Godzilla (2015) Preview

It's Godzilla! Run! (Towards this game.)

Games containing rich storylines have been all the rage in gaming lately. Titles such as Telltale Games' The Walking Dead or Naughty Dog's The Last of Us house deep, powerful, and sometimes moving narratives that resonate with the gamer even long after the game's end scenes. By contrast, Bandai Namco's upcoming iteration of Godzilla has one intent: destroy everything. And that's quite all right with me, thank you very much.

One of the standouts on the demo floor, Godzilla aims to excite all players but serve as a love song to fans of the mighty daikaiju. The developers make it very clear that they want you to feel as if you were not just playing as the king of the monsters, but playing as him in a movie setting, including music and sound effects faithful to the Japanese movies, as well as camera angles aplenty. Creating mass carnage and mayhem actually unlocks even more camera angles, including views from inside office buildings (before destruction) and from the ground view of a human gazing up at these giant monsters.

Players take control of Godzilla or one of several other daikaiju as they stomp through cities with the intent of leveling as much of the city as possible. The more Godzilla destroys, the larger it becomes, though destroying too much will invoke the wrath of the humans. Godzilla faces other daikaiju bent on stopping him either to protect the city or just to wreck it themselves. In the demo, we took on both King Ghidorah and Space Godzilla in a three-way battle, but the roster includes other heroes and foes such as Mothra, Mechagodzilla, and Jet Jaguar among others.

The control scheme took a bit of getting used to, but made sense in the big picture and was easy to adapt to. Playing as the mighty monster, don't expect to be able to race through the city, despite having a dash as a potential attack along with a tail whip, atomic breath, and Godzilla's trademark roar. Godzilla moves like a tank and has little in the way of defense or evasion. As Godzilla destroys the city, he absorbs the energy released to grow even larger. Turning Godzilla takes the most getting used to, as this is accomplished not by the control stick but by the R1/L1 shoulder buttons. It's a brutally slow turn in comparison to some faster monsters such as King Ghidorah, but then again, you're a massive daikaiju so it makes sense.

Godzilla was the one game whose demo I wanted more of, not because there was any noticeable lack, but because it was that much fun. Taking on the mighty movie monsters and creating chaos through the city felt very much like a mixture of Rampage and King of the Monsters, and it was a combination that worked well.

The PlayStation exclusive will be released this summer on PlayStation 4, along with a PlayStation 3 digital-only release. Pre-ordering at GameStop will carry some nifty bonuses, such as posters and an instant unlock for “Hollywood Godzilla.” Fear not, Bandai Namco refers to the beast from the most recent American Godzilla, and nothing even remotely related to Matthew Broderick.