Gods Will Fall (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Renan Fontes 02.03.2021 2

Review for Gods Will Fall on Nintendo Switch

Raging against the heavens isn't a new concept in gaming. The RPG genre's narrative bread and butter has settled on man's relationship with the divine all too often throughout the years. What began as radical commentary on religion has become one of the medium's greatest cliches. Similarly, roguelikes have become a dime a dozen. The genre's intent is to offer a fresh gameplay loop every time audiences begin a playthrough, but the average roguelike's relationship with procedural generation is almost a joke. Randomness replaces thoughtful game design with little beyond the surface level to fill the experience. Gods Will Fall is a roguelike that settles for the tried and true at every turn, resulting in one of the most uninspired titles on the Nintendo Switch.

Like most roguelikes that struggle due to inherent design flaws, [i|Gods Will Fall[/i] hides behind a gripping premise that's seldom pushed, challenged, or engaged with meaningfully. Audiences take control of eight shipwrecked survivors with a vendetta against the Gods. Dungeons are procedurally generated on entry, with players sending in one warrior at a time. Getting defeated by an enemy or dying from an environmental hazard ends the run, forcing players to either send in a new character or find another dungeon to explore altogether. Randomised difficulty means any given dungeon can potentially be overwhelming, but sticking one out rewards gear for the party, along with the opportunity to rescue fallen warriors in some instances.

Every character has their own play style; gameplay incentivises party rotation by diminishing the stats of any warrior who dungeon crawls too many times in a row; and a randomised difficulty curve helps in building in-game tension. It's all conceptually sound, but good video games don't live and die by concept alone. In terms of actual execution, Gods Will Fall is a failure on virtually every front. Party members have their own distinct traits along with play styles that add a layer of strategy to picking who to control in a dungeon - it's smart to bring someone who can wade through water if the area is flooded - but combat is so clunky by design that picking the "right" character hardly ever matters.

Screenshot for Gods Will Fall on Nintendo Switch

Y does a Light Attack, X does a Heavy Attack, A is a quick dodge that can become a parry if well timed, B jumps, the D-Pad rotates through the inventory, R picks up items, ZR uses any items, and ZL can restore Vigor (Health) if players have built up enough Bloodlust through combat. This is an incredibly basic control scheme for an action game, but there is enough going on mechanically for combat to at least be engaging. Unfortunately, terrible enemy design prevents this from coming to fruition. More often than not, battles are stiff affairs where players throw out clunky attacks at enemies who have too much health, but don't have the gameplay variety to pair off their durability. The easiest gameplay encounters are mindless and devolve into button mashing immediately. The hardest are pure tedium and highlight the awkward controls.

Screenshot for Gods Will Fall on Nintendo Switch

Movement is just painful across both the overworld and inside dungeons. In the former, the player controls all of their party members at once as they move in slight unison. This is to say that no two characters run at the same speed, and without an anchor character to center the party, the camera is locked into a perpetual state of disorientation where it's never focusing on any one model. How a camera depicts gameplay is extremely important and while Gods Will Fall's overworld perspective can be written off as stylisation, it nonetheless shows a fundamental misunderstanding of appealing game design. Dungeons don't fare much better. The camera actually functions as one would expect, but player movement is sluggish and unintuitive, as if everyone moves just a bit too slow and never reacts as fast as they should. For an action game, that's damning.

Screenshot for Gods Will Fall on Nintendo Switch

Procedural generation doesn't do the experience any favours either. At the end of the day, a random difficulty curve tied to gameplay that's intuitive, poorly explained, and unpolished all around is nothing short of a headache. Potentially losing a warrior early on is a tense consequence to entering a high level dungeon unprepared; but there's no way to prepare for many of the game's hardest challenges on a fresh playthrough. Success comes down to luck of the draw quite often and not in a way that makes use of RNG in a way that benefits gameplay. Level design is also rather dry, with little in the way of exploration or secrets, but that's to be expected of a roguelike that's content with the bare minimum.

No lacklustre Switch indie is complete without a myriad of technical issues, however. Along with simply being a poorly designed roguelike, Gods Will Fall is prone to occasional freezing, lagging, and even crashing. A game crash is bad enough on its own, but it's even worse here considering it actually kills whichever character is being controlled at the time. In that sense, it's basically unplayable on the Nintendo Switch. Taking its extremely generous price on the eShop into account, Gods Will Fall is best left forgotten to time.

Screenshot for Gods Will Fall on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

2/10
Rated 2 out of 10

Very Bad

Juggling sub-par game design with a host of technical issues on the Switch, Gods Will Fall is a painfully disappointing roguelike that plays more like a proof of concept than anything else. Fashioning gameplay around eight distinct playable characters who can all permanently die is certainly interesting and adds an inherent tension to the experience, but stiff controls, laughable enemy AI, and shallow combat do nothing but remind audiences that they can be playing something better. The fact DeepSilver would publish a title so blatantly unready for public consumption - let alone purchase - is frankly baffling. Gods Will Fall is as much a waste of time as it is money.

Developer

Clever Beans

Publisher

Koch Media

Genre

Action

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  2/10

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   

Comments

Travis (guest) 20.03.2021#1

I don't agree with this review at all! I think it's very fun and cleverly designed. Also didn't encounter the technical issues. 

Alfredo (guest) 20.10.2021#2

I like the game itself, but crashes every other try. Its hellish, I beg for an update, because its quite unplayable, bordering being a scam.

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