock on and then lose the lock when switching from sword to gun is a bit tedious. The lock also loses itself at random times too, which makes it a little bit frustrating as well. All in all though, it will not be as bad as losing your opponent, so a little bit of camera work with the right analog stick is all that is needed to get back in check.
As mentioned before, each character has a unique personality of his own, giving the game a better feel of a group of warriors rather than a couple of bland individuals. Voice acting is quite good as well, and dialogue lines make sense in the context of the game. Sure, it is not the most original story around, but it definitely serves its task to involve players. Graphically, the game resembles an anime, so an otaku like me was definitely in his element here. Even players who do not watch or like anime may like this game since its graphics are pleasant to the eye regardless. The soundtrack is also a positive for the game, since the tracks on the background help the flow of action happening in the middle of the screen.
Wrapping things up, I have to say that the game is a very strong addition to the RPG genre. One must also remember that God Eater Resurrection is ultimately a prologue to the proper release from Bandai Namco, meaning God Eater 2: Rage Burst. Both games were bundled together as to give a brief overview of the game world, and by the looks of it, this overview was quite a welcome one.