Polygod (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Colin Beauchamp 10.01.2019

Review for Polygod on Nintendo Switch

Roguelike elements have become present in many games nowadays, and it's easy to see why. They're a good way of making playthroughs feel unique each time, offering massive replay value and constantly interesting experiences. Polygod is a first-person shooter that incorporates randomly generated stages, various power-ups and upgrades that are different each run, and so on. Designing a shooter around these mechanics has a lot of potential, but can also end up failing just as hard. Does this stick the landing, or is it not so godlike after all? After a look at the PC version, Cubed3 now sees how it fares on the hybrid that is the Switch.

Polygod is simple on the surface. With a gun in hand, there's several stages that must be trekked through in order to complete a run. Defeating enemies offers a currency named souls, which can be used to purchase helpful perks, such as dealing more damage, or a faster movement. Dying, however, means that it's back to square one, where the process repeats from the beginning.

The graphic style consists of simple shapes and geometry, which can actually look quite nice at times. That said, the enemy designs don't make much an impression due to being so basic, and some levels definitely look more memorable than others. The music does add some appreciated atmosphere, but on the whole, the presentation in Polygod isn't especially remarkable, even if the art style isn't something you usually see in modern games. It's not exactly fluid to play, either, but more on that later.

Buying upgrades is something that was briefly mentioned earlier, and it's worth praising how inventive many of them are, often completely changing how Polygod plays. One upgrade, for example, drains your health when firing a bullet, but will give double the amount of that health back if the bullet hits an enemy. Not all of them are like that, but there's enough to encourage experimenting with different play styles and make each playthrough that much more varied.

Screenshot for Polygod on Nintendo Switch

Perhaps the biggest frustration with Polygod is how its random nature can harm the enjoyability of a run. This applies to many games with roguelike elements, but it's alarmingly noticeable here. Sometimes you'll turn a corner and find a swarm of fast moving enemies that shoot projectiles like a shotgun without having any time or space to react, sometimes a boss will be extremely tedious because no upgrades were offered that would be helpful against it, enemies may spawn behind you at the start of a run with no indication that they're there, and so on. Again, this can be an issue in other roguelikes, but not to the degree that it is in here.

Something especially disappointing is how gyro controls have been implemented. On the surface, offering gyro controls seems like a great addition, but its actual execution leaves much to be desired. The most prominent issue is that turning horizontally works differently than one would expect; the only way to turn the camera is to tilt the controller strictly left or right. It may be a bit much to expect the gyro controls to be as precise as Splatoon 2, but having to rotate the controller so often is a hassle, and is basically impossible to comfortably use in handheld mode since tilting the screen so much makes it difficult to tell what's going on - that's not even accounting for the vertical part of the equation, either. It's not a deal breaker, but it is a shame nonetheless.

Another detractor from Polygod is its performance. It has a jarringly inconsistent frame-rate, even in docked mode, and when things get chaotic enough, it can turn into a slideshow. Perhaps if the aesthetics were stunningly detailed then it would be slightly easier to stomach (although still far from desirable), but the graphics are so simplistic that it just makes this problem that much more annoying, and a frame-rate drop that's so frequent can make it unsatisfying to play.

Screenshot for Polygod on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

Polygod definitely holds some potential, but is lacklustre in its current state. The often unstable frame-rate, unwieldy gyro controls, and lack of polish in general, hurts the experience considerably. Its mechanics do feel unique enough to keep experimenting with, and there's plenty of replay value, but there's so much that brings it down. Fans of first-person shooters will likely get some enjoyment out of it, but it's otherwise hard to say that it's worth checking out.

Developer

Krafted Games

Publisher

Krafted Games

Genre

First Person Shooter

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 Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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