The God Eater series hasn’t had much of a presence in the western gaming market, with its only release being God Eater Burst on the PSP in 2011. The same can’t be said for the series in Japan, where it has spawned an anime series, and has several game releases, though these are a slightly confusing mixture of new games, expansions and remakes. In an effort to gain more of a presence outside of Japan, Bandai Namco have decided to combine God Eater Resurrection and God Eater 2: Rage Burst into one package for their release in the West on August 30th.
God Eater Resurrection is actually a remake of God Eater Burst, which itself was an updated release of the original God Eater. It sets you as a new initiate into the God Eaters, an elite group of fighters who are tasked with destroying creatures called the Aragami, who will try and kill humans on sight. With humanity forced into hiding, it is a desolate world into which these hunters venture, in an effort to maintain the any claim that humans have to the planet’s surface.
Your main weapon is the God Arc, which is the only reason why you have a hope in hell during battle. It can switch between a sword mode, gun mode, and shield mode, but God Eater Resurrection also adds the new Predator Style to your range of abilities, which allows for devour moves to be used. These moves have units linked to them which can help increase attack power, defence, and movement speed, with more moves unlocked as you progess through the game.
Before setting off into the desolate world, you can roam around your den, a relatively small home base, before speaking to Hibari and picking missions to fight different types of Aragami. These missions all took on a similar layout in our hands on demo, as you work to clear out smaller enemies before engaging with the larger, tougher Aragami and neutralising it. There is a time limit on the mission so you need to be able to think quite quickly. What was noticeable was the lack of any sort of health bar for these bosses, forcing you to pay attention to how they look and react, to determine how hurt they are. One such clue is that the more an attack is charged up before being unleashed by an Aragami, the closer it is to being defeated.
What was impressive was how the God Eater team works as a whole. Your character isn’t the overpowered leader but just another member doing their part. Hibari is monitoring what is happening during a battle and giving instructions to all members of the team. You may be doing well, but Hibari will tell an NPC to back off if they’re taking too much damage. There’s opportunities to foster some teamwork, as you might then draw the Aragami’s attention so that your AI teammate can heal. Risk too much and you could be knocked down in battle, waiting for one of the NPCs to revive you, which they were quite good at, or respawning and rejoining the fight after 30 seconds.
The combat in God Eater Resurrection can be frantic and does take a bit of getting used to. Switching between sword and gun mode is handled by pressing R1, with the weapon switches opening up new abilities as well as tactics. The Predator moves felt a bit tougher to control, as there was no way for me to lock on to the enemy, and I occasionally lost track of the Aragami as struggled with the camera, only to be met with a hit a few moments later.
The item menu and how it is accessed is commendably fluid, though. A quick tap of the touchpad brings up the item inventory, which can be scrolled through using R1 and L1. You select what you need and use it instantly, with the number of items remaining being clearly shown. This implementation means you’re not jumping from screen to screen, and allows for more focus on the fight that is occurring.
God Eater Resurrection’s graphics are a split between being good and uninspiring, which isn’t surprising when you consider that this is a remake of a PSP game. The character models are decent and have been polished to look like they belong on newer generation consoles, but the environments that were in this demo looked bland. The dull mixture of brown, grey and green did little to inspire me and took away from what should be incredible battles against the huge creatures that are likened to gods.
God Eater Resurrection’s release has more to do with the story of the series than anything else. Yusuje Tomizawa, the series producer, stated that he wanted Western audiences to get a complete picture of the God Eater story when going into the series, instead of just releasing God Eater 2, which is set 3 years after Resurrection and would skip a number of key plot points. It’s why Resurrection is a free download alongside God Eater 2: Rage Burst, instead of being a separate release.
God Eater Resurrection is a game that will appeal to fans of games such as Monster Hunter and Freedom Wars. There’s a good game to be found when everything comes together, but the difficulties with the camera and losing sight of the Aragami were a bit annoying. Still, the fights are intense and the control layout is perfect, and when you are fighting with instructions for your flying around, you do feel like you really are trying to save the planet from god-like monsters.