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July 2019

God Eater 3

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4
Genre: Action/Adventure
Publisher: Bandai Namco Games
Release Date: Feb. 8, 2019


PS4/PC Preview - 'God Eater 3'

by Adam Pavlacka on Jan. 11, 2019 @ 1:00 a.m. PST

God Eater 3 is the latest iteration of the monster-slaying Action RPG series, where you team up with other God Eaters equipped with the latest God Arc weapons to take down monstrous new Aragami tearing apart locations around the globe.

Pre-order God Eater 3

Bandai Namco's answer to Capcom's Monster Hunter series has evolved quite a bit over the past eight years, and the latest iteration looks like it has once again improved on the formula. Released in Japan in December and set for release in North America next month, God Eater 3 introduces new features and new monsters in addition to providing a robust character creator.

Playing through a demo build, I didn't get a chance to dig deep into the story, but the basics should sound familiar to anyone who's ever read or watched a postapocalyptic sci-fi story. Monsters called Aragami have killed off much of the human race. The only hope of survival rests with a handful of specially trained fighters, the God Eaters. God Eaters are the only ones who can wield a God Arc, which is a special, transforming weapon that can injure and kill Aragami.

Missions are doled out via a hub, which is also where you can customize your character's loadout. This allows you to change how your God Arc performs (including choosing different types of blades, guns, and shield forms), so it best matches your play style. God Eater 3 requires strategy to take down stronger Aragami, but it is still an action game at heart. Selecting the correct weapons can mean the difference between a good run and a great one. The game has eight different types of melee weapons, four different types of guns, and three different shields for your God Eater to use.

Fighting Aragami consists of mixing up a series of standard attacks and looking for an opportunity to use a devour attack, which charges up your meter so you can unleash Burst Arts. These are special attacks that look different and cause more damage. To ensure the fighting stays balanced, you can only land a devour attack when the Aragami's guard is down. Simply spamming devour isn't an automatic win. You can customize the look of your Burst Arts by adding effects to the default art skill.

Customizing of any sort is done at the hub, but how do you get items to use for customization? By killing Aragami of course. God Eater 3 splits its missions into story missions and free missions, the latter of which don't advance the plot, but can be played at any time. Successful kills result in loot. You can use the loot to upgrade/customize, wash, rinse, repeat. It's a straightforward gameplay loop that offers plenty of promise.

In addition to single-player adventures, you can also head out with a group of friends. Fighting Aragami with a group is arguably tougher than doing it solo, as God Eater 3 scales up the difficulty based on the group size. If you get separated from your group or if you all fail to launch a coordinated attack, expect the Aragami to have the upper hand. Playing closely fills up a support gauge, which you can then use to activate a boost that is good for you and a single co-op partner.

Because the action can be fast and furious, the new dive action is worth calling out. Dive allows you to rush toward an Aragami, or to quickly catch up with your group. It allows you to close the distance very quickly, which can be extremely helpful in battle. It's also handy for those moments when health is low and you need to GTFO and find a place to down a health potion without worrying about being attacked.

As someone new to the God Eater series, I found God Eater 3 to be very friendly as a pick-up-and-play title. The controls were intuitive, and while there's a learning curve to the attacks, it all started to click after the first hour or so of play. At the same time, it's obvious that there is a level of depth here that's designed to keep players coming back for more.

It'll be interesting to see how the full game plays out, especially with the online community. If God Eater 3 can establish a healthy online player base, the game has the potential to stick around for a while.

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