This could have been much cooler than it ends up being...
Gods Will Fall Review: A Tale of Wasted Potential
Gods Will Fall had us excited for a minute. The initial setup with a group of fierce warriors tackling a row of merciless gods sounds exciting. But unfortunately, the game ends up being a bit of a letdown. Read this review to find out why Gods Will Fall, despite a few neat ideas, ends up missing the mark.
Gods Will Fall is a Top-Down Hack&Slay Action-RPG from Clever Beans, published by Deep Silver. Think Diablo or Path of Exile, but without the loot or the satisfying combat. Well, more on that later. First, let's see what Gods Will Fall does well, because there are a few highlights in here!
Gods Will Fall Review: The Good – Charming Style & Character
Let me tell you: this game is charming as heck. Right from the get-go, the style and presentation of Gods Will Fall shines with a great animated intro that's showing you the story setup (including a very cool made-up language!). Gods have been terrorizing the human population forever, so one day they decide: nah, we had enough of this crap. So they make their way to the island where the Gods reside. Only 8 of the warriors survive the journey, and this is where you come into play!
You play this group of 8 randomly generated Celtic warriors. Stranded on the island, you will have to go through 10 dungeons to defeat all the bosses. If a warrior dies, they are stuck there until one of their friends defeats the respective God. After every dungeon, the warriors gain (or lose) skills and ability points. Your characters might be randomly generated, but they are so delightfully animated and written that you will instantly fall in love with them. I rooted so hard for Selma, the Mace-Swinging-Badass in my team, you wouldn't believe it...
This is definitely the game's biggest strength, combined with its charming graphical style. The visuals are not going to rock your socks off but they are quite creative and evocative. In this regard, Gods Will Fall manages to get a lot out of its small scope and possibilities.
For pretty much everything else though, the opposite of that is true.
Gods Will Fall Review – The Bad: Clunky Combat & Lackluster Levels
Unfortunately, Gods Will Fall does miss the mark pretty hard in its gameplay. The dungeons are populated by minions, which you have to fight to weaken the boss. This idea is cool, but controlling your characters just does not feel very satisfying, especially when compared to games like Hades or Diablo. Your heroes are painfully slow, the jump feels like you accidentally activated moon physics and your attacks have very little impact. The combat is overall pretty weak sauce, and a missing lock-on function makes some fights, especially against groups, feel more like Whack-A-Mole.
Don't get me wrong: the game can at times feel pretty fun! If you get into a nice rhythm of dodging, parrying and whacking the moles, it can feel great. But more often than not, the mentioned issues get in the way of your enjoyment. Especially the boss fights against the evil Gods, which are supposed to be the highlight of the game, are mostly frustrating.
This part of the game sadly feels like a missed opportunity.
The level design might be the game's biggest Achilles heel. The levels are hand-crafted but the way they were designed is oddly confusing. They are pretty open, even though there is only one way through and exploring will mostly get you... nothing. Sometimes you can find useful items and cool flavor text (again: the writing is great!), but goodies like this are oddly rare so you will end up in a lot of dead ends. That also made finding the one way through to the boss a struggle at times, which lead to quite a lot of frustration.
Gods Will Fall Review: The Verdict – Not The Hit I Had Hoped For
I really wanted to like Gods Will Fall – I love the style, the story is exciting, and your band of Celtic brothers is very charming and lovable. But it just falls short in the actual gameplay. It can't hold its own against some of the strong competitors in the Hack&Slay Action-RPG genre.
Here is hoping that Clever Beans keep working on the game to fix some of the mentioned issues, at least with the combat. If the combat gets more OOMPF and control, it could feel much more satisfying. The level design won't be changed at this point but maybe including a map and filling the dead ends with collectibles and more of those tasty flavor texts would encourage exploration.
As it stands, I can't fully recommend Gods Will Fall. Its charming character should be explored and supported, but for now, maybe you should wait for a sale.
- Release Date: January 29, 2021
- Developer: Clever Beans
- Genre: Action RPG
- Single Player
- Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC via Epic Games Store and Steam, and Stadia – all digital-only
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