Oh My Godheads (PlayStation 4) Review

By Thom Compton 02.12.2017

Review for Oh My Godheads on PlayStation 4

Local multiplayer has been making a comeback, especially in the indie scene. This makes a lot of sense, as many people play video games, and, statistically, even more people own couches (there's a study somewhere on it, trust us). However, because so many games have moved towards online multiplayer, local simply hasn't infected the AAA scene in the same way. Because of this, many players might not even remember a time when multiplayer was strictly multiple people in their living room. This resurgence of interest by developers is proving to be a good way to get a younger generation into the experience of battling your friends for the flag, or the castle, or whatever it is. Dust off that old sectional, then, get some friends over, and get ready to battle each other, instead of Nazis or evil wizards. Might we recommend Oh My Godheads? Maybe.

Oh My Godheads is a local multiplayer game that feels like some weird mixture of Stikbold and Super Smash Bros.. Up to four players will need to wail on each other, completing certain tasks that usually revolve around capturing giant Godheads. Each Godhead comes with a unique twist. One will freeze everyone in a certain range if a player holds it for too long, another one will surprise you by switching the directions periodically, essentially reversing the controls, and yet a third will change the speed by which all the players run on the field, slowing it down, then randomly speeding it up, then returning it to normal for a brief time.

This is a novel idea, and honestly, it's a lot of fun at first. The controls can be touchy and a bit difficult to get a good handle on to begin with, but after a moment they feel tight and perfect for the setting. The visuals feel archaic, but in a deliberate way where it's obvious that the weirdly polygonal creatures running around the screen were an artistic choice, not a budgetary one. One of the standout features are the environments, which include traps or gimmicks that work against the player. Oh My Godheads has a couple of really smart twists on environmental hazards, and the shape of an arena or the environmental effects it features (one puts a real unique spin on the concept of a "hazard") is just as important to your success as the God head chosen.

Screenshot for Oh My Godheads on PlayStation 4

This is why it's a shame the game just feels so empty. There are four play modes, and then Trials. Trials are, as you might expect, challenges designed to make one better at the game. These also act like a poor man's tutorial, thanks to not featuring any actual instruction on how to play the game. No, this is relegated to the Options menu, and is just a photo of a controller with lines drawn to each function.

The other four modes are very traditional couch game affair. King of the Hill has you holding onto the Godhead for as long as possible, while Last Man Standing sees the players try to kill all of their opponents as many times as possible. There's also some capture the flag action, and Headhunters, which is a "rack up as many kills as possible"-a-thon. While there's a decent amount of variety, there's also a tremendous catch. Headhunters and Last Man Standing don't actually include the titular Godheads.

This results in a weird, kind of empty battle royale that, not surprisingly, wears thin quick. The Godheads are the game's central gimmick, so stripping it out of two of the modes seems completely pointless. These two modes could have actually benefited from the use of the Godheads, so their lack of inclusion here is just baffling. Instead, they are nothing more than your standard arena style battles, only they allow for a bit of experimentation with the various power-ups.

Screenshot for Oh My Godheads on PlayStation 4

The power-ups range from a God's foot, which will smash down on your opponents, to an exploding pie, to a smokescreen that takes up a massive portion of the screen. The latter is actually pretty useful in the King of the Hill mode, as it prevents other players from finding your and stealing the Godhead. Honestly, the power-ups are some of the game's most interesting additions, though there's not a lot of them to choose them, unsurprisingly.

The Godheads are the stars here, for being the stars, they are a pretty mixed bag. Heads like the aforementioned cat head that changes the direction you're running are pretty interesting, but other heads, like one that sends out waves from its base until the player grabs it, really aren't. The waves are meant to be jumped over, and after you grab the head, they stop, resulting in a head that's frustrating to grab, but doesn't really matter after the fact.

Screenshot for Oh My Godheads on PlayStation 4

One of the heads is too heavy to carry reliably, though all of the heads slow down the holder to some degree. Really, the gimmick of the heads doesn't offer too much in the long run, though it can be kind of fun playing against their various status elements; at least for a little while. The worst heads are the ones that require the player to not hold them very long. Whether it be a giant area freeze attack or an exploding head, having to throw them, especially in King of the Hill, just to grab them again so they don't attack the carrier gets frustrating. One exception is the Zeus head, which seems to inflict an area attack on everyone but you. Really, these heads serve the purpose of making the other players monitor their distance, and try to be a bit more strategic when they attack. This doesn't make any of it less frustrating, as holding the head already makes you, more or less, a sitting duck.

Oh My Godheads is a fun experience for a short while, then its cracks become obvious. There are unlockables, but these amount to two boards and two heads. Why are the unlockables so few? It almost feels like there were more unlockables, and the game downloaded with someone else's save who's already unlocked a lot of the content. Oh My Godheads fails to capture the player's attention long enough to really embrace its more interesting ideas, and by the time you set it down for the first time, it's very likely there's almost nothing new to see or explore. Sure, there's a couple of unlockables, but is that really worth the time that goes into them? It just doesn't feel like it is.

Screenshot for Oh My Godheads on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

Thanks to half the game not utilizing the Godheads, that half is relegated into a standard couch experience. Even when the gimmick is brought in full force, it has a tendency to feel more obnoxious than fun. Fans of arena style titles, but not those who like a lot of depth, will probably find something of value in Oh My Godheads' digital battlefields. However, this feels more like a base game, for which the developer can build upon later. It feels surprisingly empty, and in the hallowed halls of local multiplayer, like it's just too plain and bland overall - which is sad, because the first couple of hours are actually pretty fun.

Developer

Titutitech

Publisher

Square Enix

Genre

Action

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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