The camera pans over a beach covered in the wooden corpses of what used to be sturdy warships. Eight figures pick themselves up from the sand and begin their march towards one of the ten dark and dangerous caves that populate this mysterious island. They decide to enter the domain of War and select the fastest of their brothers who wields a bronze spear to fight against the God that lives inside. The man enters the cave and begins carving his way through his foes as he attempts to get revenge for his kin who never made it off the beach. He stabs one enemy through the chest, throws a knife at another, and kicks a third to the ground before rushing ahead. After a hard and arduous journey through the realm, he sees the entrance to the God Morrigan's hideout. Sadly on his way over, the warrior misjudges a jump and falls to his death before he even has a chance to see the God, and one of his team members will have to retread his path if they hope to defeat Morrigan. This happens way more often than it should Gods Will Fall.
Developer Clever Beans' new game Gods Will Fall is a very unique and intriguing take on the roguelike genre. Humanity has decided that they are tired of dealing with the oppression of their Gods, so they have assembled their armies to defeat them. During their journey across the seas through the Gods punish these great warriors for their threats and send their ships to the bottom of the sea. When the game gets started only eight warriors are left alive, and they are forced to face off against all ten of the Gods on their own.
Punish The Gods For Their Horrific Actions
Where things get interesting though is that there is a lot of randomnesses that take place right at the beginning of the game. Every single time you start a new run all eight warriors are randomly generated, so they will each have different names, weapons, stats, and backgrounds that will influence their reactions to the Gods and their fellow warriors. The Gods' domains are also randomized quite a bit as well with the enemy and item placement being switched around every run, but also the difficulty of each domain changing as well. The player can choose to play through the domains in any order that they wish, so on one run, the War domain might be the easiest that they encounter but on the next, it might be the most difficult.
The objective of Gods Will Fall is for you to enter each of the domains one by one and fight through a God's minions until facing off against the deity themself. The catch is that the player can only send one of the warriors into a domain at a time, and if they fail they will be captured or killed by the God. If the warrior is captured then you do have a chance to recover them by defeating the God with someone else, but if a warrior dies then they are permanently dead for the rest of that run. Since the difficulties of each domain are randomly generated though, I did feel like the opening of each run came down to luck a lot of the time. There were times where I would get lucky and enter an easy domain, which would, in turn, mean that I could take a God out pretty quickly and level up one of my warriors. There were other times though that I would get extremely unlucky and enter a few very hard domains in a row and lose my best warriors.
Combat Attempts to Emulate an Industry Great
Combat in Gods Will Fall actually seems to be pretty heavily inspired by the Soulsborne games, particularly Bloodborne. No matter which warrior you pick you have the option to use a light attack, a heavy attack, and a parry ability. Parrying an attack allows you to stun an enemy and set them up for heavy damage, which in turn forces you to be more aggressive to take enemies down faster. Additionally, as you deal damage to enemies it builds up the Bloodlust gauge. Players can then use the Roar mechanic to spend Bloodlust and earn back their health as well as temporary damage and defense buffs. I found that these mechanics did a great job of forcing me to always be on the offensive. If I tried to hang back and play more defensively I typically found myself overwhelmed quickly by the enemies.
While Gods Will Fall looks very well-polished, its poor controls and repetitive nature make it very hard to want to replay the game despite being a roguelike
My issue with combat in Gods Will Fall though is that the controls aren't very responsive a lot of the time, and the hitboxes of both the player and enemies don't make a lot of sense. There were times that enemy attacks would make contact despite the fact that they came nowhere near me or times where I should have hit an enemy that it just passed through their body harmlessly. Boss battles in particular have a lot of issues with this since their massive size makes it almost impossible to dodge their attacks much of the time.
Levels and Enemies are Very Distinct
Without a doubt, my favorite part of Gods Will Fall though was the huge amount of diversity between the different domains and the enemies that populate them. The Sea domain for example is full of crashing waves, half-sunken ships, and crab-themed enemies whereas the Decay domain is populated by dark overgrown plant growth and poison using monsters. Every area looks completely different than the others, and many of the domains also have secrets that will help the player in their fight against the God. The layout of these levels remains exactly the same on every playthrough though, which did make them a little repetitive after a while.
Repetition is the name of the game when playing roguelikes. The whole point of the genre is supposed to be once you die you restart from the beginning but either stronger or with the knowledge of how you died in the first place. Gods Will Fall works in the same way but there is no getting stronger and most of the time I felt like I died for cheap or ridiculous reasons. While there was the issue of rough controls that sent me to my death fairly often in the game, my bigger complaint is all the times I died due to falling off a cliff. There were many instances where I was forced to jump across a gap and my player didn't quite make it, but rather than respawning with a minor hit to your health bar the game kills that warrior. Other times I clipped through the floor right at the edge of walkways or near cliff faces and fell to my death due to no fault of my own. This is ridiculously frustrating.
A Roguelike With Little Replay Value
This is more of a personal complaint with the genre itself than Gods Will Fall, but I find it infuriating when there is no form of character progression between runs in roguelikes. If your entire party is wiped out in this game you have to completely start over from the beginning with a new team and the Gods reset. There is no form of currency or XP that can be used to level up characters before starting a new run, which would be fine if the game wasn't always changing. It's hard to bring knowledge of previous runs into a new game when the world and characters you are playing as are totally different than before. I find it difficult to force myself to keep playing upon death when my characters aren't going to be any better than they were before, and it really felt like the success of a run came down to the random chance of getting a good group of warriors.
Gods Will Fall really does have some great concepts and ideas, but in practice, they don't work as well as they should. I enjoy the way that it looks and the atmosphere is really wonderful and unique for a genre that is massively popular. My issue though is that Gods Will Fall suffers from pretty weak controls and deeply repetitive nature. Roguelikes are all about hooking the player in and making them think "Just one more run", but after a few deaths, I was already over Gods Will Fall. It's biggest failure is being unable to convince you to replay it.
TechRaptor reviewed Gods Will Fall on PlayStation 4 using a code provided by developer Clever Beans. The game is also available on Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia, and PC.
- Gorgeous Visuals
- Varied Level Design
- Terrific Atmoshpere
- Poor Controls
- Lack of Character Progression
- Unfair and Cheap Difficulty
- Little Replay Value