Filled to burst with systems, boredom ensues instead of rage.
[dropcap size=small]W[/dropcap]hile God Eater 2: Rage Burst was critically acclaimed in Japan, I don’t find myself thinking the same. While there are exciting segments, they are few and far between.
The game starts off on a slightly positive note by allowing players to create their own anime character with a variety of options. You can even choose your character’s voice, even though they are a silent protagonist. Most of these options can be changed, and new varieties of clothing become available during your playthrough. One thing you’ll want to change immediately is the volume of the music. It’s absurd how loud the music is compared to the audio because even putting music on “Low” and audio on “Max,” there were still moments that the music triumphed over the audio.
After creating a character, you’re introduced to the game’s central focus and premise; you are a God Eater, or a super-soldier, who is a new member of the elite task force known as “Blood“. Your mission is to defeat Aragami, demon-like monsters that overrun the land. Other than that, players are rarely presented with any real story. The game then quickly turns away from plot and instead, hits you with an overwhelming amount of systems and information.
For starters, if you want to know the lore, the Database tells the player of every little detail in the game, including the vast amount of systems which are barely explained to the player. So if you like to read encyclopedias, the Database is for you. It doesn’t help that the information provided is worded in a way that doesn’t promote intrigue, but rather presented as flavor text. One of the confusing aspects presented to players is called Personal Abilities. Essentially, every other character besides the protagonist gets their own personal buffs. These buffs are not shared with the main character and the game doesn’t inform you of that. It’s a system that makes it feel like your teammates are leisurely improving while your character struggles to keep up.
For the first couple of hours, players must make their way through generic anime tropes and repetitive gameplay. On your elite task force, players have to deal with the most basic supporting characters one can think of. If you can think of an anime character trope, God Eater 2 probably has it.
When your team grows bigger, you can change who tags along, but that doesn’t change the formula all missions follow. Missions include running over to a monster and killing it…and that’s about it, with little to no diversity in between. Players will encounter the same monsters over and over again to the point where missions start blurring together. Some new monsters appear after putting in some time and it’s a breath of fresh air, but only for a moment.
To kill these monsters, God Eaters have a variety of melee weapons ranging from short blades to scythes and ranged weapons from shotguns to snipers. There are a lot of magnificent looking weapons players can craft and are pretty useful in the early game. Weapons have different stats and elemental damage, which you can add little buffs for HP and Defense as well. After a long while, you can upgrade your weapons to a point that make them better than the weapons you craft.
Speaking of upgrades and boosts, players will eventually unlock an ability called ‘Blood Arts’, which add to your melee attack either boost or gain an attack. This helps bring variety to battles that were already starting to drag. Most battles consist of just hitting the X button a few times, evading, then rinse and repeat. Ranged weapons have a “Bullet Editor” which is confusing to figure out how to use at first, and then once you do, it’s confusing why you would want to use it. Other than making bullets more powerful with more usage of your ammo gauge or vice versa, this addition of another elemental bullet seems pointless and too costly.
One of the more enjoyable elements of God Eater 2 is the “Character Episodes”. Essentially, you have little bits of character development that actually provide a story, if very little. You go on missions and unlock certain bullets, abilities, etc. The characters by themselves introduce something uplifting, hopeful, or even tragic that provides more depth. Players get to finally care for their teammates that they’ve gone on missions with, and this definitely helps develop the world more.
Perhaps the biggest strength of God Eater 2 is the online multiplayer mode, as it seems to be the intended game mode to play. What’s better than running around with a team you barely know? Being in a team of your friends where you can socialize and strategize. Online was where I found the majority of my enjoyment as working with teammates was fun and interesting, and it was neat to see what gear and equipment everyone was using or wearing. That said, it still feels like the game gives you a lesser experience when playing alone.
God Eater 2: Rage Burst is definitely an acquired taste that requires the player to be content with waiting for it to finally pop off. The story didn’t intrigue me for what was there (it took a while to developed, if at all), and with so many systems, it felt like I was doing homework just to have fun.
FINAL SCORE: 1.5/5