God Eater 3 (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Gabriel Jones 20.07.2019

Review for God Eater 3 on Nintendo Switch

While the remnants of mankind were waging their continued war against the Aragami, an unprecedented disaster struck. Ash, an indomitable force that reduces everything to dust, has blanketed the world. Instantly, the Fenrir Organization, and humanity's last hope, was wiped out. Forced underground, the survivors initiated the "Adaptive God Eater" program. Wearing armlets on each wrist, and forced into a lifetime of servitude, a new generation of God Eaters is tasked with patrolling what is now known as the Ashlands. The struggle for freedom continues in God Eater 3. Trust in your God Arc, and you just might survive.

The latest entry in the God Eater saga delivers more of what its fans have come to expect. With new Aragami to contend with and new gear to acquire, Switch-owners are guaranteed many sleepless nights. Of course, seeing as how more content isn't much of a selling point on its own, Marvelous also saw fit to treat this title to numerous refinements. The elements that didn't quite connect were modified or thrown out. Certain techniques were balanced in order to keep the action from becoming too simple. All of these changes make for an incredibly engrossing experience, one that monster hunters the world over will have immense trouble putting down.

Before going any further, let's take a moment to establish what hasn't changed. Upon starting, players are immediately thrust into the role of 'The Protagonist.' This silent hero (or heroine) is the best friend of Hugo Pennywort. Like you, he's an Adaptive God Eater, or AGE. AGEs are essentially slaves, forced to risk life and limb in the Ashlands for their masters. Only by working together can the two of them hope to gain their freedom. Unfortunately, in true God Eater fashion, this interesting concept quickly gives away to a storyline that doesn't have much in the way of stakes or drama. Problems are typically resolved without any casualties, and the villains are easily dealt with. On the bright side, this overly positive storyline keeps players focused on slaying the countless Aragami that'll accost them.

Screenshot for God Eater 3 on Nintendo Switch

The core gameplay loop, which is familiar to anyone who has ever played a title in the 'Monster Hunter' genre, is where returning fans are liable to start noticing changes. After deciding on a mission, the player must choose the squad members that'll be participating. Several NPCs, all with their own skillsets and fighting styles, become available as the story progresses. Alternatively, they can decide to play online, relying on the assistance of other humans to lead them to victory. If their best buds aren't available, then an avatar card can be used to summon an AI-controlled version of them. This system is an improvement over God Eater 2: Rage Burst. The AI allies are more effective at dealing with the myriad of problems that can occur during a mission. Just as long as you're not constantly running into an Aragami's claws and fangs, they'll do a decent job of keeping you alive. Their damage output has also seen a welcome buff. An extensive array of skill upgrades is available to everyone. Finding the setup that suits the current mission will make your job easier.

Next up we have the protagonists' loadout, which includes everything from the weapons they wield to the items they carry on the field. To help hunters find the arsenal that suits them best, this entry adds three new God-Arcs. The Biting Edge is a speedy pair of blades that can be combined to form an Aragami-eviscerating glaive. For those who need more power, there's the Heavy Moon. This weapon resembles a chakram, but it can also transform into a giant axe, for dealing huge chunks of damage. Be careful when unleashing its full potential, because it will leave the AGE open to attack. Ray guns allow ranged-attackers to unleash a powerful beam. The longer it's concentrated on an enemy, the more damage it'll do. There are tons of armaments to construct, all with their own stats, elemental affinities, and special skills. Of course, they can't be built without the requisite monster parts. Thankfully the grind to obtain them isn't agonizingly slow.

One of the most appreciated refinements that this entry makes is that practically every God Arc combination is viable. This is a far cry from the last game, where most offensive strategies boiled down to spamming the Scythe-exclusive art 'Death Harvest.' This critic has spent time with all of the melee weapons and their respective burst arts, and has still kicked a ton of Aragami tail. 'Lightning Scourge', one of the short blade's burst arts, is especially fun to use. Combine it with jump-cancels to channel Dante's helm-breaker from Marvel Vs Capcom 3. Players are neither required nor obligated to stick to one weapon-type. They're free to experiment and find something that actually suits their style of play. No matter the case, they're going to have awesome techniques that crush their adversaries like milk duds. Oh and one last thing; there's a practice mode for testing load-outs. No need to enter a mission just to get a feel for one's weapons and manoeuvres.

