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Review in Progress: Godfall

One shall stand, one shall fall

When Godfallwas first announced, it had a few telltale signs of anapocryphal “games as a service” crash: Gearbox and a loot-based focus were enough to raise some eyebrows.

As it turns out, there are no microtransactions in the game (that’s good!). But, it is one of the few $70 next-gen titles (that’s bad!). Let’s see how it fares.

Godfall PS5 review

Godfall(PC, PS5 [reviewed])Developer: Counterplay GamesPublisher: GearboxReleased: November 12, 2020MSRP: $59.99 (PC) / $69.99 (PS5)

It’s hard to believe, but Godfalldoes seem like a premium game so far. $70 premium? That remains to be seen, but for now, I’m enjoying myself.

Godfall keeps things simple with a palatable revenge tale: you need to take down the warmonger Macros in a half knight-in-shining-armor, half sci-fi world. With several hours of the campaign under my belt, not much has changed beyond that initial premise. But that’s kind of a good thing in an action-centric game, given that the story never really feels in the way of anything.

It helps that it looks great on PS5. Load times are actually next-gen and just several seconds long (it isn’t being released on PS4 so there’s nothing to compromise), with a smooth framerate to boot. Particle effects are dazzling at times, with steel scraping against each other to great effect. While the enemy and environment designs can be dull at times, they lookfantastic.

Overall I actually do dig the over-the-top ornate style of Godfallin action. It gives off a real ’90s cartoon, Skeleton Warriorsvibe: like a less edgy Darksiders. There’s some give-and-take with that gambit as Darksidersis more memorable overall, but Godfalldoes a decent job of making that style its own. Again, everything is very much boosted by the next-gen presentation.

As an action romp, Godfallis also somewhat exceeding my expectations. There’s a dodge with iFrames, with light and heavy slashes serving as a quick combo system. It also features a forgiving parry mechanic, as well as weapon swapping (but not mid-combo). Once you start to progress in the campaign, things like “perilous attacks” rear up, which stun enemies temporarily if you parry them, but daze you if you block them.

New builds and abilities open up too: like the power to build up a charge in the weapon you don’t have equipped, which can cause a shockwave and an “attack up” buff after swapping. The DualSense is there every step of the way, with enhanced haptic feedback and rumble that feels fun, if a bit gimmicky.

I can see myself really getting into Godfallif it can ramp up the personality a bit. I’m getting to that point, unlocking various suits of armor that provide new abilities. I just hope the enemy variety is there to follow suit. It’s been a while since a game focused this much on action and less on games-as-a-service features, so I might be the perfect audience for this.

Developer Counterplay Games promises a full loot-based campaign as well as a series of endgame battles, which has me excited to see the end of Godfall. Again, the jury is out on whether or not this is worthy of the full $70 next-gen price tag, but for now, color me surprised.

[This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]

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