Just before an unwanted pandemic dampened their enthusiasm, the new generation of consoles had begun to make itself felt in small doses, preparing the videogame public for the launch of the new consoles and new titles that would exploit their potential.
Leading the way and leading the way as the first title of the new generation was announced Godfall, developed by Counterplay Games under publication and support of Gearbox ed epic Games with the intent to create what the developers define with the new label of looter slasher, a resumption of the structure of the looter shooter but dedicated to the use of the white weapon.
Surprisingly, Counterplay managed to successfully complete the title without postponements and misunderstandings despite the difficult conditions that have affected the whole globe, making Godfall a launch title for PlayStation 5, to be released simultaneously on PC and, to six months later, on Xbox Series.
Glitz and steel
Godfall immediately launches the players into the heart of his events: the warrior Valoriano Orin, narrator and protagonist of which the player will take on the role, falls in fact defeated by his brother Macros after a long and exhausting war that involved all Aperion. Given for dead but still burning with desire to fight, Orin will have to recover an ancient artifact to activate the Seventh Sanctum, a last important resource that will allow him to overthrow Macros and prevent him from completing a rite that will allow him to ascend to divinity and to control the whole planet.
Unfortunately, this is the limit of the complexity and usability of the entire narrative of Godfall: practically every single aspect of this evocative world between fantasy and science fiction, every single narrative element useful to understand the context and the scope of events and every single detail concerning the figures in the game and what they represent is in fact relegated to the recovery of codex scattered in the game maps in a way that is not particularly orderly or extensively in-depth, leaving the player with an evocative world and a luxurious visually rich and interesting design that does not go beyond what the eye can see.
This philosophy reverberates throughout the title, from vague narrative to combat, relegating Godfall to one of those numerous titles to launch a new generation of consoles seen in the past that show off the visual capabilities of new technologies that fail to impress. long term once the surface luster begins to fade.
Cut and collect
Although Destiny turns out to be one of the main influences due to the structure of the title, based on constant repetition in order to collect random loot for the advancement of the character, Godfall takes a drift more traditionally akin to that of a single player action RPG, moving away from "game as a service" formula (which Counterplay strongly states is not part of the Godfall project) placing itself in a gray area between regular retail and GaaS which draws the worst they can offer from both models: here is a title with uncertain design and full of hasty elements without a long-term improvement or revision proposal, which behind its simplistic gameplay loop and its rudimentary game systems offers nothing new that is not visible from the very first hours of play.
To tell the truth, the combat system is not really badly made: the commands respond well to the player's inputs, and the action is fluid and with a valid tactile response of the various actions, regardless of the type of weapon you choose to use. , however, the limited AI of the enemies and the limited options actually available to Orin (despite apparently well disguised by convoluted interactions between various systems and types of attack) prevents the game from being fully realized, with solutions sometimes more suited to the mobile formula .
Enemies are easily knocked down, with the bulk of the difficulty deriving from the numerical amount of opponents and their presence outside the game frame, which together with the rest of the combat system returns a feeling similar to that of God of War (2018 ) without, however, offering the same visual spectacle or customization.
Even the boss fights, which represent the peak of Godfall difficulty as well as the fulcrum (with extra additions and complications) of the endgame, do not require a large engagement from the player beyond a basic memorization and attention to enemy patterns, but they accept simple brute force as a successful strategy without particular difficulties.
The visual care that distinguishes the three semi-open maps that can be explored during our missions (which basically consist in the defeat of a mini-boss, in a wave fight or in the activation of an artifact, all repeated up to face the bosses end of area) is less in their structure, very similar despite the different visual themes based on three different natural elements, to which is added an uncomfortable navigation given the total absence of a game map that allows you to orient yourself.
The whole seems, as a whole, a collection of ideas and rules assembled without planning and verification of their collective functioning, with huge design oversights such as the lack of variety of playing styles and approaches behind the choice of Valorpiastre, the twelve spectacular armor available in the title, or as the non-existent difference in the application of elemental effects, all reduced to damage over time and, above all, the enormous limit of variety offered by the loot, which should be the main attraction of a type of game like this, which offers no extra variety as can happen with unique loot-based game items and which limits the build choice to mere statistical min-maxing of an effect of your choice, also going to nullify the huge amount of loot that the game allows you to find in a short time (although there is no option to scrap items in groups, forcing the player to get rid of useless or lower level items destroying them one by one).
Comrades in arms
An element that could have acted as a lifeline for the gaming experience is certainly the three-player cooperative: this, unfortunately, presents its difficulties, since first of all it is necessary to have knowledge who possess and want to play Godfall given the absence of a matchmaking system.
Add to this that the repetitive and simplistic nature of the game makes the multiplayer experience more of a way to have background while spending time with friends than a true organized play session, heavily scrubbing the reasons that encourage co-op. .
If on paper, therefore, Godfall does not seem to have a real mole such as game-breaking bugs, balancing errors and smudges typically attributable to immediate defects and can appear as a title that has every element necessary for a valid looter, at the same time Godfall does not it does nothing fully cured, leaving a distinct feeling that something is missing no matter what aspect you look at.
The impression is that the design process and the decisions taken in the development have been overshadowed in favor of a visual spectacle and an obsessive aesthetic care, leaving the final product to float above an excellent technical sector and a solid mechanical foundation. surrounded by an ocean of approximations, superficiality and elements hastily left there without particular care or attention.
Surely it is a title that can entertain, given the valid functioning of the combat system, but it is mostly an "autopilot" gaming experience, with a lot of potential left unexpressed and easily adjusted, so much so that the reasons why it was not done are incomprehensible.