You know, for saying this game borrows very heavily from the highly successful Monster Hunter series, I have to say I’m thoroughly disappointed. It goes to show that you can’t always just inject anime into a winning formula and keep it a winning formula – and for that matter, why did anybody feel that MH needed an anime clone in the first place?
● Action RPG
● Released 29 / 10 / 2015
● Developed by Shift
● Published by Bandai Namco Entertainment
● Platform: PS4 / PS Vita / PC
played on PC
At this point you can probably tell, but I’m not a big fan of God Eater Resurrection, and I feel that the game either missed a real opportunity to be actually good, or I’m just missing a dozen tricks to make it less generally terrible. This review goes against the grain at that, as God Eater itself achieved some decent success on its release and was clearly a good enough title to warrant two re-releases years after the game came out, each one featuring new content to bolster the story. And to be honest with you, I have no idea how it managed that.
Everything about the game can be described as “meh” at best. There’s nothing about it that stands out, even slightly. Honestly, the coolest part of the game is probably the monster designs, but that promptly gets shit on by the fact that all of those monsters are kind of bullshit when you fight them because the combat system is just basically awful. It really is an anime wannabe Monster Hunter, except it is so much worse than Monster Hunter, and that’s not for a lack of me really trying to like it. The game isn’t overly bad more than it is just disgustingly average in every category, borderline bad in some, and it isn’t a title memorable. For the record: I do have the second God Eater game, God Eater 2 Rage Burst, and I do plan on playing it despite my practical inability to complete the first game because of a near criminal lack of care. Or… one day, I’ll play it, anyway. Maybe.
Let’s start by looking at the first and most obvious thing you’re going to notice: the graphics. Ironically enough, I really don’t think the graphics are all that terrible, and in fact, in your first several hours into the game maybe you’ll even find the style somewhat appealing. Characters are, of course, entirely based on the anime style – which includes women with spine-breaking breasts wearing scantily clad definitely-shouldn’t-be-fighting-monsters-in-this attire, and men drowning themselves in clothes with too many pockets and useless zips and stupid beanie hats. Which is, frankly, where our problem starts. You see, I would love to try and care about these characters as I’m probably meant to, but I can’t get past the fact they are all wearing ridiculous, inappropriate clothes and not a single damn one of them actually seems to be dressed for the occasion that is the “end of the world monsters are killing/eating people” scenario we have going on. Their voice acting is also fucking terrible and just makes me actually hate some of these characters, so we’ve gone from “characters with stupid designs” to “characters with stupid designs, badly written dialogue and probably underpaid voice actors who did a bad job”. This will come into play later again when we talk about the story, but let’s try to keep our focus for now. Characters also have basically no expressions. Ever. It’s very hard to try and feel emotional at all when my protagonist’s face is consistently set to the resting bitch face, making it seem like she is as disinterested and as bored of the whole farce as I am. At least that much is accurate.
The game gets very ugly, very fast. The UI is easy enough to understand if you’ve ever played Monster Hunter, but in my personal opinion it’s also almost chunky and looks like a poor attempt to vomit up a similar UI to MH’s own. Additionally, unlike Monster Hunter, maps are just tiny squares. There aren’t any different sections of a map you can transition between, there’s just one contained map that is basically a square with a few different paths and that is just the end of it. And you will see these same maps over and over and over and over and over and oh my god do you know how tired I am of these same five boring maps? For saying this game blatantly tried to piggy back on the success of another series that did extraordinarily well, it did a very good job of not incorporating anything that made the other series of games actually good. Pretty maps actually get really boring, really fast when you just see the same five ones over and over again and you realise that nothing ever changes. Then you realise how horrifically small these maps are, how all the action is contained in the equivalent of two street blocks and nothing else, and you start to get really fucking sick of it. It’s downright awful. And don’t you worry, you’re guaranteed to get tired of seeing these maps quickly, because you’re going to have to grind out monsters in them in order to craft your next set of weapons.
Bashing monsters over the head is also about as fun as running around the badly crafted maps they spawn in. The controls of this game on the PC port are horrendous, and I want you to keep in mind that I’m playing with a controller to try and make my experience as least painful as possible. It’s still really bad. The game features several weapon types, and the gimmick of the game is that your weapon – a God Arc – is able to have a melee weapon, a gun and a shield all at the same time. You have a variety of melee weapons from short swords to greatswords to scythes (and I’ll rant about that in a moment, don’t you worry) while the guns range from snipers to shotguns and the shields are generally split between small bucklers and tower shields. According to the wise words of the internet, after doing some reading up on the weapons in the game, it quickly came to light that: scythes were basically added to God Eater Resurrection late and therefore they don’t upgrade as fast as any other melee weapon in the game, shotguns will become overpowered at high levels and kill basically everything and shields are sort of “meh”. Of course, I love scythes and lances, so I tried out the two playstyles and found I enjoyed scythe more out of the two. I didn’t realise that playing scythe meant I was effectively locking myself out of good weapon upgrades because it was added as a hand-me-down from God Eater 2, and the developers couldn’t be bothered to give it a proper upgrade chain that matched the other weapons. I liked snipers, but they were very clearly and very quickly outclassed by shotguns even at early levels. I never bothered to use shields after realising they took up too much stamina than it was worth.
