I was first introduced to God Eater last year when I stumbled across the anime, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I was honestly a bit surprised when God Eater 2: Rage Burst was announced, as I had naively thought that the games were based on the anime. This is not so; God Eater is actually a video game, released first in Japan 2010, then as God Eater Burst in North America back in 2011, and again under God Eater Resurrection just this past June. God Eater 2: Rage Burst follows the same anime-packed action-filled light RPG, full of crazy anime antics, fan service, and hilariously over-sized weapons. And it is glorious.
Now, I picked up God Eater 2: Rage Burst without playing the original game and had a swell time with it, though I was familiar with the world as a whole due to binge-watching the anime in an evening (seriously, do yourself a favor watch it here) so I felt fairly comfortable hopping into the second game in a series. There is also the fact that God Eater 2: Rage Burst is not directly tied to God Eater: Burst so the only real familiarity is with the concept of Oracle Cells, Aragami, and God Arcs; watching the anime can familiarize you with the universe.
In God Eater, there are these crazy bad beasts called Aragami that are essentially god-like monstrosities that wander the world biting people's faces off and generally wreaking havoc. They are a byproduct of the "Oracle Cell" which is a life form that sort of began uncontrollably consuming the world. Given the Aragami and Oracle Cells' immunity to conventional weapons, Fenrir Organization developed "God Arcs" which are essentially transformable "living weapons" that contain Oracle Cell DNA and make Cloud's Buster Sword look like a junior-sized toothpick. They are ridiculously huge. You are the newest addition to the elite Blood unit of God Eaters (kids that survive the melding of Oracle Cells and wield God Arcs) and it is up to you to to save humanity.
I am normally quite critical of games that get ported from Vita to the PlayStation 4, as the games often feel linear and empty. The PlayStation 4 is world's apart from the Vita in terms of capability and power and when porting an original Vita game to the more powerful console things are often lackluster and broken. Color me surprised when I hoped in and the various environments, while not hyper-realistic, would feel right at home as a native home console release (or in an anime). Sure the areas are small, but they have plenty of detail to them (except for the initial training room; it is as if someone took all the fun bits out of the Enterprises' holo-deck, but it served its purpose). Running around these small environments and engaging in hectic hack-and-slash goodness with nasty baddies is a blast, though I would have loved to have a lock-on function, since there were plenty of scenarios where I would be button-mashing to my heart's content and then the Aragami would leap behind me/off screen and I would essentially be standing there slashing or stabbing at the air like a loon.
Combat can be visceral and interesting, especially since your God Arc can change forms, from the melee weapon to a gun to its Devour mode (essentially your God Arc takes a bite out of the Aragami and you collect resources/build special attack meter), the possibilities are endless. During missions you will earn money, gather resources, and then between the missions you can purchase upgrades/craft new gear/customize your bullets. Melee weapons range from a sword to giant hammer to my favorite weapon, the spear. Unfortunately the spear feels a little bland in God Eater 2, as its primary animation is stabby-stabby and that is about it.
The real customization and "RPG-like" feel comes in to play with the bullets; you can customize your bullets with various effects/skills/etc (or forego the bullet altogether and get an extra-powerful rocket, which is quite limited in the amount of shots you get, but devastating; a good choice for gamers that are melee focused but want that ace-in-the-hole). Gathering resources and spending funds to upgrade bullets is well worth your time and can spell the difference between success and failure. Oh, another neat, yet useless feature is you can change outfits! I am a sucker for any game that allows you to customize your character's look. I mean, Lightning Return: Final Fantasy XIII was extra perfect because it was Lightning's Final Fantasy Closet Simulator (plus, it was a darned good game).
God Eater 2: Rage Burst was a surprisingly well-ported and robust action RPG that contains an interesting story, plenty of mild fan service, and some stunning graphics. Add to it the robust voice-over and solid background music that mixes well with the mission-based style of gameplay and the light crafting and RPG features, and you have a faithful port that does not exactly feel like a port at times. Snappy action with plenty of options, even if it is lacking a lock-on, yield hours of Aragami-devouring fun while not being a tiresome slog.
Bandai Namco Studio
Bandai Namco Entertainment
Article by Robert