Godfall is a brand new game developed by Counterplay Games and published by Gearbox Software, which you might remember from being the first to get a trailer on Playstation 5 last December during the Game Awards.
Even though the game was considered the pinnacle of next-gen gaming with its fancy character graphics and millions of particles on the screen, the reality of it is harsh. Should you buy Godfall or wait? This is our Godfall review.
Story – Premises
Godfall is set in a fantasy world where humanoid warriors wearing incredibly good looking armor are fighting an infinite war. The story revolves around mythic heroes Orin and Macros, two brothers known as the best warriors in the world of Godfall. Much like what you’d think, one of them is good and one is bad. No gimmicks, no huge twists in the scenario. Our protagonist, Orin is bested by Macros and must now become more powerful in order to take down his brother.
Macros, on the other side, is sure that he must become a god and he’ll do anything to achieve it. Yes, the story is as linear as a 90’s game can get. But hey, do we really need to criticize it for being a bit hollow on the inside? I wouldn’t since the story doesn’t impact so so much what you do when you play. You can easily mute all sound (although you wouldn’t want to do so) and pay no attention to the cinematics and you’ll have a great time.
So, the story is blunt and will have no impact on your overall gaming experience. If that’s what the studio wanted to do then I’m ok with it. If they thought that this story is the best they could do though, well, then I’m disappointed. Dialogues are repeating, cinematics are lacking emotional impact (except the opening cinematic which is AWESOME) and my overall take on the story is that it didn’t affect me at all.
Enough with the bad. Let’s move on to the core of Godfall which is its gameplay. Here, I have no major complaints although I cannot say that the game plays out perfectly. Godfall is packed with loot and the more you move onto next stages the more you get. I can clearly see the God of War, Monster Hunter World, and Diablo influences that Godfall has embedded in it and I really don’t mind it. If I can have a great looking game that requires no struggle to get around and rains loot on me every now and then, fine by me.
Godfall treats gameplay like a classic slasher game. You have light and heavy attacks which you can combo to make them more powerful, especially if you can find out the mechanics between the primary and secondary weapons too. You also yield a shield which you can block and parry and you’ll be excited to find out that parries in this game are surprisingly forgiving. If you need a game to practice parrying before you play Demons’ Souls, for instance, this is your game. There are some mechanics that are tied to stamina and weapon charge bars but they’re not that revolutionary to make them worth mentioning.
Let’s get to my favorite part of gameplay, the Valorplates. As you learn pretty early in the game, there’s an array of different armors you can “craft” and use, which are basically the bodies of the Archons, which are legendary warriors. The more you progress the more of those Valorplates you unlock and that’s where the game gets fun. The differences between the Valorplates are not that significant that they entirely change your playstyle but they definitely add an extra layer of replayability. There are 12 plates-classes to choose from after unlocking them all and that is the most of a thrill I had while playing.
Fighting enemies is as straightforward as it can get, with “minions” acting as basically target dummies until you reach the boss fights. Those fights are basically Macros’ trusted allies and you need to take them down in order to reach him. However, this is where opinions will differ.
I loved boss fights cause they were easy and gave me satisfaction whenever I saw loot popping out like candy out of a pinhata. Someone else though would think that they are way too easy and they make the game even more boring. I’ll stand by my opinion since it was a long time before I found a game that allows me to sit back and play without having to worry about long boss fights and micromanagement.
Godfall does come with its own version of builds, which includes different stats to weapons much like any other looter game and the Augment system which gives you yet another way to upgrade and customize your character. This customization is gameplay locked and you have minimum customization to the Valorplates. Loot comes in dozens in every mission and your gear unlocks through the character’s level system so you’ll find yourself switching gear too often. For what it’s worth, you’ll most probably end up playing a critical damage build during the end game so I can’t way that the system comes with any revolutionary changes.
Overall, the gameplay is fun for the length of its campaign. In the 10 hours, you’ll play the story missions, you’ll have fun with its boss fights and Valorplate changes. The end-game though is a sad sad story. There are only 2 types of end-game content to undertake, Tower and Dreamstones, and they feel so hollow that you might end up giving it all up after two or three times. One more thing that drove me mad during the end-game is how often your character gets knocked down by enemy bosses. It almost feels unfair and it made me drop playing after the campaign altogether.
Oh, the graphics, the most talked-about aspect of Godfall. Yeah, what you see in-game is jawdropping. Especially if you are playing on Playstation 5. The armor is so beautiful it hurts and the world itself is so vibrant that makes you almost forget about all the bad things it bestows. Clearly influenced by the flashy animations and particles from God of War, Godfall disguises its lack of impact with amazing graphics that your monitor can boost up to 4K resolution to make things really pop off.
It’s not only the particles and the world though. Characters and Valorplates come with a huge pixel density, showing what next-gen graphics can really do. Godfall is so pretty to look at, it almost makes me feel guilty for blaming it for its lack of story.
Undeniably, the model artists and environment artists did incredible work on Godfall. It almost sets the bar for more games with such graphical intensity to release from now on. I kind of wish its gameplay and story were only a notch better so that I couldn’t state its flaws so much.
Much like its graphics, Godfall is a treat in its soundtrack and audio in battles too. Even though its story and purpose can’t complete the experience, what you hear in the game is beautiful. In fact, there’s more possibility of me hearing the soundtrack than playing the game again. Swords clashing or enemies growling sound so realistic that they cannot spell anything less than” next-gen”. If I could match the essence of the game with what I see and hear, I would definitely say that Godfall is a gem. In reality, though, a good soundtrack and graphics are, in general, a reason to not completely dismiss it.
In general, I had my fair share of fun with Godfall even if that came at the expense of having no impactful progression whatsoever. The game never gave me a reason to come back to it but I can admire that it’s a great solution to anger management. If you’re feeling angry, just boot the game and start hitting things. It helps. For what it’s worth, I believe that Godfall is way too pricey for its content. $60 on PC and $70 on consoles is a huge price tag for a game that spans around 10 hours in its campaign and then leaves the end game in an endless pointless grind.
But hey, this is not the first time a game is criticized by fans and critics for its content. The fact that Godfall does hint at some replayability, it comes to Counterplay Games to make up for the lack of depth to give it some cool end-game content and make it a next-gen Diablo since they give it the title of a looter-slasher.
If there’s one piece of advice to give, I’d say that Godfall is an experience that needs to be had since it foreshadows the graphical future of next-gen consoles. However, I’d say to anyone considering buying it right now to wait. Godfall is not worth the full price tag. I hardly say that but on this occasion it’s true. I would definitely get the game again at a $30 price just to grind my way through and have some fun during the quarantine.