[A Big, Steamy One is a new GameRevolution series that looks at some of the most — ahem — "interesting" games released on the Steam store. This is the very first entry. Enjoy.]
"This work of fiction was inspired by a cultures and stories from around the world," Fight of Gods' opening screen reads. "The team has no intention of offending any persons and the utmost respect was given during development."
After reading this thoughtful message from the developers, I'm thrust into a one-on-one fist fight between Jesus and Buddha, with Jesus tearing himself from off of the cross on which he was crucified prior to the battle. He uses the wooden stumps still nailed to his bloodied hands as makeshift weapons, battering Buddha with a series of chained punches and an ultimate move that sees God's light locking them in a combo juggle.
Though I can't speak on behalf of Fight of Gods developers Digital Crafter, it's safe to conclude that the utmost respect wasn't given during the development of the game, and that they probably knew that they would offend some people after releasing it last week. They likely didn't expect that their game would cause Malaysia to go ahead and completely block Steam in their country for 24 hours, but it's safe to assume that they knew it'd be banned in some regions, which is exactly what happened in Thailand and Indonesia. But is it worth all the fuss? In a word: no. In two words: Nuh uh. In seven words: Nope, and let me tell you why.
Fight of Gods is a PC fighting game but with the graphics taken out and replaced by blasphemy. It looks like its developers have played a NetherRealm Studios fighter and thought: "How can we make this, but without all of the competency?" It's what happens when a team of people have no goal in mind other than to be scolded by censors in a faraway country, who don't want to see their god being repeatedly punched in the head by Anubis.
The best thing I can say about Fight of Gods is that it works: if you look at it while squinting and with a bit of bleach in both of your eyes, it almost looks like a passable fighting game. However, if you're an idiot like me and actually decide to buy it with actual, real-world money that you've earned using your actual, real-world hands, then it becomes immediately apparent that it isn't worth anyone's time, and that Malaysia put in an unreasonable amount of effort into banning a game that no one in their right mind would want anyway.
I played Fight of Gods with the developer's note at the start of the game etched into my mind. "The utmost respect was given during development," I thought to myself, while watching Norse goddess Sif's carefully animated breast physics sway her junk from side-to-side. "The team has no intention of offending any persons," I remembered as I witnessed Moses bludgeon the Son of God with the Ten fucking Commandments.
Aside from the ludicrousness of Fight of Gods' opening statement, my favorite thing (a.k.a. the very worst thing) about the game is its audio design. Each character's voice lines sound like you're listening to them over a particularly shitty Skype connection, while the narrator — y'know, the guy paid to enthusiastically shout "FIGHT!" before every round — sounds like a recording of Dave from accounts being locked inside a broom cupboard and told to shout at a wall.
Nothing works here as far as the audio is concerned. The soundtrack is laughably incongruous with the on-screen action, with a serene orchestral number playing while Odin stabs away at Jesus with his giant sword, and Anubis — a noble Egyptian god responsible for guiding the dead into the afterlife, but here transformed into a sub-par Wolverine — is literally just a man barking into a low-quality microphone. Kudos to Digital Crafter for not opting for stock sound effects, but I think in this instance a recording of a Labrador coughing up leftover meatloaf would be more threatening than this guy's feeble growls.
In terms of the actual fighting there are some special attacks outlined in Fight of Gods' move list, but Digital Crafter hasn't bothered including any combos in said list so you're on your own there. It's difficult to blame them: when you've reached the point that you've included Jesus as a playable character in your fighting game, you've probably already resigned in the knowledge that it isn't going to be shown at EVO any time soon. Imagine if it was, though? Imagine clicking onto Twitch one day and watching a Jesus main win a $50,000 prize pool after kicking the shit out of Buddha?
Fight of Gods is currently in early access, which means that its team of developers are at least ostensibly planning on it being a big enough success that it'd warrant further development past its initial release, followed by a full launch. Considering that it is currently only half of a fighting game, and that the half that is there isn't particularly good, I don't think it's unreasonable to assume that when (if) it receives its proper launch, it isn't going to be challenging Street Fighter V any time soon. With that being said, maybe Jesus & co. should go toe-to-toe with SFV — it'd at least be a better crossover than Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite.