Another dungeon-crawler is among us; with so many to choose from, what exactly makes this the choice over the plethora of others available? Well, in my humble opinion, you’d be hard-pressed to choose this over many similar games out there. The game does some things nicely, but, for the most part, what it does do well is dampened greatly by some of its downfalls. And in a genre like this, where there are so many strong contenders, you pretty much have to make an exceptional title to really stand out. Unfortunately, there are some issues present within the game which prevent it being part of those iconic dungeon-crawlers we know and love.
The basic premise of the game is of a methodical dungeon-crawler. Enter the game and you will see a randomly generated group of eight fighters, each wielding a certain weapon type (maces, swords, spears…).; though, this ragtag bunch is barebones to begin with—no special armour, equipment, or weapons. As you begin, your quest is to track down and destroy the ten Gods, and you’ll have to enter and trudge through dungeons throughout the map to do so. When entering dungeons, you’ll be able to select one character; with this choice, you’ll have to make your way through it, fighting enemies and working your way towards the boss. These dungeons often house items you can find along the way to upgrade your basic gear into something more likely to take down a powerful foe. If you die within the dungeon, that character disappears from your party and you are left with the remainder to continue on with. It feels a bit rogue-like, as the characters and attempts you have at making it through different dungeons are limited, but this makes for more of a challenge. It also should become less and less of an issue once you are able to gear your fighters up a lot more. I did find loot drops within dungeons to be quite a rare find at the beginning, so perhaps take it slowly and tactically once you begin.
Now, the thing with this game is—even though it is a hack ‘n’ slash of sorts—it is a slow paced game. The strikes and movements you will complete with your character are very much methodical and timed. You need to dodge enemy strikes constantly. It’s almost Souls-like in its approach: you don’t want to just run in and attack blindly, especially when you begin the game, as you are quite weak and the enemies blows will take you out quickly.
The issue that I found with the playstyle has nothing to do with the fact that I don’t particularly care for the slow, methodical Souls-like experience. The problem is that the combat that does exist is what I would describe as “clunky”. With a game like Dark Souls, it is slow and methodical but it controls precisely—typically any movement made by the player translates promptly and smoothly within the game. Here, there is a level of latency between the controls and the time it takes to prompt an action within the game, which is a weakness in its enjoyability. For a game based on dungeon-crawling, the combat needs to be refined much more, as, at the moment, it feels disjointed and clunky. Even jumping up onto other platforms and walking along thin planks can prove to be annoying to control, with constant slip up likely to happen. For a game centred around combat and progression, the controls need to be tighter. I found them to be a little frustrating through my playthrough and a bit of a deterrent to playing long term.
The art style is a positive. It’s quite endearing, and the game can be pretty at times. Its graphical aesthetics look to be almost a painted texture, and there are some lovely details within the environment. The characters move with almost a clunky wobble, but this just adds to their cuteness. I really enjoy the way the group of warriors all raise their hands and cheer once you exit the dungeon: it was unexpected the first time and it was super cute to see. The game provides story in the form of voiced-over cinematics when you first boot up the game. It provides enough context for you to understand what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, and I have no gripe with this method of storytelling. In dungeon-crawling games, I enjoy and typically focus on gameplay, replayability, and loot mechanics above the narrative. Unfortunately, Gods Will Fall really does struggle when it comes to the gameplay itself, although the game has charming aspects and definitely has potential to improve the gameplay. In its current state, I would be able to recommend the game if it was perhaps on sale or at a cheaper price. On Steam, the game is currently priced at A$37.95 for the standard edition, but that feels a tad too much for something that I feel does not play as well as many other dungeon crawlers.
I would say that the game is something that you should keep an eye on—with further developments, it could definitely transform itself into a more palatable experience. Take what I say with a grain of salt if you wish though because, admittedly, I have never really enjoyed games with Souls-like combat. This could be the reason why the combat is not gelling with me. But, I will say, I also have played games like Bloodborne, and while I did not see them through to the end (due to the insane difficulty and my lack of patience), I was able to recognise the polish on the movement controls and the combat systems in place—which made the game feel like a rewarding and enjoyable experience (until you died, that is).