Godfall is a new ARPG looter slasher developed by Counterplay Games and published by Gearbox Publishing. Godfall takes a fresh approach to looters by only including melee weapons and adding an utterly beautiful artstyle. It does not reinvent the wheel but then again it does not have to as it includes some of the best elements from different games that we love. Here is our review of Godfall.
Godfall is a looter slasher and not a looter shooter. It only has melee weapons and you need to get up close and personal with enemies in order to kill them and progress. The only piece of gear that you can actually use from afar is your shield. The shield attacks are like any of the other abilities in the game and has a cooldown. But there is much that you can do with it. Apart from blocking and throwing your shield, you can smash it into the ground to stun and damage enemies around you.
Story Lore And Setting Is Mediocre
You play as Orin, one of the few Valorian knights that are left. You have to take on your brother Marcos who has betrayed you and has intentions of ascending to a god. He leaves you for dead but you survive and your goal is to stop Marcos from ending the world.
The lore of the game is there but it is not really in-depth which might be intentional as it allows the player to jump right into the action. During the game, you only talk to two NPCs and what they have to say is pretty straight forward. The game is not lore-rich but and there is some backstory which is a bit cliche and isn’t something that you have not heard or seen before. You are not going to witness any twists that will shock or surprise you.
The story is just a means of justifying why you are doing what you are doing in the game. If you are interested in the lore then there are lore pieces that you can pick up to learn more and I recommend that you check out lore videos from My Name Is Byf that cover the story leading up to the game without any spoilers.
Combat And Gameplay Is Where It Shines Brightest
This is the looter slasher and that is where the game pulls no punches. The melee combat is very fluid and you feel very dominating when taking out waves of enemies. While you do need to get up close and personal with enemies, that does not mean that you have to be on the defensive all the time. You can totally go full-on offensive and that is very rewarding and makes you feel godly.
Enemy waves are rather small and scattered around on the map so they do not get overwhelming like some hacker slashers but note that the enemies are not meat for you to kill in this game. They are very responsive and can dodge and even block your attacks. If you are not careful then even a handful of enemies can kill you.
Low tier enemies are easier to kill and you can even kill them with a single breach attack. The higher level enemies require more skill. Elite enemies have different mechanics and attacks and they will glow red when they use their special attacks.
There are plenty of different weapons in the game and all the different classes of weapons are unique. They offer a different playstyle and they are the best part of the game. They have different moves and playout uniquely. You can only use dual blade special attacks when you are in the heat of battle and landing hits on enemies. The special ability bar is going to diminish over time for the dual blades if you stop attacking enemies.
I can see how this can be challenging and players will take a while to get used to the different weapon types. Finding the weapon type that suits you is going to be the key here. I found that the long sword suited me best. You can have two weapons at the same time and swap between them at any time you want. I used a Polearm as my secondary weapon which proved to be a great combination with the longsword.
In most games, I usually pick a weapon that I like and then stick to it. But the polarity mechanic that does area of effect damage encourages you to have two weapons that you like and switch between them often. This is a cool little feature that encourages you to combo two different weapons which I think is something that players are going to enjoy playing around with.
While this is a hack and slash game, you cannot simply button mash your way to victory. You cannot dodge as many times as you want. The dodge has a minor cooldown and there is no move cancellation either. So the button that you press is locked in. What this means is that you will need a certain degree of skill and planning in order to win in this game.
I was surprised that I was halted from progressing the game very early on and I needed to go back to previous areas in order to progress the game. That being said, the combat is so fluid and feels so good that it is not going to be much of an issue for most people unless you are looking to rush through the game fairly quickly. I would say that the devs have learned from the mistakes of Anthem and have not repeated them or implemented them as poorly. While repetition is there, the implementation and actual gameplay make up for it.
Long story short, this is as close to the combat of God of War that I have seen in a game since God of War.
Skills And Gear
The skill tree is pretty elaborate and you can invest plenty of points in it and get skills that match your playstyle. You get a skill point to invest every time you level up and you can respec any time you want which allows players to try out new builds at any time or respec just before a boss fight. With that in mind, it did not make sense why players need to change the valorplates at the sanctum when they can respec skills at any time and anywhere and the same goes for weapons and other gear.
The valorplates are supposed to be one of the main attractions of the game. At least that is what you think when you look at all the marketing and see how the developers have been teasing them ahead of launch. While they are cool to look at, I think that the variety is just not there and that they are more aesthetic than functional.
Changing your valorplate basically changes the small elemental buff that you get and the element of your ultimate ability, the archon fury. Besides the elemental change, the ultimate either sends out a shockwave that gives you buffs or summons allies to help you in combat in addition to those buffs. You would think that there would be some degree of uniqueness when it comes to the ultimate abilities of the 12 different valorplates but that is just not the case.
