Video Game Review: God Eater 2: Rage Burst
This god was actually a little on the gamey side.
God Eater 2: Rage Burst is the latest installment in the God Eater series. It is a remake of the second game, which was originally released exclusively in Japan back in 2013 for both the PSP and Vita. So, can this updated version grab new audiences, both on dedicated platforms like the PC and PS4, as well as the west in general? Let’s find out.
Rage Burst is one of the many titles chasing after the Monster Hunter crowd, and it should be no surprise it controls fairly similarly. You have giant weapons to flail at giant enemies, and while you can get away with hacking and slashing on a lot of normal encounters, timing and precision play a factor in the more challenging fights.
There’s no lock on, and most actions reduce your resources so you’ll need to carefully manage your offense. The game does pack in a lot of things to do so expect many actions requiring button modifiers and a decent learning curve.
Despite the move to the big screen, God Eater 2’s handheld roots are evident. Areas are tiny and lacking in detail, and everything has a fairly simplistic art style. Character designs are the typical gaudy anime types found in these sorts of vaguely sci-fi games. The game runs well at least, including offering 60 FPS on the PC version.
The thwaks, thunks and slices of the various ridiculous weapons are fairly satisfying. There’s a surprising amount of voice acting, including many varieties of grunts and attack calls in close to a dozen different voices to pick for your main character. The story’s cheesiness is enhanced by the over-the-top voice cast, which won’t be winning any awards but fit well within the game’s bizarre world.
The world is in ruins thanks to a variety of creatures called Arigami. While they are somewhat demonic or mythic in appearance, each one is actually made up of thousands of single-cell organisms. Basically, they look cool, but given this is a sci-fi game they have some nonsense about why they’re not just monsters. In order to eradicate these creatures, the various scientists and mysterious powers that be recruit God Eaters, people with the ability to break down the bonds of the Arigami.
If that sounds convoluted, it is. There is a surprising amount of story in the God Eater series, though it can be a little hard to follow the minutiae of the overall plot. Where it does sometimes shine is in the characters, who are often your party members in battle. None really break out of their assigned archetypes, but they can be fun and relatable.
The basics of the game have you taking on a variety of short missions, one at a time in an area, usually to kill a handful of enemies or one big one. The portable origins of the series make it so these missions are often on the basic side, taking very little time and not offering much variety. This is especially true early on when just looking at an enemy is practically enough to slaughter them.
When God Eater 2 gets going and offers you a challenging fight, it shines. These are usually boss fights against a singular large foe, requiring timing and preparation to bring down. You’ll need to exploit weaknesses like elements, status effects and well placed hits on certain body parts. These missions are where the multiplayer shines as well.
Outside of monster killing, there are a lot of complex systems to learn. Many players will get by simply picking a single weapon type they like and sticking with it, as well as having a few healing items on hand. For more advanced or team-oriented players, there are all sorts of ways to specialize. You can bring in gear that helps heal your allies, or even craft your own specialized bullet types.
There is a significant grind at times when it comes to getting your favoured gear, though the game rarely approaches the challenge of titles like Monster Hunter enough that you’ll be stuck very long.
God Eater 2: Rage Burst takes a while to get going, but at least it offers a strange story to invest in and help the series stand out. Its origins as a portable game create some presentation issues, but it’s still worth a look, especially since consoles and PCs often miss out on the genre entirely.