Thursday 29 September 2016

God Eater 2: Rage Burst

God Eater has garnered a cult following over the past half a decade. Despite all of this, it never really had a Western release, until now. God Eater 2: Rage Burst is a remaster of the game that launched on PlayStation Vita. Even though the game is an absolute blast to play, so many aspects of its legacy remain making it a bit of a mixed bag.
Developed by Shift and out now on PlayStation 4, God Eater 2: Rage Burst could be taken as something similar to Monster Hunter. Honestly, that would be a bit of a misconception. While the structure follows the Monster Hunter template as in the fact that you head out to the same few maps over and over again to take out huge monsters, the whole feel of the gameplay is different. While Monster Hunter may fall on the strategic side, getting the right materials to be strong enough for the next hunt, God Eater 2: Rage Burst is all about the action and boy can it be fast at times. It almost descends into Hack 'n' Slash madness but always remains enjoyable.
Visually, maps look as bare as the Nintendo Wii U's lineup. The legacy of it being on portable consoles is apparent as massive areas of nothingness  await you as you make your way through the level and this can mean prolonged periods of time of running through barren landscapes. Textures are muddy and everything lacks detail. Unfortunately, this results in areas lacking any real personality. There are distinct locations on the map that act as landmarks but absolutely nothing about these areas are pleasing to look at.
Surprisingly though, the characters themselves feature much more detail. Each character stands out like a sore thumb in these levels where the background and the enemies look bland and lack any real detail. Enemies in particular feel like a much lower resolution texture that has been stretched across them.
Visuals aside, the game is excellent for quick pick up and play as each mission only takes a couple of minutes to complete. Controls are fast and satisfying as you move around the map and attacking enemies never really feel dull but there is no denying that it does get repetitive.
As with games of this ilk, so much of it is based on gathering resources and upgrading what you have and making all your abilities stronger. There is an excellent loop to the structure of the game that means that even though you are killing pretty much the same enemy for the hundredth time, you know you are progressing toward something great.
That grind though isn't for everyone. There isn't that much diversity to the missions or the maps. There is a deep enough story to be found but it doesn't tread new ground. You are a recruit in a team tasked to complete an objective that hasn't been done before. It's standard but it gets the job done.

God Eater 2: Rage Burst is a great alternative to the king that is Monster Hunter while also treading a path of its own. Visually, it's underwhelming but from a gameplay perspective, it's incredibly hard to put down, even if the structure is rather repetitive. It truly shines though in just how much customisation of your character there is. You can truly create a class that suits to your playstyle. Oh, and everything can be played online with friends! Score!
You don't really eat Gods but it's still pretty good. 3/5


Jason Redmond

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