Controls are bad and clunky. The game also features a “consume” feature; your God Arc can basically nibble on monsters and power you up, giving you more attack speed and damage on melee attacks. You can also transfer this stored power to other players to give them a buff too, which is how you can achieve up to a level 3 buff that lets you basically shoot slightly cooler bullets (if you ever use your stupid gun.) The problem with this? Well, trying to trigger the consume attacks is not easy because this game maps about fifty things to the same trigger and it doesn’t really let you reconfigure that. So while you might get the devour off, you might also just not and instead get locked into a heavy attack animation. Or you might accidentally switch your weapon from melee to gun mode or vice versa. You do also have a dodge in this game, and it is fundamentally worth nothing. It has no frames – at all – of invulnerability at any stage, and I would be fine with this if monsters weren’t bullshit in their attack patterns or their attack telegraphs. But here’s the thing: monster “AoEs” – big sweeping attacks that encircle them or hit an area in front of them – are almost unfairly large, and give no indication as to their range. Monsters only need to do so much as sprint in a direction to stagger you, even if you are mid-dodge. Their telegraphs are often short and confusing as they use the same telegraph for three to five different moves, so just dodge in a direction I guess and pray that you picked right and managed to get out the way. Fundamentally, if you’re too close to a monster as soon as it telegraphs pretty much anything, you’re basically fucked even if you dodge, because your dodge won’t get you far enough away and has no stage at which it actually dodges an attack. It’s a glorified mini-sprint that you need to use thirty seconds earlier than an attack even fires on. You know, before the monster even starts the animation.
Once again, the game took a winning formula from another series, and then just stripped all the good things that series did away in favour of… something, I guess. Hell if I know.
The soundtrack is just ass. Not because the music is necessarily bad, either, but because any music that plays over cutscenes never matches and because you hear about all of three music tracks when fighting monsters (if I’m being generous with my numbering there) and so it gets really boring, really fast. There isn’t a single piece of music that actually sounds cool, let alone fits the theme of anything happening in the game at any given point, and you might as well turn on your Spotify or your Pandora or whatever while you play this game because you can probably craft a more appropriate and better-sounding score to the game yourself than the game actually manages to do. And, as mentioned earlier, the voice acting is downright terrible and characters range from consistently despondent in delivery of their badly written lines to actually downright annoying I-wish-I-could-punch-your-silly-anime-face style of delivery. Again: you could probably manage to deliver more appropriate voice acting yourself, on the fly. You might also enjoy the game more if you did that, too.
And finally, the story. “Story”. I mean, I guess there’s a story.
I don’t care about it, but there is a story there. Sort of. I think
Between bad voice acting, terribly animated facial expressions and a hammed up script with no writing of any actual value anywhere to be seen, the story is something I found impossible to care about. Early on in the game, you flat out watch a character die and your first instinct is probably going to be to laugh at what just happened rather than feel even slightly horrified that somebody just died in front of your face. The game’s absolutely abysmal presentation of basically everything makes it difficult to impossible to give any kind of flying fuck as to what is going on, and none of the dilemmas or problems presented to you are given enough emotional weight to get your attention. Things that should be sad are just outright funny, and everything else is asinine white noise that you filter out because you’re probably too busy asking “Do you need that many pockets on your coat, my dude?” or “How do your pants even stay up?” or “Why am I even here when I could be playing an actually good game?”
It’s just average. In fact if I’m being honest, it’s just average borderline actually bad, and I can’t recommend spending any real money on this. I’d like to thank my boyfriend for buying this for me, as a game that we play together (and conveniently both find so ridiculously stupid that we just spend all of our time nit-picking about how bad it is) but I’d also like to apologise to him at the same time because he spent money on it and I don’t think this game deserves that. I don’t think this game deserved one re-release, never mind two, but I suppose in that instance I’m in the minority and many other people thought this anime-injected, poorly cobbled together Monster Hunter rip off was just, somehow, that good. All the power to them for thinking that, too, but you’ll excuse me if I don’t sit with baited breath waiting for the third game to release in the next few years expecting something amazing. Maybe God Eater 2 will impress me more – if I can ever bring myself to fucking play it after this hot garbage.