Fall Guys Review | Falling with a complete lack of style

Paul Tamburro
Fall Guys Info

genre

  • Party

players

  • 60

Publisher

  • Devolver Digital

Developer

  • Mediatonic

Release Date

  • 08/04/2020
  • Out Now

Platform

  • PC
  • PS4

rating

Fall Guys review for PS4 and PC. After endless waves of new battle royales, it turns out that all we wanted out of our last man standing multiplayer games was Takeshi’s Castle. Fall Guys is developer Mediatonic‘s “massively multiplayer party game,” pitting 60 players in a colorful game show where only one can grab the victor’s crown. You’ll waddle, stumble, and roll your way to the finish line throughout each show’s five rounds, as players are steadily eliminated in a series of unique challenges. But while it’s good fun in short bursts, its stumpy legs struggle to carry it over extended periods of time.

Fall Guys is a cross between silly physics-based games such as Gang Beasts and Human Fall Flat and brutally hilarious game shows such as Total Wipeout. You have imprecise control over the titular Fall Guys, as they careen into one another and desperately bumble their way to their objectives. Hurdles such as swinging hammers, falling platforms, and giant boulders will impede your progress, while success is earned through a combination of good timing and sheer luck.

Mo’ Players, Mo’ Problems

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Considering that Fall Guys‘ key selling point is that it’s a huge multiplayer game show, its best moments routinely come when the player pool size has been reduced. Mediatonic has included set rounds depending upon the number of players, with earlier rounds solely being mad dashes through an obstacle course to a finish line, while later rounds require more precise platforming and strategic movement.

Rounds such as Hex-a-Gone, where players navigate a series of disappearing hexagonal platforms, and Jump Club, where they jump over a pair of fast-moving swinging arms, are clear highlights. Forcing players to carefully maneuver around one another, slowing down the action to focus more on positioning and jumping, is genuinely nail-biting. But then there are the team games. Oh god, the team games.

Scrambled eggs

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The team games in Fall Guys range from mildly irritating to agonizingly frustrating. Egg Scramble, a round in which you grab eggs and put them into our goal while stealing other teams’ eggs, is an incomprehensible mess. Grabbing in Fall Guys is imprecise, and you’ll rarely grab whatever player or item you’re intending to. As such, a whole round reliant on this — let alone one which also requires a bunch of teammates to also do the same — is a true pain to sit through.

Fall Guys treads the line between funny and exhausting throughout. Getting to the end of Fall Mountain and forgetting to grab the crown is both excruciating and hilarious, yet not being able to move the ball in the soccer mini-game Fall Ball because of janky physics is hellish. Fortunately, there are more hits than misses in Fall Guys‘ round line-up.

There are over 20 levels in Fall Guys, though as each round is short-lived, you’ll get through the majority of them quickly enough. As such, it can feel like there’s a lack of variety, given that you’ll experience much of what Fall Guys has to offer within your first couple of hours of playtime. Each game show typically lasts between 10–15 minutes, depending on which round you reach, so while there’s technically a lot there, you’re rushed through it.

This is both a weakness and a strength, as it also means that there’s also very little downtime. Fall Guys draws similarities with Rocket League in that regard, as the swiftness of each game and the ease in which you can jump into a new one made me frequently convince myself that I would have “just one more go.” Inevitably, I’d find myself huddled over my controller an hour later, still trying to grab those elusive crowns.

You can also play Fall Guys with friends in online multiplayer, with parties of up to four players. Its game shows remain exactly the same even if you’re playing with friends, and annoyingly, if you’ve been eliminated it doesn’t immediately spectate your other party members. It’d be nice if eliminated party members could still interact with the game somehow — emulating Nintendo Switch Online’s ability to applaud your co-op partner would be fun — but it’s still enjoyable to watch a friend bounce through an obstacle course.

Fame, what’s your name?

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Fall Guys is not a game that has difficulty in convincing people to play it. Its joyous, energetic soundtrack perfectly complements its silly action, while its maps are all bold colors and patterns. It’s Ninja Warrior as made by Dr. Seuss.

The Fall Guys themselves are the stars of the show, waddling around like sentient eggs with their adorable arms raised, giant eyes poking out what appear to be costumes that they’re forced to wear permanently. Inevitably, the cosmetics are already stacking up, and there a few ways they can be unlocked.

Players earn Fame by competing in games, with them then being carried through a free Battle Pass of sorts that unlocks new outfits, emotes, and more. Players can also use their Kudos or Crown currency to purchase items that appear on rotation in its store, with Kudos also being purchasable with real-life money. Kudos packs range from $4.99 to $49.99, with the former typically only affording you a few common cosmetics or a rare item.

While its microtransactions may be relatively steep — and it’s unfortunate that only one Epic outfit is unlockable through its Season 1 Battle Pass — Fall Guys is available to purchase for $19.99 on Steam and is free-to-play for PS Plus subscribers on PS4. It still offers a lot for this low price point, and is well worth the cost of entry even if it’s stingy with its more attractive cosmetics.

Fall Guys Review | The final verdict

Fall Guys is a fun party game that wonderfully replicates TV’s silliest game shows, but replaces the boring humans with lovely bumbling egg monsters. The speed with which it catapults you through rounds means that you’ll see much of what it has to offer early on, but I always felt compelled to keep playing regardless. Hopefully, Mediatonic is able to regularly update it and keep the party going long after its launch.

REVOLUTION REPORT CARD

3.5
Rating
Box art - Fall Guys
Fall Guys are adorable.
Fast-paced fun that launches you into the action.
Looks and sounds excellent.
Team games are routinely a struggle.
Lots of levels, but you'll shoot through them quickly.
Final rounds are exciting.
Grabbing is janky and awkward.