In the Games.cz editorial office, there is (among other fascinating things) also a magical Board of Dreams and Wishes. In addition to the wi-fi password and the warning that the end is near, supplemented by an artfully executed death skull, individual members of the editorial board can write the names of the games they want to review in the future.
Just last week, I prompted Sarka to delete Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 from her name, because the game will never work, and if she does, processing it will be more of a punishment. How I ran into a pitchfork! Just so you understand, next to my name, there was one austere name at the time: Godfall.
Even when I was scratching it with a marker a few months ago, I earned surprised looks from my colleagues with raised eyebrows. Although the very first game announced for PlayStation 5 boasted unprecedented visuals in promotional materials, most other clues suggested that it would be a thoroughly average issue that we regularly see when launching new consoles.
I’m not naive enough to think that Godfall will be a masterpiece, but I hoped that, like Ryse: Son of Rome years ago in the case of the Xbox One, this game would be a good example of the PlayStation 5’s performance capabilities. is one of my favorite gaming pastimes. Unfortunately, Godfall did not meet even the very low expectations with which I approached him.
Deep human (?) Stories
Godfall tells the story of betrayal and revenge in a world that stands somewhere on the border between fantasy and science fiction. The heroes like to wear pompous armor and masks, and everything is so kitschy colored and shiny that you feel as if you are in the feverish dream of a Russian oligarch’s mistress.
The narrative itself is ridiculously simple: Your name is Orin and it’s not entirely clear what gender you have – your voice depends on what armor you’re wearing, which the game doesn’t explain, even though the only two NPCs in the game speak to you men, even in the female form. Well, anyway – your brother betrayed him, he plans to perform a ritual and become a god, but he has no idea that he will probably not survive and will take the rest of the world with him in the next cataclysm.
Of course, you have to prevent this, but in order not to make it so easy, you first have to deal with a few brother’s motives, who in the meantime are collecting strengthening energy for him. These scraps are scattered across the three elementary realms, so in addition to the plains of the earth, you will also look into the kingdom of water and air.
From the central hub, where you can forge new armor or improve weapons, you will set out on expeditions to the individual worlds accessible. In them, you can either just wander, mow down enemies, level and search for treasures, or go hunting for more demanding prey, or try how long you can survive in a tower full of challenges or make a little progress in the story. By the way, even Godfall can’t do without a hated system, where the game sometimes makes another story mission inaccessible to you, until you collect a sufficient number of specific materials in the side ones.
Death doesn’t matter
In practice, however, it doesn’t matter so much, because the story and side missions are practically identical in their content. If you are expecting any portion of invention, or some memorable moments, you are unlucky. Gameplay is limited to running around perhaps unnecessarily large locations, discharging groups of enemies and occasionally destroying something that prevents you from moving on.
The potential of Godfall’s environment is absolutely untapped at its potential. In addition, I would not be able to poke out of my head perhaps the only more interesting enemy with whom I crossed my sword, and even fights with bosses do not improve it in any way.
The absence of fail state causes an absolute loss of concentration and an early onset of boredom.
The problem is that Godfall is an extremely easy game at its core, which absolutely lacks any motivation to strive. Death means nothing at all, you just go back to the checkpoint (a few steps back), while the killed monsters are still dead, the ones you at least eroded still have the same level of health, and even in boss fights, the enemy’s healthbar is divided into several parts and after possible death it is not replenished to the maximum.
Although it can be said that this makes the game more accessible, but at the same time the absence of fail state causes an absolute loss of concentration and an early onset of boredom. In combination with the uninteresting content of the missions, Godfall very quickly turns into a continuous chain of constantly recurring quarrels with groups of similar enemies.
The equipment does not matter
The game tries to profile itself as a representative of the new genre “looter-slasher”, basically it wants to be such Borderlands or Destiny, only without firearms. Instead, you will get various two-handed handles, halberds, war hammers, or dual swords.
