During the height of the Monster Hunter series’ popularity on PSP, other developers and publishers wanted to release their own stab at the formula, which led to the birth of the hunting genre. Like most instances of “following the leader” in entertainment, some were successful while others were forgotten within a week of release. Bandai Namco’s God Eater series was among the successes, a title clearly inspired by MH, but with a more anime-style approach through its art style and storyline. It did well because it crafted its own place among the audience that enjoyed MH-style games between the release of those installments.
It’s since become one of Bandai Namco’s most reliable franchises. The original God Eater also received an enhanced “Burst” version, which included an expanded story with additional characters and new game mechanics. By the time the second game was ready, much of the market had moved on from PSP despite the game starting development on that system, so the company released it on Vita in addition to that system as a cross-generation title. This one also received an enhanced version with the “Rage Burst” subtitle, which featured new story content and even a new mechanic to shuffle up the gameplay, and gave PS4 and PC owners the chance to play it. Following this, they also redid the first game with the second game’s graphics with God Eater: Resurrection for the same aforementioned platforms, mainly as a bonus for those who were watching the production hell-laden anime series.
It’s been nearly four years since the original God Eater 2 released in Japan, but it’s time for the next installment: The aptly-named God Eater 3. The project was first teased at a presentation during Tokyo Game Show 2016, which means they’ve been taking their sweet time working on this. The development team decided a livestreamed section during the God Eater Orchestra Live concert was the ideal venue for this reveal, an event where fan-favorite tracks from the series were played for an audience rife with otaku dedicated fans to commemorate the franchise’s seventh anniversary.
GE3 will take place after the last game, on an Earth that belongs to fearsome creatures known as the Aragami instead of humans. The God Eaters, ordinary-looking fighters who’ve been gifted or cursed with new iterations of the God Arc weapon implants, are once again called to fight them. Like previous games, players can venture through it with AI companions, or team up with others to fight the Aragami in co-op.
Unfortunately, not much was shown at the event. Most of the first trailer was focused on teasing the story, but unlike many other announcement trailers these days, at least it provided a glimpse at gameplay. This installment will represent a significant technological leap over its predecessors, since it will be the first that won’t have to run on PSP. There’s a reason why it’s taking a while, since nearly every element from the previous games has to be repurposed for an HD title.
What’s funny is how plenty of people thought the God Eater series and other hunting franchises like Toukiden would make the jump to current-generation technology before the series they were inspired by. But Monster Hunter: World will beat them to the punch when it releases in January worldwide.
Interestingly, Bandai Namco skipped revealing this at Tokyo Game Show, which ended two weeks ago, and opted to reveal it at one of their own events. It’s sad proof of how far TGS has fallen in importance in the last few years, because otherwise, the above-linked trailer would have been shown at Sony’s conference. Only a handful of non-mobile games were announced at the show, and it’s tough to see that improving in the next few years. Atlus will use this same strategy when they reveal more about the next Shin Megami Tensei game at the Shin Megami Tensei 25th Anniversary Live – Chaos Side concert on October 23rd.
God Eater 3 continues the modern and peculiar trend of games being announced without the confirmation of platforms, apparently done in order to make online discussions interesting. That’s reminiscent of how Code Vein from this same company was announced in the spring, a Dark Souls-style game with aesthetics remarkably similar to the GE titles. (It wouldn’t surprise me if they were connected.) The press release specified that this game is being developed for home consoles, meaning they’ll be following MHWorld’s lead, though it’s not as if they have much choice for development platform targets these days. PS4 is a given, but there’s a good chance of a PC version too, since the God Eater: Resurrection and God Eater 2: Rage Burst bundle has sold nearly 200,000 copies on Steam. They’ll announce the platforms after they’ve had their fill of reading entertainment.
Unlike the previous games, which were laser targeted at Japan, this one will be a worldwide release. There’s no way to tell whether it will release in every territory simultaneously, but we should receive a clue of that soon too.