I’d never played a God Eater before this third entry. I’d seen them on Steam, but they were all low-quality handheld console ports. Yuck! Finally, with God Eater 3, we have an entry developed for PC claiming high-quality visuals, fast-paced combat, and a serious story!
As someone who put 100+ hours into Monster Hunter World last year, I loved the idea of getting another dose of monster hunting fun, but does God Eater 3 deliver? Absolutely on the combat side; not really on the ‘everything else’ side. Let’s dive in.
Last Gen Called; It Wants Its Visuals Back
Let’s begin with the bad. God Eater 3 looks and feels like a last-gen game. I could have sworn this was a port from a 2012 or so PS3 game because it feels like the developers accidentally built the game for last-gen hardware specs.
This low fidelity feeling is especially unfortunate considering the series’ chief competitor delivered a next-gen visual showcase with 2018’s Monster Hunter World. Whoops!
Outdated & Repetitive Content
Apart from lacking visuals, the game’s content feels outdated, too. There’s only a handful of actual game environments. These are nothing more than glorified arenas without any creative twists or clever layouts. Again, this feels so much like the developers thought they were working with PS3 era memory limitations and crafted functional but boringly basic level designs.
God Eater 3 reminds me of Dragon Age 2. Anyone remember that game? It had a handful of lame arenas you’d play over and over again on a supposedly epic quest. God Eater 3 is exactly like this.
Time and time again the game will excitedly exclaim, “Look, an epic battle awaits!” What actually loads is the same exact arena you’ve played 20+ times. Seriously? Low effort!
Attempted Grand Story; Totally Tiny Presentation
The same lack of developer effort goes for the story. The game, to its credit, attempts to tell a proper story, with ups and downs, character growth, and emotional weightiness. The game even delves into some quite dark subject matters like human rights, indentured servitude, and outright slavery.
I do think at the core of God Eater 3 is an appealing story of friendship and freedom that’s worth hearing out. Sure, the dialogue is all very basic and there’s no true exploration of the game’s serious themes. But at least there’s an attempt to build a logical, thought-provoking story and world. Kudos for that.
Sadly, God Eater 3 succumbs to the all-too-common low-budget storytelling pitfalls of tell, tell, tell and show basically nothing. The game ostensibly plays out across a fictional version of Europe, but it feels like a film shot in just a few set locations.
It’s almost laughable how many scenes involve your team standing dramatically across the same backdrops over and over despite supposedly traveling to all these grand locales.
This lack of quality presentation kills much of the story’s momentum. If you tell me there’s an epic battle before me, you need to show me an epic battle. If you say something really matters, you’d better not totally forget about it fifteen seconds after the cutscene ends. It feels…low effort!
Despite my misgivings, by the end I did care about the story and had grown fond of my ragtag group of former prisoners and oppressed people. I genuinely cared about building a future filled with freedom and peace for my friends. Moreover, the game’s got a very strong ending and nice epilogue.
The Gameplay Flow
This is the flow of the entire game: load into the tiny mission hub, listen to serious talk, accept an important mission, manage your gear, warp to a tiny arena, engage in a manic brawl, get your loot, maybe see a cutscene, and then get dumped ingloriously back at the tiny mission hub to repeat. It’s not terrible… just simplistic.
Ash Crawler Chrysanthemum: Home, Sweet Home
In regard to the mission hub, most of the between-mission gameplay takes place on your own mobile base, known as an Ash Crawler. There’s real Mass Effect vibes in how you can walk around and explore your crew’s living spaces, talking with them about recent events.
However, the quality of Mass Effect isn’t present. Most of the crew banter is very basic and not voiced, and there’s not much payoff for exploring your tiny base. Low effort base design, basically.
Even more unfortunately, often the game forces you to talk to specific people at your base before you can proceed on your next story mission. It would have been nice to have some marker telling you where they’re at instead of wandering around until you find them. A minor annoyance, though, since your base is quite small.
So far I’ve given you a bunch of reasons to not play God Eater 3, but now it’s time to get to the game’s saving grace. Yes, God Eater 3 redeems itself thanks to its wild and epic combat!
Battles in God Eater 3 have a chaotic ultra-frenzied fever dream feel to them. Yes indeed, this game has brilliantly mad fighting. So fast, so furious. Monster Hunter World looks like a slow-motion creaking antique compared to God Eater 3’s hip, stylish, and light-speed stabby-slashy-crushy mayhem!
God Eater 3 versus Monster Hunter World feels very much like Sonic versus Mario from back in the day. On one side you have the meticulously polished Mario and Monster Hunter, but what Sonic and God Eater lack in quality they make up for with a cool and confident “gotta go fast” attitude!
