The new God Eater 3 port for the Nintendo Switch by developer Marvelous is an excellent example of how to move a game from the PC and console over to lesser powered hardware while improving upon the originals in some ways. Players may have found a new primary way to play God Eater 3, instead of either PC and PS4, thanks to these new improvements and the inherent mobility of the Nintendo Switch.
For the unfamiliar, God Eater 3 is often compared to Monster Hunter, though in fact it feels closer to Dauntless with its short missions and long-time limits that are basically unnecessary. One dons a weapon of their choice, of which there are many, and then goes off to hunt the Aragami, which are beasts that range in size from small to massive, all bent on the destruction of civilization. The game is the sequel to God Eater 2 Rage Burst from 2014, which released for the PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 4, and the PlayStation Vita.
Players take on the role of God Eaters, individuals bestowed with the power to wield new God Arcs, which are special weapons powered by Oracle Cells and the only known means of destroying the Aragami. By hunting down the biggest of these beasts, one can craft the best weapons in the game, which is a more simplified process than in God Eater 2 Rage Burst, where you make adjustments to your Melee, Gun, and Shield to empower your God Arc as a whole.
Comparing The Port To The PC And PlayStation 4
In terms of graphics, one can easily see that the port is toned down a bit when compared to running the game on a strong PC. However, the framerate and fluidity of the game, even in the busiest moments with many players on screen, is flawless. A bit of quality has been sacrificed for performance, but this is to be expected when considering the hardware limitations of the Switch. However, to keep combat fast and the action going, this is a tiny price to pay. The same type of sacrifice is likely to be made for the upcoming The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt port, and it is likely to be a common trend, but well worth the price.
About half of this reviewer's playtime was spent with the game undocked, using the default Joy-Cons, and the other half docked with the use of an 8BidDo sn30 Pro controller. Both methods worked well. As usual, the pro controller allowed for more comfortable playing and easier button combinations, but that is true of almost any game for an extended session, given the smaller size of the buttons on the Joy-Cons attached to the screen. In playing the game undocked, the controls felt fine, and one could easily take the game on the go and play with ease.
Destroying Aragamis With Friends
The Switch port treats multiplayer exceptionally well and is ideally played with friends since the entire story campaign can be completed together. Unfortunately, if one joins with another player who is not as far along in the story, everyone plays at the earliest level. There is no piggybacking here to skip ahead. It would be nice to be able to choose such an option, since everyone needs to be on the same part of the story to advance.
Still, despite this rather small annoyance, God Eater 3 on the Switch treats online multiplayer better than most other games. Granted, much of that is often due to the strange and underwhelming way that Nintendo has built its online service, but it is still worth mentioning.
Local co-op is another strong point for the port as the entire campaign can also be played in this way, which is a fun feature absent even today for the PC and PS4.
The Gang's All Here
DLC for God Eater 3 comes in the form of free updates by the developer, rather than additional paid content. All content for the PC and PS4 is already included in the port, up to the recent patch 1.40 that released at the end of June which, adds Time Attack Missions, more cosmetics, and balance changes to weapons and monsters.
Fun Gameplay, Stifled by Bland, Repetitive Backgrounds
When compared to God Eater 2 Rage Burst, the combat has been refined, new weapons added, and recent balance updates have made everything feel viable in its own way. Unfortunately, the backgrounds and places where players go fight the Aragami are often the same bland, identical backdrops used over and over again.
This is something that felt a bit lazy in terms of development and is one of the issues the game has for long-term replayability. Even though the Switch version feels great in every other way, the same backgrounds made the game lose some of its luster rather quickly after playing. Still, this is a relatively minor complaint that may not bother all players.
Who Needs A Story, Anyways?
This is another minor complaint, because it is not that the story is badly written, but rather that it is perhaps difficult to write engaging dialogue where the resolution comes with, “Now, go fight another Aragami, come back, and we will chat some more.”
The entire purpose of the game is to find and defeat Aragami, all towards farming for the right components to craft and upgrade gear. With that in mind, the story is certainly fine, but it is largely forgettable, much like God Eater 2 Rage Burst.
Of course, these are games that hardly need stories, at least for some players to enjoy them. It is safe to say that many players of these types of games enjoy fighting big monsters, along with crafting weapons, and this is seen in other similar games such as Monster Hunter and Dauntless.
The Go-To Platform Version
Overall, the game and the port are both well done and should serve as an example for other developers looking to transition titles over to the Nintendo Switch. With the addition of new multiplayer and local co-op modes that are not available on the other platforms, this version stands out as probably the best choice to play on with friends. While the graphics are not as good as a PC or PS4, one quickly forgets as the ability to play on the go and with friends in additional ways puts this version above the others.
4 Out Of 5 Stars
A copy of God Eater 3 was purchased by TheGamer for this review. God Eater 3 is currently available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch.