Godfall Review | ‘An excellent first impression that quickly fades to monotony’

Jason Faulkner
Godfall Info

genre

  • Action role-playing

players

  • 1 - 2

Publisher

  • Gearbox

Developer

  • Counterplay Games

Release Date

  • 11/12/2020
  • Out Now

Platform

  • PC
  • PS5

rating

Godfall review for PS5 and PC. Godfall is a game that’s stuck in time. The graphics and combat are top-notch, delivering what you’d expect of a modern hack-and-slash with some unique aspects thrown in the mix. However, when it comes to story and game design, Godfall feels more like it’s out of the early-2000s. Unfortunately, this produces a title that makes an excellent first impression that quickly fades to monotony.

Kickin’ it old school

Godfall Review 02

Like hundreds of games from the days of the NES, SNES, PS1, etc., Godfall‘s story exists as an impetus for gameplay. You take the role of Orin, a Valorian knight who is fighting against his brother Macros, who wants to become a god. After he defeats you at the climax of a colossal battle between your forces, you must quest across the land to increase your power and take him on again.

Most of the story comes in the form of exposition dumps at your base of operations in between hacking through levels. Godfall‘s emphasis on loot and the loose plot was immediately reminiscent of Destiny 2, which reveals the story through frequent updates. If Godfall was a live service game, I could excuse the threadbare plot since players could assume the developers would expand it over time as they added more content. However, developer Counterplay Games insists that Godfall isn’t a live service, which leaves players with a rather dull journey with a lackluster conclusion.

Next-gen stylings

Godfall Review 03

In contrast to the lack of story, the graphics in Godfall are gorgeous. The game is heavy on reflective surfaces and well-placed lighting that makes the raytracing effects pop nicely. On PS5, there’s a performance mode that trades fidelity for a better framerate, but even then, the game is a looker. Godfall‘s graphics are a great example that the subtle addition of new effects and higher-res textures have a more profound impact than one would think.

Unfortunately, the level design is very linear. Each of the three realms, air, water, and earth, has a unique environmental design, which looks great, but everything boils down to just killing until you reach your objective. There’s not really any memorable setpieces, and players progress from one thinly disguised arena to the next until they reach their goal. Unfortunately, these levels are reused, and the player must backtrack at times to push through the campaign.

In essence, Godfall‘s level design plays a lot like Destiny’s. However, Godfall‘s lacks the environmental diversity, enemy variety, and in-mission storytelling of Destiny. As a result, there’s very little to hook players into the repetition the game requires.

Godfall of War

Godfall Review 01

As dull as the story and mission design is, the combat in Godfall is excellent. There’s a wide variety of weapon types, abilities, and mechanics that add up to an engaging fighting experience. The game’s emphasis on loot encourages players to switch things up continually, and it’s incredibly satisfying to find a new combination that trounces foes.

Godfall‘s armor design is pretty neat, which makes it a bit disappointing that it isn’t a part of the gear system. Instead, players can unlock various Valorplates, each of which has its own stats and abilities. Being able to equip gauntlets, helms, chestplates, and greaves separately would have done much to diversify the game’s loot pool, which starts losing its excitement toward the end of the game.

Godfall Review | The Final Verdict

Godfall‘s satisfying combat and graphical fidelity just can’t make up for its lackluster story and repetitive level design. It’s a decent distraction for its 11-12 hour playtime, but it very much feels like a live service game. Unfortunately, though the game has co-op, there’s no matchmaking, which means players can’t count on multiplayer to offset some of the monotony.

I hope that Godfall gets some content updates, as it feels like Counterplay Games might have rushed development to meet the PS5 release date. The core combat system is satisfying and would shine if the game had more unique content to push the player forward. As it is, there’s very little hook and most players will likely find themselves getting bored around the halfway mark.

REVOLUTION REPORT CARD

Box art - Godfall
Rating7
Graphics and effects are impressive for a launch title.
Combat is complex and fun.
Almost absent story.
Repetitive level design is monotonous.