God Eater 3 will have you rushing, flipping, slashing, bursting, and linking at break-neck speeds. Jump, double-jump, zoom across the screen, panic as you flip through your items while two gigantic beasties rip you to shreds. The poor camera finds itself dragged about, bewildered, and woefully inadequate, but when combat is this crazy, you just go with it!
Thanks to the incredible versatility of the combat systems, there’s an unexpectedly addicting rush from one combat encounter to the next. A large part of the appeal comes from the countless ways to improve your play and try new things to go faster and kill better next time around.
Combat Gear & Fancy Moves
What makes combat so diverse? Let’s start with the fact you get both a main weapon and a ranged weapon, unlike Monster Hunter World. You also get to pick a shield type. Then you get to select dozens of unique Arts. Those Arts can be augmented and leveled up. And all your gear can have Skills (the equivalent of Monster Hunter World’s Jewels) installed on them.
Naturally, you can also craft and upgrade your gear using monster parts. There’s numerous upgrade trees and paths for each weapon, just like Monster Hunter. Then there’s the four elements, allowing you to have weapons on hand for every monster murdering occasion.
Beyond your gear itself, there’s many more combat moves than you’ll find in Monster Hunter World. You’ll be side-stepping, lunging, and performing crazy aerial combat that feels very much like the Devil may Cry series, interestingly enough.
To put it another way, if you enjoyed the freedom of movement of Monster Hunter World’s semi-flying Insect Glaive weapon (my personal weapon of choice), this is what every weapon can feel like in God Eater 3. When you can quickly fly around the combat space, why ever go back to boring attacks on your feet? Ponder that one!
It’s All About Speed-Eating Delicious Gods!
In God Eater 3 we’re all about eating (called devouring) gods (big monsters), and I choose to believe God Eater 3 is called such because it does the god eating three times as fast as other games!
Everything is designed to get you into combat as quick as possible. You can get a mission, get in the arena, and get to fighting within a minute of loading the game, which makes this game perfect for quick-fix gaming.
What also cuts down on the tedium this genre is often know for is the removal of all that boring hunting for monsters so common in that one series…what’s it called…oh yeah, Monster Hunter. Basically, God Eater 3 serves up the monsters right in front of you, so get devouring!
The combat does have some issues. Many monsters fly about the arena at too-fast speeds with annoying area of effect attacks that often cancel your commands. The targeting system is wonky, and the camera doesn’t help much either. Sometimes combat does devolve into button mashing, but skilled players will learn how to deftly deal with even the most seemingly unbalanced encounters.
So Many Confusing Systems
Another problematic element with the game overall is the over-implementation of strangely worded gameplay systems. You’ve got Burst Arts, Burst Arts Effects, Engage Mode, Link Bursts, Acceleration Triggers, Charge/Quick/Air Devours, and a bunch more systems. It took me a good 10 to 15 hours to finally come to grips with what in the world the game was babbling on about in regard to all this.
Music & Sound
There’s some standout music tracks in God Eater 3. You know the problem with them? Here’s a hint: it’s the same problem with all the content in the game. Yep, repetition. The excellent tracks get played over and over for every emotional or victorious story scene. There’s just not enough variety.
Sound design is minimal. Like most of the development, the game gives you just enough sound effects during combat to make things feel semi-powerful, but there’s almost no environmental audio touches. Cutscene audio has the basic stuff like footsteps, clinks of swords, and bangs of bullets, but that’s about it. Passable but not passionate (the effort…it was low).
Smart AI Teammates & Multiplayer
One of God Eater 3’s best features is your actually intelligent AI teammates! Perhaps the developers didn’t get the memo: AI teammates are supposed to be stupid and infuriating, duh! Yet somehow this game never once frustrated me with dumb AI. If I was downed in battle, my AI teammates would always rush to rescue me.
Throughout the entire game my companions would heal me, buff me, and help me in every single battle. They’re even powerful and capable of killing many monsters by themselves. Any Monster Hunter World player will tell you your companion AI in that game is infuriatingly stupid, so score a huge point for God Eater 3! Massive kudos to the developers!
Besides AI teammates, you are able to engage in either story-based multiplayer missions or larger 8-player “assault” missions with matchmaking (AI will fill the empty slots, thankfully). Honestly, most people will want to play this game solo since the game already features robust AI teammates. But if you’ve got a good friend to play with, that’s always fun of course!
On the bright side, this game runs like a champ. It was rock solid for me, with nearly perfect framerates. This is expected given the very dated visuals and lack of complicated rendering techniques, but it’s nice all the same to have a game run very well. So kudos to the developers for delivering a quality PC game with acceptable customization options.
Difficulty & Controls
You’ll probably find the game to be pretty easy if you’re an action game aficionado. I never once in my entire playthrough wiped (had to restart a mission). You get ranked for how efficiently you complete missions, and I probably triple-S ranked (the top rank) about 75% of the missions on my first try.
