Initial release date: November 12, 2020
Developer: Counterplay Games
Engine: Unreal Engine 4
Publishers: Gearbox Software, Gearbox Publishing
Platforms: PlayStation 5, Microsoft Windows
Modes: Single-player video game, Multiplayer video game
"Links to Purchase"
Review Copy Provided by GearBox Studios
Looter style games fall into either 1 of 2 categories: either people love them or hate them. The best style of looter games are often the Diablo-esque games as well as Destiny, Warframe, and the cherished Borderlands franchise. Looter games are often a massive time sink and you have to be willing to give them your full attention when you decide to hop in. With the lead up to the PlayStation 5, we had been shown one game that looked absolutely majestic and that was none other than CounterPLay Games and published by GearBox Studios’ GodFall which looked to meld together aspects of multiple games from Warframe, God of War, Souls Games, Destiny, Marvel’s Avengers, and Borderlands to be the definitive hack-n-slash action adventure looter dungeon crawler. The question now is does Godfall succeed in living up to the hype it generated, or does it fall flat and end up in the bargain bin weeks after release? Let’s find out
The story of Godfall is set in a highfantasy setting in a world eith multiple yet distictnly different reals: Earth Air, Water, Fire, and Spirit. It follows the journey of Orin, a member of the Knight’s Order who was betrayed by his brother Macros who sought to over through him and rule the realms and ascend to God-hood. Rising from defeat, Orin sets to right the wrongs committed by his brother, restore the realm, and have his vengeance.
If you’ve played Warframe and any Souls game then you’ll be at home here as this game borrows heavily from those two titles along with God of War, Destiny, and Diablo even. Instead of being a standard hack-n-slash or a looter shooter, Godfall is a Hack-n-Slash Looter with RPG elements similar to Destiny and Diablo and the controls are an amalgamation of God of War 2018 and Demon Souls/Dark Souls with your attacks being mapped to the shoulder buttons.
The button layout has you using Cross to dodge, Circle to open chests & warp jump to new platforms, Square allows you to heal yourself, Triangle switches you primary and secondary weapon. The shoulder buttons consist of L1 being your block/parry, L2 being your charge up ability, R1 is your light attack, and R2 is your heavy attack. Pressing down on the D-Pad does a quick turn with the Left Stick controlling movement & L3 controlling sprint, and the Right Stick controlling the camera movement & R3 allowing you to lock onto your enemy and curb stomp/kill enemies.
In combat you have a variety of moves in your arsenal that you can use to take down your foes from the standard R1 combos to heavy strike combos with R2 or mixing it up with both buttons to dish out the pain. If you hold down L1 and press R2 then you can throw your shield and if you hold L2 and press R1 or R2 and do either a warp strike combo or a warp pass back slash. The free flowing of combat and its possibilities are endless as the combat system is incredibly deep with your ability to unlock more and more moves such as an evasive slide after dodging, a roundtrip Captain America style shield throw, being able to curb stomp style kills to smaller enemies, and more. Being able to level up your skills multiple times and gain new abilities and combos just goes to show the levels of depth of the combat system.
When in battle you can attack with light or heavy attacks and you’ll need to be nimble on your feet to be able to dodge incoming attacks as well as block attacks as well as parry them. Parrying attacks requires key timing as you need to press L1 at the right moment to open up enemies to either press R3 and curb stomp/kill enemies or reflect back enemy shots to them. The only time you won’t be able to block or parry attacks is when your enemy glows red or when there’s a red AOE or Area of Effect attack that will knock you down and do massive damage. On the flip side, when the enemy glows blue you can parry their attack which will leave them stunned.
If you fill up Archon Fury by attacking and taking damage from enemies then you can press L3 and R3 which allow you activate this state which is similar to Devil May Cry’s Devil Trigger or God of War’s Krato’s Fury which boosts all your attacks significantly and has you invincible for a short amount of time.
You’ll pick up various equipment to use such as amulets, rings, charms, banners, and more which will give you various buffs and stat boosts to Orin. There’s crafting which is called forging which allows you to upgrade your equipment with various resources that you collect throughout the game and even salvage weapons that you won’t have use for. Enchanting is another form of upgrading your weapons and your gear for significant stat boosts and buffs which are critical to progression in the game. Weapons are found by defeating enemies and range from swords, great swords, dual swords, pole arms, hammers, Warhammers, and axes. Weapons can be anywhere from common to legendary status ala Destiny/Diablo with each giving you different advantages in battle based on what enemy you end up facing as some enemies fall quickly to Swords or Warhammers versus other weapons so take your time in learning each character.
The final area I will cover is the customization with being able to change out Orin’s Valorplate with several others giving him not only a new look but also various abilities and buffs. Some even change his gender from male to female.
This game is GORGEOUS and SHINY! The amount of detail that is in every character from Orin to Macros to the Seventh Sanctum and more are all incredibly well made and detailed it really shows off the graphical power of the PS5.
The environments have an incredible amount of detail in them from the flora and the fauna all the way down to the details in the flowing of water, fire, and more. The texture detail in the various terrain that we traverse is stunning and almost life like as if you are in those areas. Each of the characters you come across in the story look not only detailed but also VERY SHINY which is in my opinion really cool. The enemy soldiers that you fight look like a cross between medieval knights mixed with Roman Spartans mixed with futuristic cyberpunk aesthetics wielding everything from swords, pole arms, axes, and even guns. You also have other none human like enemies from wizards to beast men and more that all look awesome bringing about a very vibrant world to life.
You can run the game in Fidelity Mode or Performance mode; Fidelity mode prioritizes running the game at 4K with extra details in the characters and a locked 30FPS whereas Performance Mode lowers the resolution slightly and optimizes the game to run at 60FPS for more fluid gameplay. I personally kept the game in the Performance Mode because the fast fluid gameplay of 60FPS and up is just how I prefer to play almost all of my games if given the choice.
There’s online multiplayer with up to 2 additional people to do various things form taking down bosses to hunting specific enemies and more. It’s TONS of fun with the right group of people.
This game has that big Hollywood box office hit like feel to it when it comes to the audio as everything sounds grand. The voices of Orin, his brother Macros, the Seventh Sanctum, and more all sound just as godlike as they look.
The enemies that you encounter from the soldiers to the monsters to the various bosses all have a uniqueness to them that just feels perfect and in no way forced or hammy like in som either titles. Orin legit sounds every bit like a wise and just king who is hell bent on stopping his power hungry brother, whereas Macros comes across as a very conniving and cunningly cutthroat warrior set on becoming a god at any and all costs.
When you’re in levels that have forestry in them such as rustling leaves, wind blown trees, rivers and waterfalls and more; all have a very organic and real sound to them especially if you’re listening with headphones on. The clashing of steel on flesh and metal has that weighty crunch that you’d want them to have and sound oh so perfect.
Thus far I’ve given a lot of praise and I’m sure you’ve hear A LOT of negatives from other outlets and reviewers about this game. Do I agree with the criticisms of the game raised such as grindy in nature, overly long fights, nonsensical story, being too much like Anthem, and the like? No, I actually don’t because I think this game is perfectly fine and I’m unsure of what and how these “critics” are bashing the game other than not taking time to learn how the game plays or understanding the need to craft gear and increase your stats via enchantments and salvaging older unused gear.
I often see this game compared to Anthem, a game many hated, and I don’t at all see the comparisons to it as this game doesn’t at all play like it and is a lot of fun when you TAKE THE TIME to learn how the game plays. Is it grindy? No more than any looter based dungeon crawling game is and I don’t see why that’s a bad thing.
The only real downside I have for this game is the fact that there are occasional frame drop issues that occur in hectic battles and even in that its not a common thing to happen as the game on an average doesn’t dip below either framerate for the modes you pick be it Fidelity or Performance.
The sad reality is many top games journalists and YouTubers have effectively killed any chance this game could’ve had with having a solid active audience because of the constant negative publicity they’ve given it. What’s sadder is the amount of “sheep minded” gamers who blindly listen to these people and don’t try games for themselves. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been either asked “Is GodFall any good because I heard negative things” or “I heard Godfall is terrible but I haven’t played it myself” and this right here has effectively poisoned the well for Godfall as these 2 trains of thought are already in the minds of people who will more than likely never give the game a chance.
With a insanely deep combat system, an interesting world and lore with plenty of mystery for potential future installments, incredible graphics, a fun and fluid multiplayer, and customization features to make Orin all your own; GodFall is a game that is exceptionally well made and incredibly fun that I think any gamer would have an absolute blast playing through. If you want to show off your new PlayStation 5 with a stunning game then you can’t go wrong with this at all. Godfall is the best new launch title that is a killerapp must own title.