By and large, the gameplay in God Eater 2 is fairly tactical, in that you have to focus more on dodging the Aragami enemies’ attacks while hunting them, as they can down your player character with just a couple of hits.
God Eater 2: Rage Burst changes things up a little with a new power-up mode, the Rage Burst mechanic, that temporarily grants you a massive damage boost as well as faster rapid strikes and increased movement options. It’s a little like the Musou system in Dynasty Warriors games, and while Rage Burst is active you could basically go wild on the Aragami without worrying about their attacks as much. But in order to keep the game balanced, you won’t be able to activate the power-up all the time (unless you’re playing the TGS demo). Rage Burst activation is something you’ll have to earn.
There is a meter on the left-hand side of the screen that charges up as you’re landing strikes on the Aragami. Once it’s full, you start-up Rage Burst by pressing down on a lever next to the Rage Burst meter in the lower-left corner of the touchscreen, dragging it downwards, and releasing — as if you were launching your next ball in a game of pinball or pachinko.
Doing so will bring up a challenge condition, which is displayed on a red stripe on the upper-right-hand corner of the screen. You’ll have to clear that challenge in 30 seconds before Rage Burst can be activated. In the Tokyo Game Show demo, the condition required the player to deal over 4,000 damage to the Aragami.
There was only one selectable challenge in the TGS demo, but presumably in the full game there could be as many as four challenges that you could select from at a single point in time. You select your preferred challenge by tapping on the red stripe and swiping it towards the left.
After your preferred challenge has been selected, a couple more red stripes (two in the TGS demo) will then appear on the upper-right-hand corner. These are additional mods that you can add to your challenge, such as increasing the damage required by 20%. This part is entirely optional, but if you choose to add a mod, the damage boost you’ll receive during Rage Burst will increase. Players can see how much the damage boost will change as indicated in the form of a percentage number on the bottom-left corner.
Regardless if you’ve selected any mods to add to the challenge conditions, your 30 seconds to clear it will begin once you hit the confirmation button on the bottom-right of the touchscreen. 30 seconds may not seem like a lot of time to dish out 4,000 damage to the Aragami, but during the 30-second period, any damage dished out by any of your party members counts towards the damage. If you selected the 20% extra damage mod you’ll need to clock in over 5,000 damage and in the full game it might be possible to increase the condition to over 9,000. In the demo I found it difficult to consistently deal damage to the Aragami, but thanks to the CPU NPCs I was able to activate Rage Burst a couple of times.
According to the game’s producers at Bandai Namco, Rage Burst is a power-up available only to Player Characters. So while in single-player you’ll be the only one who can activate its power, in multiplayer modes all four players will have access to Rage Burst, and it might be beneficial to synchronize your activation times for the sake of dishing out the highest amount of cumulative damage. Since all damage dealt by the party counts towards the Rage Burst challenge conditions, players who are not confident on clearing the damage criteria could have their teammates activate their Rage Burst modes first, and take advantage of the damage boost that way to clear their own activation condition.
Of course, as Rage Burst grants a damage boost of 200% and upwards, on top of increased attack combo speeds, Bandai Namco isn’t about to make the game too easy by letting players activate the power-up very often. According to the producers, in a regular mission, on average you’d get to activate Rage Burst only once or twice.
In the TGS demo there were two playable missions — one that had the Rage Burst activation gauge maxed at all times, and another where you had to charge it up as per normal. When I tried playing the second mission, as I found it incredibly difficult to land hits on the stronger Aragami in that mission, I was unable to muster enough charge to activate the power-up.
The other new feature in God Eater 2: Rage Burst that we got to try out at TGS was the new weapon, Valiant Scythe. What’s interesting about Valiant Scythe is that, although it is a close-range melee weapon, depending on the attack button combinations you’ve entered, you could extend the scythe’s attack range to twice or four times the regular length. While I was unable to figure out which attack strings let you extend the range by 2x, extending the scythe’s attack range to 4x was a pretty simple maneuver, all you have to do is hold the the R should button and hit square to attack over and over.
Doing so produces red energy waves that travel a good distance from your player character, allowing you to safely deal damage from mid-range distance — but the damage won’t be as high as if you were striking the Aragami from point-blank; unlike in the original God Eater 2, damage numbers have been added to God Eater 2: Rage Burst, allowing you to tell easily which attacks dish out more damage.
It might not deal a lot of damage, but using the ranged mode of the Valiant Scythe weapon made it possible to charge up your Rage Burst meter more consistently. As it’s a fairly versatile weapon, and one of the new ones added for Rage Burst, the Valiant Scythe seems well-suited for beginners.
God Eater 2: Rage Burst is slated for release on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita sometime in 2015. For players who have not played the original God Eater 2, a director’s cut of the original campaign will be included in God Eater 2: Rage Burst along with a new story scenario set after its ending. At Tokyo Game Show, a Traditional Chinese localization for God Eater 2: Rage Burst was announced for the Asia market, launching alongside the Japanese version.