Granted, I’m a serious fan of the Devil may Cry style genre that God Eater 3 borrows heavily from, but I was surprised at the ease of progression compared to Monster Hunter World. In that game I wiped many, many times, so in a way God Eater 3 was a nice change of pace. I liked being able to breeze through the game without worrying about all the micro-management of items and gear, like in most Monster Hunter games.
The game is definitely designed for a controller. The mouse movement is very sensitive, and there’s far too many weird button combinations to make keyboard usage very friendly. Even the default bindings on the controller are a bit weird. Thankfully you can rebind just about everything. I’d recommend changing the guard button to something much less obnoxious.
Dude, Where’s the Armor?!
One very lacking element in God Eater 3 is armor crafting. In fact, there is zero armor crafting. There’s zero armor at all, to be precise. There is optional cosmetic clothing crafting, but these top/bottom items are a bit boring (realistic jackets, tank tops, cargo pants). It’s like you’re shopping at some trendy shopping mall…what is this?
The armor department is yet another way God Eater 3 proves how woefully deficient it is compared to Monster Hunter World. Where are all the awesome looking armor sets to prove how much of an elite hunter I am? Oh…I guess the developers couldn’t be bothered to implement all that…what’s the term I’m look for here? Oh yes, low effort!
Warning: Scantily Clad Girls & Large Breasts
Yes, God Eater 3 continues the dubious anime stereotype of scantily clad girls and jiggly boobs because clearly breast physics is an important development priority over more battle locations or monster armors, right? Methinks they’re pandering to the sexualized anime crowd.
Then there’s the captain of your ship, Hilda. She’s a very strong and smart and capable woman with great voice acting and good writing. Hilda’s basically classy and awesome, but the developers gave her enormous scantily clad breasts for some reason.
To add insult to gravity-injury, they didn’t even give her a bra…and put her in an almost bursting top. Seriously, her breasts are so large she may need breast reduction surgery. A lot of people don’t realize the very serious health problems that come along with being in the extreme end of the breast-size bell curve. Maybe God Eater 3 is trying to raise awareness of the issue? Yeah…I’m sure that’s it…
Concluding: God Eater 3’s Target Audience?
God Eater 3 is the perfect case for discounted games. The developers have chosen to give us a content-limited, low effort version of a Monster Hunter game. All told it only took a little less than 30 hours to finish every mission and obtain the highest rank gear. That’s lightning-quick compared to other games in the genre.
Besides all that, they haven’t even reached current day graphical standards. Plus they reuse the same arenas and monsters over and over. Yet they have the audacity to charge full price. Nope!
However, many Monster Hunter fans will absolutely love the ultra-fast change-of-pace from the more plodding and tedious Monster Hunter World. There’s a real scrappy charm to this sort of budget monster hunting experience. It’s a bit of a palette cleanser, letting you chomp up and devour a few gods here and there before returning to the real-deal Monster Hunter World experience.
The Final God-Eating Verdict
God Eater 3 is very much a guilty pleasure sort of game. I really did love playing it, even though the whole time I fully recognized how lacking and lackluster many of the elements are. There’s fun to be had here, and the story is compelling enough that I kept dreaming of what could have been if the developers had put as much energy into this game as Capcom put into Monster Hunter World.
When its rival series can deliver a full-fledged modern-generation, immerse evolution of the series, God Eater 3 is simply too limited, too aging, and too stuck in the past to compete. It’s a darn shame, too, because what the genre really needs is a merging of Monster Hunter World’s quality and expansiveness with God Eater 3’s story-building and hyper-fun combat.
Once God Eater 3 goes on sale for 75% off or so, then I’d say it’s a real value and worth your time. For now, it’s probably best to avoid paying such a high price for such a low effort production.
- Addictive, manic combat
- Smart, helpful AI teammates
- Colorful cast of characters
- Comfortable mission grind
- So many weapons and skills
- Lengthy story, many missions
- Strong ending, nice epilogue
- Technically solid, runs great
- A scrappy charm to it all
- Very repetitive gameplay
- Not enough diverse locales
- Locations are basic arenas
- Every mission is the same
- Lacks armor crafting
- Reuses enemies too often
- World needs show, not tell
- Outdated visuals and design
- Sexualized anime stuff
Playtime: 28 hours total. Nick blazed through the main story and every optional mission in 24 hours (not nonstop!). Another 4 hours was spent farming for the best end-game gear. And that was that!
Computer Specs: Windows 10 64-bit computer using an Intel i7-3930k CPU, 32GB of memory, and a nVidia GTX 980 Ti graphics card.
Also read the God Eater 3 PC Performance Analysis.