Screenshot for God Eater 3 on Nintendo Switch

When out on a mission, it's important to master the AGE's new abilities. Diving allows them to expend a bunch of stamina to quickly soar through the air. This can be used to cover a great distance in a short time, but the best use for it is during battle. Once a dive is performed, the hunter immediately deploys their shield for a quick second, deflecting any attack heading their way. This makes for a fantastic technique that can break through the enemy's offense. It's probably a good idea to map this command to "down" on the d-pad, so it's easily accessible. A number of abilities are reliant on button combinations. Having one less to memorize just might be enough to give you the edge.

In lieu of the previous entry's rather overpowered "Blood Rage," players are given access to Acceleration Triggers. After performing the required number of techniques, such as devour attacks or combos, their protagonist is granted a temporary buff. They can also "engage" with their allies to receive further benefits, such as faster attack speed or health-regeneration. Neither ability is as game-changing as Blood Rage, but they're reliable and don't negatively effect the pacing of the mission. Speaking of pacing, even suboptimal builds can devastate monsters in record time. The average mission only takes about 10 minutes to complete.

Rather than sit idly by while hunters get all of the cool toys, the Aragami have seen some evolutions of their own. The most notable of the bunch is known as the Ash Aragami. These variants have special devouring techniques that are difficult to avoid and nearly impossible to block. If any of the hunters are harmed by this attack, then they'll be unable to engage with their allies. Worse, the fiend will enter a burst state, granting them access to new and extremely devastating moves. Risk-taking AGEs can attempt to strike the Ashen One's core, since it only appears during burst status and is quite weak. Be wary though, because their damage output is immense. One or two hits are enough to flatten even the healthiest warriors.

Screenshot for God Eater 3 on Nintendo Switch

Between the new techniques and improved weapon balance, the battles are more compelling than ever. It's great fun to skilfully evade and counterattack ferocious monsters. There's satisfaction in not just taking down a massive beast, but also in completely humiliating it with unparalleled ability. Most players are liable to sleepwalk through the early ranks, but the late-game is fairly challenging, especially when two or more Aragami appear at once. Dealing with multiple foes is great fun. However, don't expect much in the way of fairness. Enemies have no qualms about attacking all at once, leaving no room for error. Still, the difficulty is fairly forgiving. Healing opportunities are never in short supply, and each member of the squad has their own endurance meter. It's not like the Monster Hunter series where everyone is penalized, if one of the players gets knocked out.

Upon the successful completion of a mission, the player is rewarded with monster parts, abandoned God Arcs, and cash. Naturally, the parts are used to build more powerful weapons. Skills from the leftover Arcs can be affixed to the AGE's equipment for an additional boost. Burst Arts and Acceleration Triggers can also level-up after a battle, so make frequent use of them. Upon returning to base, there's not much else to do aside from prepare for the next mission. Its business as usual for fans of the Monster Hunter genre, but it's handled well. There's very little downtime or wandering around. Occasionally the next mission is locked behind a conversation or cut-scene, but handy speech bubbles point out who the player needs to talk to in order to progress.

Alongside the standard missions is a wealth of optional tasks. In 'Assault' up to eight hunters unite to take down an Ash Aragami. Due to a strict time limit, you can't afford to mess around. This condition also applies to the certification missions, which take place across a myriad of combat situations. Only the best of the best are capable of handling the elite class. In these extremely difficult missions, the player must deal with scores of foes, all by their lonesome. There's no shortage of post-game extras, either. Upon completion of the story, an Extra Episode is unlocked, along with Time Attack and Special missions. God Eater games have never hurt for content, and this one is no different.

For all intents and purposes, the Nintendo Switch version is quite good. The frame-rate isn't great, but it's at least consistent. There aren't any drops, even when multiple hunters and Aragami are crowding up the screen. Even for someone like this critic, who was accustomed to the PC version of God Eater 2: Rage Burst and its 60 FPS, it didn't take long to adjust to it all. The controls are snappy and reliable, even in those life or death scenarios that demand perfect execution.

Screenshot for God Eater 3 on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

In short, God Eater 3 more than proves itself to be the best entry in the series. The new and revised abilities give combat an extra layer of depth. Marvelous did a fantastic job ensuring that each weapon-type, new or otherwise, is exceptionally balanced and entertaining to wield. Ash Aragami lend an interesting dimension to each encounter. Players essentially have to learn two move-sets, and one of them is capable of wiping out their entire squad in seconds. Numerous quality-of-life features round out this masterful game.

Developer

Marvelous

Publisher

Namco Bandai

Genre

Action

Players

8

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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