All of the combat happens in real time, with the player only controlling one character (who can be customized before and after battle). There are two different attack buttons, as well as a jump and sidestep button. The idea is to find each enemy's weak point and do as much damage as possible. You can do this a number of ways, including using your giant sword or heavy duty gun. The long-range attacks are a reliable way to gain the upper hand, but you can't just sit back and shoot the bad guys from a distance. The gun can only be used after the player has landed a certain amount of melee attacks, giving you incentive to mix up your tactics. There are also items, grenades and other weapons which can really come in handy in a pinch.
Aside from the usual weaponry, Gods Eater Burst features an even more interesting form of attack. By holding down the triangle button, players can charge up a creature of their own and "devour" their opponent. This means that a beastly mouth will leap out of your sword and take a bite out of your enemy, taking some useful items with it. Devouring your foes is a good way to collect the materials needed to upgrade weapons and craft new armor.
The reason this game works so well is because the combat is fast and exciting. You never have to wait thirty seconds for an animation to conclude, in Gods Eater Burst that's enough time to perform at least a half dozen hack and slash moves on your opponent. Better still, the game offers a couple of different targeting options, a feature that would have made my experience with Monster Hunter much more compelling. You can lock on to an enemy, but that will only help you so far. There is no lock-on option for the gun, so players will have to manually aim every time they want to hit their target. The combination of faster gameplay and targeting already makes this Namco game better than Monster Hunter.
I was also impressed with the levels, which look great and offer a lot of area to explore. Because there are so many missions to accomplish, players will have to repeat the same backgrounds multiple times. Thankfully these levels are worth checking out. Unlike Monster Hunter, there is no loading between parts of the level; you can go anywhere you want at any time. The seamless levels keep the action intense, especially when you're forced to flee a powerful bad guy. I'm also a fan of the post-apocalyptic look of these worlds, especially the cityscapes.
While I don't have a problem with the levels repeating, I do take issue with the lack of enemy diversity. It didn't take long before I started running into the same enemies a few too many times. Even when the bad guys aren't the same, their basic shape and weaknesses are similar enough to disappoint. Thankfully the game's story is compelling enough to overshadow the lack of variety, but it would have been nice to see a few more types of giant monsters.
I also take issue with the game's camera system. In order to look around the player is forced to use the D-pad, which means taking their hand completely off of the analog stick. This isn't a big deal early on, since the enemies can be few and far between. However, in the later levels I found myself constantly fighting the camera. Thankfully the player can hit the left shoulder button to center the camera, but this is hardly an elegant workaround for a real problem.
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