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God Eater 2: Rage Burst Review

by Mike Guarino
God Eater 2 Rage Burst Review

After God Eater: Resurrection launched earlier this year and brought its Monster Hunter-esque gameplay to current generation hardware, just a few months later we’re now here with a remastered version of its sequel. God Eater 2: Rage Burst once again tasks your band of heroes with taking down monstrous entities known as Arigami, all while acquiring new and better equipment for your character along the way. While it does expand upon some of the first game’s mechanics a little, your experience with the first game will likely mimic your experience with the second game.

Rage Burst picks up 3 years after the events of Resurrection, though this time you’re part of a new organization and are accompanied by a new cast of characters. Your unit is called Blood, and you’re tasked with investigating a fatal pandemic that was seemingly the result of red rain. This means that you’ll once again be taking on stage after stage that is jam packed with viscous Arigami to take down, which is then followed by brief story instances to gradually progress the plot.

Once again, it’s the characters and not the actual plot itself that keeps things entertaining here. Your squad of characters that you’ll take out on missions or interact with in the game’s small hub are a band of misfits in every sense of the word, and it’s a joy to witness their banter. While these characters aren’t the most developed that you’ll find in a game like this, the developers use character tropes and charms in such a way that they all stand out and are likable very quickly. Surprisingly enough, the English voice acting is also solid the second time around, with only one or two characters delivering performances that were occasionally grating.

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If you’ve spent a lot of time with the first game then you’ll feel right at home with how thing play out here, which is both a good and a bad thing. You’ll accept a new mission, get your team in order, complete the mission, see a story clip and then repeat this routine many times over. This is a process that got repetitive in the first game and it does just as much if not more so here, as we’ve already done this for dozens of hours in the first game. While the grind in RPGs is alright to an extent, there just needs to be more variety in this game’s mission layouts beyond “go here and kill this bad guy.”

Blood Rage adds a nice new twist to the combat, though everything else is largely the same

However, while Rage Burst is very similar to the first game it does incorporate a new mechanic to keep things from being exactly the same. This time around we have a new ability to activate called Blood Rage, which essentially allows you to utilize special powers called Blood Arts for each of your weapons in a sort of super-powered state. There will be requirements that have to be met to activate it and then you’ll have just 30 seconds to utilize it, but those 30 seconds are pure bliss. The game’s music changes as your character appears super charged, while dishing out massive damage that comes in handy during the more HP-heavy enemy encounters. This isn’t a mechanic that you can use all the time, but it definitely adds a nice new twist to the combat.

Combat against the Arigami will once again be done with a variety of melee and ranged weapons, with swords, axes, scythes, machine guns, shot guns and more filling out the game’s armory. Each come with their own strengths and weaknesses that will suit them to some situations more than others, while also having different impacts on different types of Arigami. Strategy is still important in Rage Burst, as figuring out an Arigami’s weak point and knowing how to take them down efficiently goes a long way towards staying alive and completing a mission efficiently. Both enemy AI and the AI of the up to 3 other characters that can accompany you is strong, with enemies switching up tactics and allies helping you out when things get rough. Of course, multiplayer will always be the better option as you can take on these challenges with friends and employ actual strategies with them.

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The levels that these combat scenarios take place in aren’t the most memorable, but they do a good enough job in making sure that the action is constant without feeling to crowded. There’s a nice variety of narrow and open spaces to allow for both close and long-range combat, while also providing for some chase scenarios when an enemy decides to flee when its chips are down. The remaster work done here is very solid, updating the original PSP game and making it look as good as it possibly can in 2016. There are still the ugly textures that you’ll spot throughout the journey, but overall the visuals hold up. This review is also based on the PC version of the game, and I’m happy to report that there are no major issues to speak of and everything runs at a smooth 60fps.

It’s outside of the actual levels where you’ll power up your character with new gear, with there being lots of options to pick from. You can add buffs to your weapons to give them different status effects, or just craft a different weapon entirely. Seeing as there are several different weapon types and a long list of weapons to unlock for each one, those who enjoy beefing up their characters will have a lot to keep them busy here. However, a lot of the game’s mechanics and nuances are hidden in a ton of text files rather than them being presented to you naturally throughout gameplay, and that can become tiresome after a while. Menu surfing isn’t what you want to be doing for too long in a game that’s all about action, and conveying some of this information in a more interesting way would have been appreciated.

The Verdict

God Eater 2: Rage Burst is worth checking out for fans of the first game, as it essentially offers more of that game with just enough to shake things up a little. Every pro and con found in the first game can more or less be applied to this one, meaning that there’s nothing here to convert newcomers. Still, the game provides a good time for those looking for epic battles and not too much more.

"liked"
liked

God Eater 2: Rage Burst

  • Available On: PS4, PS Vita, PC
  • Published By: Bandai Namco Entertainment
  • Developed By: Bandai Namco Studio
  • Genre: Action RPG
  • US Release Date: August 30th, 2016
  • Reviewed On: PC
  • Quote: "God Eater 2: Rage Burst is worth checking out for fans of the first game, as it essentially offers more of that game with just enough to shake things up a little. Every pro and con found in the first game can more or less be applied to this one, meaning that there's nothing here to convert newcomers. Still, the game provides a good time for those looking for epic battles and not too much more."
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The Good

  • Satisfying combat
  • Blood arts are a great addition
  • Charming cast of characters

The Bad

  • Gameplay loop gets repetitive
  • Disposable story
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