If you unlock 3 of these then you have pretty much checked them all out and in most parts of the game, you will not be able to tell the difference between them when it comes to gameplay. That was a major bummer for me as I expected all of them to be unique functionally and that the next one that I unlocked would be much cooler and powerful than the previous. Needless to say, I clocked most of my hours with the default valorplate as I was used to its abilities and I like the Lion look.
It is safe to say that once a player has found that valorplate that matches his or her playstyle they are not going to change back or try new ones as they are functionally similar.
Quick Hunts For Dads, Exploration For Hardcore Players
As I get older I no longer have the time to invest in games that I once used to. I simply cannot keep up with the hardcore grind that some games would have you do in order to keep up with other players. That is where the hunt missions in Godfall come into play. If you have an hour to kill or maybe 30 minutes then you can quickly launch a couple of hunt missions and get the rewards. If you have more time then you can explore the different realms and see what they have to offer.
When you start the game you will play the main story and progress your character. Once you have gone through the main story you will get to the endgame mechanic which is called the Dreamstone. These are missions with a boss at the end which is a bit more challenging. These missions have three phases and have a touch of rogue-like games. The first phase allows you to get buffs that will help you in the other phases. You will also get information regarding the boss. The third phase is where you are going to take on the boss.
The endgame content also includes the ascendant tower of trials. This is similar to endless waves mode in other games. You will go higher in the tower and each level is going to be harder than the previous one. There is no limit to how high you can climb the tower and you will find some of the best gear in the game here.
Dreamstone is much better when it comes to the endgame content. The tower trials can get a bit repetitive and might not be worth the grind for everyone. But if you want to take up the challenge and see how high you can climb then it is a nice challenge to test your skills.
Visuals That Are Truly Next-Gen, Sound Design That Does The Job
I played the game on PC using an RTX 2060 Super with an Intel 9400F and 16GB of RAM. The game ran smoothly at 1440p, 60FPS with very rare dips. The game looks incredible and everything from the art style to effects is what I would call truly next-gen. As soon as I booted the game I could see why it did not release on the Xbox One or PS4. That would just have held the developers and the game back and it was a nice decision by the devs.
Stutters are very rare and often only at the start of the game. Once the game was up and running I did not face any issue what so ever. The game looks very nice even at 1080p. There is no DLSS or ray tracing support but the art style is so incredible that you will not feel the need for ray tracing and I don’t think that reflections would have made a lot of difference. DLSS on the other hand would have been a nice feature to upscale the game to 4K.
The audio and soundtracks are fitting and change according to what happens in the game but it is not something that I would listen to outside of the game. The voice acting is also pretty good and fits the characters that you interact with but as there are only 2 NPC that you can interact with there is not a lot of it which seems like something that could have been improved. Adding a few more lines or a few cutscenes here and there would have made the experience much better. Having a single memorable soundtrack would have also been a major improvement.
Is Godfall Worth The Money?
To answer the question that is on everyone’s mind, I have to say that it depends. The game does not become too repetitive quickly and you can go do those hunt missions over and over to get more loot. I easily clocked 12 hours without feeling the repetitiveness and as I progressed the story I did have a sense of variety but the lack of uniqueness of the valorplates was indeed a bummer for me. Pricing on the Epic Games Store varies according to the region. If you get the game for 31 USD then it makes total sense. But if you have to pay 60 USD then it comes down to how much time you can spend in the game without getting bored.
I think that the major aspect of the game that is going to increase the replayability is the community and whether or not your friends are playing it as well. Cross-play is also going to be a major factor. If the game does support cross-play then that is going to be a major selling point.
For me Godfall was a lot of fun and I even got a personal copy with my own money. The solo experience is worth the 31USD price tag and playing the game with friends is just going to add to the experience and create moments that you are going to remember for the days to come.
Godfall does not reinvent the wheel in any way. It takes elements from different games such as Destiny, other looter shooters and God of War. With that said, what it lacks in fresh mechanics, it makes up with a fresh coat of paint, fluid gameplay and good optimization on PC.
Godfall is not ashamed of taking different mechanics from different games. It does what it does very well. The game does not need any major loot overhauls of rebalancing like other loot games that have released in the past and needed a year to fix or are still being fixed to date. Godfall does not need a redesign. It is fine the way it is. That makes Godfall a uniquely refreshing surprise of 2020.
I did have a lot of fun playing the game and I think that others are going to as well especially when playing with friends. If you are going to play with friends then the 60USD pricing would make sense but if you are going to go through it alone then I would not call it a must-buy game, at least not at launch. You can easily wait for the price to go down until it makes better sense to you.
I can easily give Godfall a 7.5/10. But I do hope that the devs can change things a bit in future updates in order to add variety.
If you are interested in learning more about the game then you can check out our Godfall guides hub.