Out of all the PS5 launch titles, Godfall stood out as not only one of the most graphically impressive, but downright cool looking new IPs of the next generation. Godfall has been touted as a looter-slasher, a counterpart to today’s very popular looter-shooter, as seen with games like Borderlands and Destiny. Punching high up against some already well-established IPs, Godfall attempted to make a big splash into the next generation with incredibly high fidelity graphics and high-octane combat that would please both looter-shooter fans and fantasy fanatics alike. Unfortunately, it only delivers on one of those fronts, and leaves players wanting for more bang for their buck.
Godfall, being a next-gen title, is priced higher at $70. Going into it, this doesn’t seem too bad, as the game looks phenomenal, and every trailer and promotional piece showed fluid combat that was befitting of the next generation of games. What was supposed to be a “first of its kind” ARPG quickly became a hollow combat experience that refreshed every few minutes when I picked up a new weapon, only to quickly be bored again. In the first segment, the game feels incredibly exciting. You feel powerful, and are able to handle smaller enemies with ease, blowing through areas with blinding speed to reach the Sanctum. The gold plated halls feel like a teaser of what’s to come, a godly adventure filled with new experiences. This, unfortunately, is very short lived. Godfall teases you with incredibly beautiful environments and what seems like an open world, only to tread you on a defined path with very little room for exploration unless you see a single shining light in the distance. This, coupled with repetitive enemy placement and design made missions a slog to get through. Enemies, especially the more powerful varieties can be a challenge in looter games, but provide better loot. Half the fun is getting legendary items and making yourself look cool. Enemies in Godfall don’t feel like fun loot piñatas after fighting them the first few times, due to the strange amalgamation of hack and slash and “strategic” combat. Combat can feel clunky at times, and defensive options do not do much unless you time them near perfectly, even in the early game. Dodging felt almost not impactful at all until I placed a talent point in it which let me slide for additional distance, and this animation is what I expected from a default hack and slash dodge. Smaller things like the less fluid combat and repetitive placement ruin the pacing of the game, and make fighting feel tedious.
The story of Godfall feels shallow at best, with little to no worldbuilding at all and what feels like an expectation on the player to understand concepts that have not been introduced. Godfall is a story of two brothers, with one seeking godhood and the player looking to stop him. With the way the game starts and how the characters interact with each other, it is really easy to think Godfall is a sequel, but it is a standalone game. The story honestly could have made the game and traversal of the same environments over and over a bit more palatable, but it is next to nonexistent until you do enough slogging through the same kill quests over and over. This lack of variety isn’t aided by the fact that the weapon archetypes each have their singular moveset, and that’s it. Even with weapon swapping it doesn’t feel fluid, and it’s incredibly repetitive. Later on, as you get on-hit effects and buffs on your better weapons things die faster, but you’re doing the exact same thing without any variation.
What was honestly my most anticipated PS5 title was nothing short of a massive disappointment on every front minus the graphics. There are free to play titles that do what Godfall has attempted to do much better than it, and with much more variety available as well. There are other open world looter-slasher titles that feel more fluid to play. Godfall’s competition on the PS5 is Devil May Cry 5, which has a good linear story but an immense amount of combat variety and incredible fluidity. Overall, Godfall tried to define a new genre, but fell too short in too many aspects to be memorable or entertaining to play in the long term, especially with a focus on grinding for loot.
Score: 6 out of 10
Reviewed on PlayStation 5