Deicide is a surprisingly common event in video games. Whether it's someone with godly powers or an actual deity, none are safe from resourceful players and the characters they control. Even the term "Attack and dethrone God" briefly became a bit of news during the chaotic year that is 2020. In Clever Beans' flagship title Gods Will Fall, players will have a selection of ten gods to fight in order to free humanity from their cruel grip.
The world of Gods Will Fall was created by ten different gods, but the one similarity that binds these gods together is their cruelty and the demands of fealty they impose on humanity. Tiring of the gods' tortuous rule, mankind sends a great fleet to the island where the gods live. However, a massive storm wipes out the fleet, and only eight warriors, who are randomly-generated each playthrough, survive to make landfall. Now, these warriors must fight their way through the realms of the gods, wipe them out, and free humanity from their cruel creators.
In each playthrough of Gods Will Fall, players will control the eight surviving warriors as they seek to complete their mission of deicide. The warriors that the players get are randomly generated with different backstories, skills, and body types that determine what weapons they can wield. Lightweight characters can make use of dual-wielded weapons, while the heftier characters are the only ones that can swing around massive maces. Players can tackle the godly realms in any order they choose, but the difficulty of the realms is shuffled around each playthrough, so what may have been an easy realm before may become a daunting challenge the next.
When a player decides to enter one of the godly realms, they have to send in one warrior to explore the realm and hunt down the god. At this point, the game turns into a hack and slash where the warrior explores the realm while fighting through the god's vassals and minions to reach the end and fight the god. Each realm offers a unique, handmade landscape with unique enemies, special features players can take advantage of, and bits of lore about that realm's god. Should the warrior run out of vigor (or the player tries to save scum by exiting the game mid-realm,) the warrior will become trapped in that realm, and another warrior must defeat that god to save their friend. However, permadeath is also a feature, as some enemy and god attacks can kill a warrior off for good if they land the finishing blow.
In combat, players can use a combination of light attacks, heavy attacks, and items to fight against their enemies. Each type of weapon has its own set of attacks and usage. Spear-users, for instance, can use a light attack to knock enemies back before lunging forward with a deadly heavy attack. When a warrior inevitably gets injured, they can build up bloodlust by attacking foes and convert that bloodlust into vigor with a battle cry, healing their injuries. While it's entirely possible to reach a realm's god without fighting a single enemy, killing off enemies causes the god to lose health and become weaker in the final confrontation. Should a warrior be successful at slaying a god, they'll return with new items and weapons that can be equipped on other warriors to bolster their fighting abilities.
Two of the major design philosophies evident in the game are the importance of a player's decisions and an emphasis on the stories players create by playing the game. It's entirely possible that a warrior will fall while fighting against a god, and that failure can affect the other warriors. A friend of the fallen/captured warrior may become vengeful and gain a stat boost if they take on that god. This system of backstories and how they can develop provides an organic system of character development for these randomly generated warriors.
As for the game's artistic direction, the team at Clever Beans decided on their colorful Celtic theme right from the start, with the concept artist wanting to do something similar to the Dark Souls dungeon crawler style without going the same artistic route as everyone else. As they dove into folklore behind creatures like the Fomorians, lead designer Mark Wherrett mentioned that he was particularly interested in the "oddball and weird" parts that came out of their research. As for the world and its characters, the team went for a hand-brushed style with characters having a more "angular" look compared to regular humans. Their decision to not go with procedurally generated dungeons was done so the dungeons can be handbuilt to provide unique spaces and provide vistas to look out over the realms players will explore.
Players will be able to kill their gods when Gods Will Fall launches on January 29th next year for Steam, the Epic Games Store, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox One X, Nintendo Switch, and Stadia. There are also already plans for a DLC pack titled "The Valley of the Dormant Gods," which includes three new gods among the new features and items.