ReviewsReview: Gods Will Fall

Review: Gods Will Fall

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Games are supposed to be relaxing, and a fun distraction from the daily grind. Whether it’s losing yourself in a medieval world or joining friends on the battlefield, it’s meant to help you laugh and unwind. Yet, there is a breed of gamers who don’t want this serene experience. No, these insane individuals want a hardcore frustrating journey! They’re not happy unless they are screaming with rage, or cursing developers for their impossible stages. These players love Dark Souls, Super Meat Boy, and Okunoka Madness. Curiously, I think I’ve found another game they can add to their list, Gods Will Fall.

Developed by Clever Beans and published by Deep Silver, this is a dungeon-crawling rogue-lite RPG that’ll make you scream. Set on an ungodly island, your small band of heroes must risk their lives to save humanity, no matter the cost.

Gods Will Fall is brutally hard to play.

I love a challenge as much as the next person, but I also like to win as well. Gods Will Fall doesn’t care about your feelings, or your desire to win. All it cares about is destroying you, your team, and your self-esteem. It’s an agonisingly frustrating game that’ll make you wince with pain as you fail repeatedly.

You may think, “why on earth would I want to play that? It sounds terrible!” I would normally agree, games that smash you at every opportunity rarely interest me, but, this got me hooked from the moment I loaded it in.

The god’s blessed humans with life, but it came at a high price. Every man, woman, and child must worship without question! Those who don’t will die a slow and merciless death. This torturous existence has lasted a millennium, and mankind has had enough. Every person who could wield a weapon boarded a vessel to battle the gods on their island. Unhappy with this uprising, the boats were sunk. Thousands of lives were lost that day, and only eight heroes survived. It’s a much smaller army, but it’s an army, nonetheless.

The pathway of destiny.

A gloriously simple concept.

For all its harsh ways, and trust me, there are lots. Gods Will Fall is gloriously simple to play. The concept when stripped back is a basic dungeon crawler finished to a high standard. To keep things interesting, Clever Beans chucked in some RPG elements and a healthy dose of rogue-lite mechanics. It’s a wonderfully cooked up concept, and its straightforward idea makes it so addictive.

The aim of the game is easy (in theory). Make your way around the island that houses each of the gods. Invade their habitats, destroy their minions, and take down each deity you find. In reality, you’ll face the minions, lose your life, and return to your band of warriors empty-handed.

Here’s the glorious thing about Gods Will Fall. If you die in a dungeon, you become trapped in that land. The only way you can be freed is if you destroy the God who is in the seat of power. If you cannot overthrow them, the hero is trapped forever. If all your people are captured, it’s game over, and you must begin again.

Tread carefully.

RNG heroes and intertwined stories.

When everything is out to get you, that’s bad enough. But chuck in RNG for all main aspects of the game, and the difficulty skyrockets. Whenever you begin a new game, you have a fresh group of fighters. Each has unique skills, weapons and traits that help or hinder different situations. Familiarise yourself with each setup and attempt to get the best out of each one.

On top of this, you’ll have to chance your luck with which God is the easiest to defeat, and which will annihilate you. You’ll pick a dungeon and hope that luck is with you. Once you step through the fog into the catacombs, you’ll discover your fate. No dungeon is the same, and what was easy on the previous save, could surprise you on your current playthrough.

If you have ever played Dungeons and Dragons, you’ll appreciate the random curve balls that are thrown into the plot. Gods Will Fall incorporates this with twists to each character’s relationship. If one hero is captured, another may quiver with fear, or they’ll become stronger because of a sense of loyalty to them. These sudden changes in stats must be observed, and using them at the right time can help secure victory.

The tunnel of doom.

So many gods, each as evil as the last.

You’ll begin your adventure wondering who each of the gods are, and what they look like. This curiosity soon turns into hatred and fear as each one picks holes in your team. They all have; special powers, strengths and weaknesses, and you must take your time, observe their pattern of attack, and pounce when their defence is down.

I won’t cover all ten gargantuan beasts, but I will highlight two of my favourites. Carnoccus the giant hog with his sharp tusks and charging attack, he will be a pain in your a*£e. And then there is Osseus, the God of the bone realm. This gigantic spider will pierce your armour with its long spindly legs and will have you dodging left, right, and centre. There are eight other deities, each as nasty as the last. Once you meet them, you realise that the heroes may have bitten off more than they can chew.

Gods Will Fall has a classic look and atmospheric sounds.

I loved the isometric viewpoint that was used throughout. This bird’s-eye perspective enables you to have a clear view of the troubles ahead, giving you the chance to plan your approach. The art style is reminiscent of a mix between Diablo and Baldur’s Gate. Its dark and seedy look enhances the deadly situation the warriors find themselves in. The variety of environments were fantastic, as was the selection of enemies that matched each realm. Visually, it’s not the most up-to-date game, but you won’t bore of its content, and it works well to deliver its oppressive theme.

The dramatic and energetic soundtrack matches the dire situation the fighters find themselves in. It’s an odd combination of depressing tunes and an upbeat tempo. You know you must overcome the evil in front of you, but there is also a sense that failure is inevitable. Chuck in the clanging of swords, the shrieks of rage, and squeals of each monster you face, and you quickly become absorbed in the world in front of you.

Dodge the hell bird.

It’s all about the timing.

Let’s recap on what makes this tough; RNG everything, limited warriors, negative traits, tough enemies, and brutal bosses. Will one more aspect hurt? Victory is all down to perfect timing. You must observe your foes, block their attacks, or dodge their advances. Anything short of perfection will bite you in the behind. This was the brutal cherry on top of a mountain of harsh cake. But I loved Gods Will Fall because of it.

Luckily, a fantastic tutorial is offered in the first cave. This teaches you the fundamentals, and why you must adhere to them. You can do this tutorial every time you start a new save. But, I found it to be tedious after a while, so I skipped it. However, a word of warning, even at this early stage, all the game mechanics are being used. Therefore, if you fail in the training dungeon, it’ll capture you. So do not fail!

The ease with which you’ll pick this up, combined with its addictive gameplay, makes this a title that oozes replay value. Hours of your life will be lost to saving humanity, and that’s before you consider the achievements. I would guess a full completion will take around forty to fifty hours, so not one for the faint of heart.

Gods Will Fall will drive you crazy.

No one likes to lose, but you will repeatedly when you play with Gods Will Fall. You’ll scream, swear, throw your controller, and claim never to play it again! However, you can’t let humanity down. This is a game that’ll get under your skin and will make you smile with its little quirks. No playthrough is ever the same, and that is why I recommend it. If you like what you’ve read, buy it here! The gods will not stand for this uprising, but humanity will not rest until it is victorious.

SUMMARY

Gods Will Fall is a challenging rogue-like dungeon crawler that will make you wince at every turn. Armed with a small group of heroes you must overcome each of the deities and release humanity from their cruel grip.

+ Crisp graphics and a nice variety of enemies.
+ Atmospheric audio.
+ Challenging and rewarding gameplay.
+ Plenty of replay value.
+ Fantastic value for money.
- The difficulty may put some off.

(Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on PC, Google Stadia, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation.)
Daniel Waite
Former editor and reviewer for www.bonusstage.co.uk, I've now found a new home to write my reviews, and get my opinion out to the masses. Still the lead admin for Xboxseriesfans on Facebook and Instagram. I love the gaming world, and writing about it. I can be contacted at [email protected] for gaming reviews.
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