Godfall Misses the Mark on Being a Great Game, but Is Still a Good One.
Wondering whether you should buy Godfall? The internet was blown away by the visual fidelity Godfall boasted during it’s reveal trailer for the PlayStation 5. Being one of the first EVER games announced for the next-gen console, high expectations were set on the game. Now that the game is out on PlayStation 5 and PC as an Epic Store exclusive, does it live up to the hype? While I do think Godfall is definitely a quality product, it is definitely not a game for everyone to buy at full price. Here’s an impression of the game 20 hours in, covering the graphics, story and gameplay of the fresh IP.
It’s A Soulless, Visual Treat
It’s truly a wonder how something as beautiful as Godfall’s visuals could also be so soulless and bland. The art-style is beautiful and classy, with a variety of Valor Plates that the main character “Orin” can don. Additionally, the world design is beautiful, vast and filled with vegetation and life.
All that said, it truly IS a wonder that the realms of Godfall are truly devoid of soul and heart. To be honest, we can pinpoint the root of that feeling to what Godfall clearly lacks; story delivery and beloved characters.
A lot of this devoid comes from the lack of connection the player forms with the cast. The game opens up with beautiful cinematics and gorgeous visuals, but the delivery of the story is severely lacking. There is an epic story to be told, with fantastic, grandeur voice acting to match, but the delivery falls short due to low-effort cutscenes and lack of facial animations within the acting.
The lack of facial animations may appear as a trivial deal to some, but I personally found the lack of it a source of disconnection between me and the characters. The lack of these facial expressions make it difficult to relate to emotions such as determination, depression and resolve the characters go through. It’s just there, and dull. It’s pretty, but empty.
There’s even a character that is straight up a lightbulb.
The only character with a remote sense of facial animations is the Seventh Sanctum, and I’m not even sure if that’s actually what they call her because I wasn’t invested enough in the story.
The Story is Epic…ly Unengaging
Right off the bat, it is unclear on who exactly Orin is as a character. All you know is that he faces betrayal at the hands of his brother, and is out to reclaim what is his by hunting down his brother’s generals.
Orin’s gender changes depending on the armor you don, going as far as changing the tone of their voice. The lack of grounding of Orin as a character makes it difficult to like them for more than their face value. You simply don’t have much to relate or sympathize with the character, dampening your relationship with him/her/them.
Godfall does not require you to invest yourself in the story. Quests are clearly marked and don’t take place in a single “seamless” large open world. Instead, the world of Godfall is segregated into moderate chunks of areas called “realms” that you can explore and loot. There are three realms that you can explore and each have four to five waypoints to quick travel from. You access these realms via the hub world under the guise of your base, the Seventh Sanctum.
Godfall is a fun game due to it’s intricate combat systems and large skill trees, but its story is just… there. For those who are into lore, there is a codex with tons of lore that you can read up on, from character journals, to enemy bestiaries to weapons.
Crispy Combat with A LOT of Systems
In previews and gameplay teasers, Godfall certainly doesn’t look like much. At most, it looks like a discount God of War (2018). After an hour of playing, you realize that it actually does play like God of War, and it’s actually quite fun.
First booting up the game, enemies take forever to do anything. They just stand around waiting for you to attack them, and take anywhere between 3-10 seconds to attack you. It threw me off a bit at first, but after you beat the 20-minute tutorial and first boss, you can actually ramp up the difficulty and things get more exciting.
Right off the bat, there’s a number of weapon classes for you to get used to. Dual Blades, Polearms, Long Swords, Great Swords, and Hammers. Each is unique in terms of attack speed and damage, and each has a unique light attack and heavy attack.
The weapons, in addition to having different mechanics, also have different passives. Some inflict ailments like Bleed and Poison, while others have stat buffs like Stagger Bonus and Meter Charge. There is a rarity system ranging from Common to Legendary, with Legendary weapons usually having a variative plethora of buffs. If you’re disappointed with the lack of story-telling Godfall has to offer, then not to worry, the loot reward grinding is certainly a redeeming factor to certain audiences.
Last but not least, the Shield. This is another source of similarity I found between Godfall and God of War. Timing your Shield command can result in a parry, staggering the enemy and opening them up to free attacks. Not only that, the Shield can also be thrown as a returnable projectile ala Captain America, and deals massive stagger to enemies, chancing you to deal a damaging finisher attack.
A Variety of Ways to Deal Damage and Extensive Skill Trees
Godfall doesn’t just make you grind for gear, but also on skill points and materials. These are important for upgrading your weapons’ rarity as well as buffing their damage stats. Additionally, these materials can be used to craft new armor (Valor Plates) as well as enter the “Tower of Trials”. The Tower of Trials is an endless battleground similar to Devil May Cry‘s Bloody Palace, which brings Orin higher up the tower for chances at better loot. The grind is healthy and not too burnout-ish, as I’ll get into later. If you’re into looters like Borderlands 3 and Destiny 2, you should definitely set aside some money to buy Godfall.
You start with basic light and heavy attacks as well as a charged heavy attack and the Shield, but soon after the tutorial you’ll be able to unlock a variety of attacks and combos via the skill tree. You can even experiment between light and heavy attack timings to figure out what looks stylish and most effective.
From AOE Polarity attacks to Soul-Shattering to countless others, there’s a great level of depth and experimentation to Godfall’s combat. It’s brilliant as it ensures the grinding is doesn’t stale or exhaustive. Coupling that with the status ailments you can inflict and other bonuses, you can spend so much of your time optionally grinding materials by revisiting the realms and redoing hunts you’ve already completed for loot and materials.
Should You Buy Godfall?
It’s 20 hours in, and I can definitely see myself playing more. While I’m not the type that appreciates shelling out 60-70 USD for games like these, I’m well aware of people that would:
Who Godfall Isn’t For:
A) Let’s start with who should NOT buy Godfall. People who love a good story with a lovable cast of characters with simple and direct story-telling. If you’re into cinematic games such as The Last of Us, God of War and Ghost of Tsushima, you won’t find that level of story-telling here. Godfall is all about gameplay and grind. Cinematic cutscenes are few and far in between, and every time the story progresses there will always be a mention on the necessity of “stronger gear” to defeat your brother. There is extensive lore, but you need to put in the extra effort of reading through the game’s codex, which you can expand upon by exploring and doing bonus objectives in the realms.
Who Should Buy Godfall:
B) If you’re into games that have loot-centric focus, and love grinding for gear, Godfall is definitely a must buy. You could spend hours min-maxing your favorite gear and customizing loadouts for each of Orin’s Valor Plates. There’s a thousand ways to play, and the Tower of Trials is just a great time-burner to test out your gear while simultaneously grinding. Not to mention, synchronizing your gear to efficiently cooperate with your friends in Multiplayer also opens up new gameplay options.
Wait For a Sale… Or Ps Plus:
C) What about Buying Godfall on sale? I hate to say this since I’m quite addicted to the combat, but I can definitely see Godfall being a game that isn’t a hit sensation and not really sell well. It’s a good game, just misses the mark on a few aspects making it not exactly for the general consumer. Due to it’s PS Plus requirements to access the multiplayer, Godfall definitely has the potential to become a free PS Plus game down the line to promote the service.
TL:DR – Godfall First Impressions
Godfall is definitely a good game worth trying out if you’re willing to invest at least 10 hours into playing. It’s backed with great, easy to pick-up and play gameplay that has a moderate learning curve that can be expanded upon. Additionally, it features a loot grind system that is not-exhaustive with plenty of great weapon designs and perks. Behind an extensive lore, it falls short on story delivery and likeable characters, though that really is something subjective and up to an individual to decide.
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