It seems like it’s been ages since God Eater showed its face on our side of the ocean. Previously released as Gods Eater Burst on the PlayStation Portable, the series is billed as Bandai Namco’s attempt at cashing in on the Monster Hunter craze. The developers focused on delivering an interesting cast of characters built around a story of a world creeping towards the edge of annihilation.
God Eater’s core problem boiled down to the timing of its release; it came out too late in the west to make an impact. Sony’s PSP was already reaching the end of its profitability in the west. Sales had tanked, marketing was nonexistent, and people had already moved on.
It was a different story in Japan. The franchise continued to grow thanks to a loyal base who were (and still are) far more interested in games that complimented a growing mobile lifestyle. They were treated to a sequel, an expansion, and even an anime.
Up until a year ago, western fans were feeling neglected. While it was easy to understand the reasons behind refusing to release its future games, it didn’t relieve the pain knowing that we couldn’t experience the continuation of a promising series outside of importing them.
Finally, after years of sending petitions, begging, and pleading with the company, Bandai Namco announced we would not only be seeing God Eater 2: Rage Burst, but the enhanced remake in God Eater Resurrection at a budget price as well!
Built from the ground up using the God Eater 2 engine, Resurrection provides an additional story arc that follows Burst’s original plot, helping to bridge the gap towards the sequel. This provides a perfect opportunity for both those new to the series and faithful fans dying to find out what they can expect in GE2, which will find its way to our shores later this month.
Players take on the role of a newly-recruited God Eater who can wield the God Arc. These weapons can morph into the forms of giant weapons or guns, and are the only objects capable of harming the demon hordes of Aragami that threaten mankind’s existence.
The only way to learn more about their existence is by gathering body limbs and other materials for research (or crafting) purposes. Thus, the God Eaters are sent out on perilous missions all for the sake of learning more about this mysterious species gifted in evolving and procreating at a rapid rate.
While Monster Hunter likes to keep things simple by basking in its hulking design of wearing huge sets of armor, God Eater’s aesthetic appeals more to otaku fans, leaning heavy into an anime-inspired design with cool-looking characters and stylistic clothing covered in belts and zippers. This helps the game set itself apart from competitors like Monster Hunter or Toukiden.
God Eater doesn’t always hit the target. The story isn’t particularly interesting, borrowing a lot of elements from other sources and barely keeping up with contemporary JRPGs. Most of the cast are cardboard cutouts of what you would see in any shonen anime. Even the anime adaptation of God Eater struggled to rise above mediocrity, but when the action began, especially in the later episodes, it was breathtaking.
This carries over to the technical performance. Gods Eater Burst suffered from massive slowdown when too many enemies appeared on screen. Thanks to the more capable hardware, the game keeps things moving at a smooth framerate. Environmental objects and character models looked smooth on my large TV (I can’t speak for the Vita version). Party AI also managed to be a lot more cooperative than I remember.
I had no problems enjoying the game online. The only problem is there are so few servers right now – you’ll be lucky to find a single match going. We may have to wait until God Eater 2’s release for more activity.
Not everything survives the transition to the bigger screen though. The first God Eater was built upon the strengths of its original hardware, while taking plenty of shortcuts along the way.
Thus, the enemy count is high in Resurrection, but the variety and quantity of maps are miniscule in comparison. It was easy to set my expectations accordingly having reviewed the previous release, but seeing it here on the PlayStation 4 was jarring.
The good news is the giant demons do a good job in keeping you distracted. Environments that at times seemed barren felt downright claustrophobic as these beasts chased me into corners, and flying creatures never kept me safe from the skies.
New features include the ability to change your “Predator Style”, an expanded version of the Devour system. The game provides different ways for you to rip away pieces of the Aragami to gather more materials and one-time abilities. This includes an instantaneous Quick devour; a combo-finishing Step devour; and the mid-flight Air devour. There are multiple Predator Style techniques to unlock and perform in combat.
The number of weapons has doubled, providing many new ways to dispatch of the different Aragami that plague the world. Many new combo moves have been added to give each melee weapon type its own distinct capabilities, like the Buster Blade’s ability to chain together large sets of combos to erode an enemy’s health bar at a quicker pace. You can also edit the different ammunition for guns, changing the elemental properties and projectile delivery. But those features are there for the dedicated – players looking for a casual commitment will still find appeal.
While it is a bummer that Bandai Namco wasn’t able to lock in a Japanese audio track for either this release or God Eater 2, the English dub is more than serviceable. Most of the actors from the previous release make their return, save for characters like Sakaki and Johannes. The only ones I had a difficult time with were Kota and Gina, with the latter’s personality completely changed from the original.
Thanks to a new localization and additional event scenes, characters are a lot more talkative than they used to be. While this doesn’t always help (expect plenty of repeating dialogue), it helps to give the world more personality. While the voice direction is superior to the original release, it only felt odd when party members acted uncharacteristically enthusiastic while running around some dreadful places.
God Eater Resurrection provides a wealthy amount of content for fans to delve into. The weapon count has doubled, the . Whether this is your second go-around or your first time with the franchise, it’s hard not to ignore how impressive the game can be. I am far enough removed from my review of Gods Eater Burst that I found a lot to appreciate.
Those looking for a more story-driven experience over the Monster Hunter series and don’t mind the constant repetition the subgenre is known for will get their money’s worth here. Whether you decide to play it on the PlayStation 4 or the Vita, the game supports cross-play and cross-save functionality. With the out-of-pocket expense set very low, God Eater Resurrection is an easy recommendation.