Apart from them, you will also find rings, magic amulets, banners and special artifacts, and from all this you can compose your build, which further supports the chosen armor (there are a decent number of them to choose from, but you don’t collect individual pieces, unlock pre-prepared variants in the basic hub) and system of items adding bonuses.
The problem is that Godfall will overwhelm you with a lot of statistics and small details on how to tune your character and bring it as close as possible to your preferred style of play, but I didn’t feel their effects at all during the actual campaign. The only number that really interested me was the damage my weapons did. The RPG system (especially taking into account the overall simplicity) thus sounds empty.
Of course, it is possible that when you play cooperatively, you will feel more about which build is suitable for specific situations and when it will be more beneficial for the group, but in fact I feel that as in singleplayer everyone will throw themselves into the cast holomause and in a moment everything without major they cut the caveks into rags, without wondering if they could use another gear right now.
The combat system is similar, for the needs of the game, its control scheme may be unnecessarily complex, and in addition, I have repeatedly had the impression that it is insufficiently responsive for the needs of fast seclusion. The moments when I managed to repel the enemy very effectively, who then burst into a shining fog, alternated with moments when the character simply did not respond to my instructions.
It doesn’t matter what the skill is
For the achieved levels you can unlock new attacks in the tree of abilities and skills, the game motivates you to test the rich possibilities of different classes of weapons, engage a (throwable) shield, suck health from enemies and stun enemies by pounding the ground. It also works to repel attacks and reach weakened opponents.
In reality, however, again, in the finals you can do with a light and heavy attack, the fights are often chaotic and the situation is not helped by the camera and a failed system of locking the enemy, which often catches on several attempts and sometimes suddenly falls out by itself.
The camera also works poorly with perspective, so it has repeatedly occurred to me that my crushing attacks have been wasted, because the enemy was simply a little further than it seemed. Given that I played Godfall simultaneously with the remake of Demon’s Souls, I actually had an immediate and perfect comparison of what it looks like when melee combat is done correctly and when it’s not.
Like Demon’s Souls, Godfall has two display settings that take into account either resolution or refresh rate. As in Demon’s Souls, it is more appropriate to bet on the second variant, unfortunately in the case of this game the difference is visible at first glance and moreover, the Performance mode cannot do without frame drops, which in my experience begin to appear mainly after longer game sessions.
It is also strange because Godfall attracted an incredible visual during the advertising massage, but in the end its final appearance is rather disappointing. Don’t get me wrong, the effects are blurred and there is definitely a feeling that the PlayStation 4 probably couldn’t handle this, but in fact all the pomp and color will soon start to come together, the game is strangely blurred and the lack of creativity in creating opponents masks the reflections and a spectacle of color explosions.
You may not notice it in the speed of combat, but especially during the arrival animations, desperately executed models stand out, on which details are absent. The special stylization reminded me very often of the Kingdoms of Amalur, which is not entirely praise from the perspective of 2020.
It doesn’t matter
The whole situation is not saved by the attractive system of prey. You get a lot of things, but you rarely come across a quality piece that inspires you to change. And anyway, you only subordinate everything to the PCB.
It’s a shame, because Borderlands from the same publisher, for example, showed that the often crazy effects of weapons can inject an important dose of fun into repetitive gameplay. In this respect, Godfall is a boring show of classic fire, or poisonous or other bonuses, which always manifest themselves in the same way. Don’t expect a weapon to surprise you with a bizarre function, such as rocket revolvers on the planet Pandora.
The only honor of Godfall is that although its concept resembles live service games, it is in fact a traditional title in which there are no microtransactions and other models of additional payments, which were brought to the bottom by Anthem or recent Avengers. Still, I don’t know who the creators of Godfall created for, none of its aspects are interesting enough to make it worth considering, and I’ll guess that the game will appear on PlayStation Plus very soon.
If you’re wondering what game to buy on your new PlayStation, Godfall should be at the very last place in the launch titles. Hardcore gamers will appreciate Demon’s Souls, the mainstream is covered by Spider-Man, and in addition, there is a growing number of games from third-party developers. And the vast majority of them will be better than this.