Monster Hunter is one of the behemoths of gaming in Japan, it still sells like crazy every time and has made its own genre (Yes, I know about Phantasy Star Online). Many have tried to hunt down the same success but only one franchise ever came close. That franchise is God Eater, a hunting game set in a post apocalyptic world where creatures called "Aragami" have knocked off humanity from the top of the food chain. The "-gami" from Aragami translates to god, and the eating part comes from your weapon (known as the God Arc) that can transform to a giant set of jaws that bite into these powerful god-like beings.
No, you're not having deja vu, I just reviewed the enhanced remaster God Eater Resurrection very recently and I had a good time with it. Now I finally have a new God Eater game that I have never played before and I get to play as one of the titular God Eaters to fight and bite some Aragami again. So let's visit that post-apocalyptic world again where we use big weapons to cut down even bigger monsters.
GOD EATER 2: Rage Burst (PlayStation 4 [Reviewed], PlayStation Vita, PC) Developer: Shift Publisher: Banday Namco Entertainment Released: August 30, 2016 (NA/EU), February 19, 2015 MSRP: $59.99 (PS4), $49.99 (PC), $39.99 (Vita)
God Eater 2: Rage Burst is the expanded version of the sequel to God Eater, much like how the original God Eater on PSP made it outside Japan. This is a new expanded version of the God Eater 2, a sequel that the west never got that will please those who've waited years since the first God Eater in 2010, especially for those who enjoyed all the new stuff in the recent remake, God Eater Resurrection.
The God Eater games are the only games that can even come close to Monster Hunter, while it is of that Hunting genre, it is much more accessible than the Monster Hunter. It's much more fast-paced all around and lacks the animation nuances that are in most of the Monster Hunter games. The God Eater games do a good job in teaching the basics and ease players into the flow of a Hunting game, without having to spend hours learning everything as it integrates it all of into the game with a story to spice up the gameplay.
A lot of the new features we saw in the enhanced remake God Eater Resurrection were from God Eater 2: Rage Burst, but that was just a small taste of all the new features that improved the formula. One thing that returning gamers might notice is there is a bit of reused content from the previous game, God Eater Resurrection.
While reusing levels and assets are quite common in games in the Hunting genre, there are a bit of changes to the content that give them a different feel, though it may only be noticed by those paying close attention. This is also due to the fact that Resurrection came out after Rage Burst, so being made around the same time can result in recycling but the two games are different enough from each other in terms of mechanics and in the new content.
One of the new additions to the God Eater formula are the Blood Arts, which add some oomph to each type of attack and varies by weapon, such as powering up your attacks and you can choose whichever suits the situation and/or your style. Another welcome addition is being able to add skills to weapons and shield that give bonus stats to the player which is available pretty early in the game. These are only a few of the new additions that add so much more ways to plays and more customization for weapons over the previous game. While there are a lot of ways to customize, you only have to fiddle with your gear for only a little bit and it is mostly optional.
As I've mentioned in my review for God Eater Resurrection, those wanting to dive into the franchise and play the best version should just play God Eater 2: Rage Burst. This sequel is also much more friendlier to those new to the genre and is solo friendly for those not wanting to touch the online multiplayer mode. One way that it makes it easier to get into and/or play solo is to take advantage of all the new customization features to make your character stronger so you can hold your own enough to learn the basics.
Though there are all these options that make the introduction to this game and genre much easier, they aren't communicated to the player in the clearest fashion. It requires a bit of digging into all the menus to actually get those 'help' explanations. It can get confusing for those unfamiliar, but with some patience, one can learn enough of the mechanics to blaze through the game.
Returning players might breeze through much of the story mode and veterans might find it a bit easy, but there are a set of harder missions that are available to play early in the game for those looking for a challenge and want to try out all the new game elements. The game does ramp up later and gives a proper challenge with new enemies and harder scenarios.
Rage Burst places the player as the newest recruit in the Blood Special Forces unit, a special group of God Eaters who are an elite unit that are the only ones who can fight the new species of Aragami. We get introduced to a new cast of characters and we also get to see characters and places from the previous game. You can also get to know these new characters in 'Character Episodes', which are side stories that let you get to know more of these new characters and along with some extra missions.
There's a story told through many cutscenes, while the story isn't dense, it sure takes its sweet time to unfold and can be a plus for those wanting something to break up the monotony of the hunting game grind. The rate of which of the story unfolds can be a drawback for those who don't want to invest dozens of hours into the game. The parts of the story feel like episodes in an anime series, that are broken up into pieces but kind of build on each other. But the game is playable in short sessions where most missions can knocked out in under 5 to 10 minutes, so those with an hour to spare can get a good chunk of some hack-and-slash action.
Those purchasing Rage Burst on Steam and PS4 near launch will also get God Eater Resurrection (along with some costumes from Sword Art Online, Tokyo Ghoul, and Tales of Zestiria), making it a good value, though playing Resurrection is not needed to enjoy Rage Burst but it helps in world building. These costumes only provide cosmetic changes, and hopefully we get more in the future (PLEASE BRING OVER THE GINTAMA COSTUMES).
God Eater 2: Rage Burst is the best way to get into the hunting genre right now for many reasons; it's easy enough to pick up, it has a lot to offer, and it has online multiplayer for those wanting to play with people. This game is good for those wanting to dip their toe into hunting games for the first time. Those returning to God Eater will find enjoyment in the new variety of features in this new installment, but some veterans may feel that it's not enough new stuff especially after recently playing the enhanced remake of the first game. But there's still enough to get out of this new game, Rage Burst shines more with what's under the surface, those willing to dig in deeper will find a lot of good things and a good time.
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