God Eater 2: Rage Burst – PC Technical Review

God Eater 2: Rage Burst – PC Technical Review

If you’re hungry for the delicious taste and crunchy texture of deep-fried deities, it’s time to rejoice. God Eater 2: Rage Burst has arrived on PC, and from a couple of hours of play, I’m actually pretty happy with the port quality.

From what I’ve played, God Eater 2 is a Monster Hunter-esque game in which you take on big monsters with the aid of AI (or human) teammates and hugely improbable weapons. Once the monsters are beaten up, you go back to your base and maybe do some cutscene stuff, or upgrade your gear, or craft some new gear, and then it’s out to bash more monsters.

Note that God Eater 2 apparently comes with a copy of God Eater Resurrection, a remake/re-release/something of the game’s prequel, but my review code doesn’t appear to have this. As such, I won’t be talking about that. Sorry.

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Warning: God Eater 2 may contain scantily clad catgirls. Or, well, girls with hair put up to look like cat ears.

First things first, the obligatory launcher:

Er. Um. Okay…

Shit. There is no launcher? Huh. That’s new.

Alright then, let’s have a look at the options. These are divided into three menus: Gameplay, Controls, and Audio/Video. We will not be looking at them in that order.

Gameplay first. Here are three screens of all the options:

God Eater 2 - Gameplay 1 God Eater 2 - Gameplay 2 God Eater 2 - Gameplay 3

Yeah, that’s quite a lot, and most of them are going to make fuck all sense until you’ve played the game for awhile. What is worth noting are that this is where the camera sensitivity stuff is, plus the options to reset the camera’s vertical orientation when doing stuff, etc. etc. A goodly list of options there.

Next up, Audio/Video, because “Controls” is something I’m going to want to talk about in depth.

God Eater 2 - Graphics 1

That’s all of the options barring two Audio options (Volume: Environment and Radio Voice Effects). Not a huge amount of tweakables, but most of them are pretty damn good. Texture Filtering goes all the way from Trilinear up to Anisotropic x16. Fullscreen allows On, Off, or Windowed. And – yes- the resolution goes all the way up to 3840×2160.

I can’t talk about the Refresh Rate options because that seems to be locked to my monitor and so I can’t change it at all, but the fact that it’s there implies that you’ll be able to pick other stuff. I don’t know if it’ll go any higher than 60Hz, but the option to change the refresh rate is there.

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I definitely much prefer mouse aiming over gamepad aiming. Always.

I’ll quickly mention that God Eater 2 suffers from horrendous tearing issues, but turning V-Sync on neatly solved these without causing any framerate or stuttering issues. I’m also basically capable of running the whole thing at a neat 1920×1080 with 60FPS when everything’s turned up to full, although that’s probably not too much of a surprise on an i7-3820/16GB RAM/GeForce GTX 970.

In audio terms, the whole thing is English dubbed and a fair bit of the voice acting is awful. There’s no “official” way to switch over to an undub/Japanese audio version, either, although I’ve heard a few rumblings that people are trying to figure out how to do just that.

This brings us neatly onto the controls:

God Eater 2 - Controls 1 God Eater 2 - Controls 2

There are two things worth noting here. First, having played for about an hour with keyboard/mouse and 30 minutes with gamepad… I actually prefer keyboard/mouse. It’s not perfect, but I definitely prefer it.

By default, most of the keyboard commands are mapped the same way they are on gamepad, with all sorts of abilities tied to the Shift key. It’s Shift to run, but you also tap Shift to switch between melee weapon and gun. Shift and the left mouse button is a special attack. Shift and E is guard. Etc.

You can change all of this, if you want to. As far as I can tell there’s no way to map things to two buttons (you couldn’t change it to CTRL and E) but you could certainly make the guard button, say, F. That said, I mostly don’t hate the controls by themselves. I much prefer camera control and fine aim on the mouse, and the combat controls mostly make sense.

God Eater 2 - 1
God Eater 2 mostly looks quite nice and incredibly sharp, although a few bits and pieces are definitely of the “upscaled” variety.

As an example, a normal attack is the left mouse button, while holding Shift and pressing LMB triggers a special attack. E is dodge, while holding Shift and E triggers your block. They’re logical, and entirely controllable with only two hands. I’ll probably rebind a few for extended play (although, as mentioned, it doesn’t seem to like me binding one action to multiple keypresses, or even binding multiple actions to one keypress) but right now I’m really quite content with them.

It also does that thing I love, where it automatically changes all key prompts based on what the last input you used was. When using the gamepad I tapped F12 to take a screenshot, and immediately, the key prompts switched over to mouse/keyboard. Good stuff.

If there is one issue, it’s that – outside of aim mode – the vertical sensitivity is far lower than the horizontal sensitivity. While I’ve yet to have to look up much, this does tend to throw me off quite a lot, and it’s one of the few things that doesn’t really appear to be covered in the camera options.

God Eater - 2
I am absolutely positive that you’re not going to turn out to be some sort of obstructive bureaucrat.

I haven’t played enough of the game itself to really comment on how it works, save to say that it reminds me a lot of Monster Hunter and its ilk; Toukiden Kiwami in particular. You and your selected team of AI allies (or human teammates, if you fancy) wander into a mission of your choice and duff up monsters using a selection of weapons with very particular quirks, with positioning and timing being far more important than anything else.

In traditional fashion for this sort of game, it’s also really awful at teaching you how to play. On the one hand it’s sort of nice that the mandatory tutorials are so crap they basically teach you how to move and attack, but never extend to locking on; on the other hand, having to wander off to the Archive to find tutorial videos on how each of the weapon combos functions is… a little much. Particularly as the other characters give “advice” that will border on the nonsensical until you watch them. Without viewing them, you’re basically thrown directly from “press LMB to attack” to “by the way, you can cancel this super-move halfway through your scythe combo into a regular move and then backstep in order to inflict extra damage at a greater range than usual!”

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Excellent. Now I just need to find out what a Round Fang is and how to use it.

But that’s a minor gripe, really. I’d also complain a little that the weapons (early on, at least) feel a little weak and don’t really make much of a visible impact on enemies, considering their size and wind-up animations, but… again, that’s not exactly unusual. Truthfully, I haven’t played enough to comment; the combat system seems both extensive and deep, and a couple of hours aren’t enough to talk about most of these elements with any degree of authority. I’ll hopefully be chiming in with some more extensive thoughts on the gameplay later this week.

I can tell you that I made an anime man and met a catgirl and punched a weird monster in the face with a shotgun that morphs into a sword that morphs into a huge demonic monster face that rips crafting materials and magic bullets out of enemies, though. What more could you want?