After finishing the campaign and delving into the end game, I finally feel like I can give a truly informed opinion about one of the few “next-gen” titles to launch along side the Playstation 5. Godfall looked incredibly promising when it was announced but it has garnered mixed reviews since, however I know as Destiny 2 main that games like these can take time to really see the value so we’ve taken our time and put in the hours and are ready to give you our verdict.
Let’s start with the campaign. As far as stories go, it was fine. You play as Orin, a Valorian who’s brother Macros is looking to ascend to Godhood through the a ritual called the Rites of Ascension, however that would also cause the very world you live in to be destroyed in the process. The game actually starts with Orin being defeated in battle by Macros and being thrown into the ocean, left for dead. But with the help of the Seventh Sanctum (three floating heads… I can’t explain it past that) you are brought back to get stronger and work your way back to Macros to stop him. I won’t go much further into it than that to avoid spoilers but I will say while it wasn’t the most original story I’ve ever played through it did it’s job and gave me a reason to continue playing at least until the end of the campaign.
The game is run out of a home base called the Sanctum. Here you can talk to the Seventh Sanctum, pick which missions you want to take on, as well as unlock and equip your Valorplate. I found it a bit annoying though running back and forth between the Seventh Sanctum and another character found there, Zenun Earthminder, who is introduced after a few missions constantly.
When it comes to gameplay, Godfall is hard to nail down. “Destiny with swords” was one way this game was described before its release, which if you know me at all, really peaked my interest. Whilst that comparison makes a little bit of sense, Godfall is only similar to other games in that genre in a very mechanical sense (pick up loot that enemies drop). The game actually plays nothing like Destiny or games of that ilk and much more like a, dare I say, Dark Souls title. The first thing that hit me was how limited I felt with my movement. You can’t jump in Godfall, replaced by an ability to swing to unreachable area’s via a totem system. You can dodge though and this is a crucial part of movement in the game, although it would take me some time to realise this. You also have to manually move your camera around whilst attacking enemies and even with the auto tracking turned on, I found myself swinging my sword around hitting air more than than the actual targets. All of this lead me to believe that Godfall was slow and clunky to be honest. Then something clicked. At first the game was pretty easy so learning specific mechanics weren’t particularly needed. However, as the game got harder, I in turn got better, and the movement through dodges were needed, I had to learn how to parry attacks and use every tool available to me otherwise I would be stuck in a perpetual loop of dying to the same boss over and over again. Turns out, when you are forced to learn the games mechanics, you can actually start to really enjoy it! Now I felt like the game was shining. The game honestly turned on its head for me at this point. I was coming up with strategies and picking the right tools to help me roll them out.
Speaking of tools, what are they? Well, first and foremost you have your Valorplate. This is your armour and you can pick between 12 different options. However the difference between them, besides looks, is negligible. Each one has a unique Archons Fury ability (akin to a special attack or “super”) and even then some of them are suspiciously similar to others. Other than that and a passive ability of a stat increase, the Valorplates are really style over substance. Having said that, they are *gorgeous*. Some real work went into crafting armour that is incredibly beautiful. You can’t chop and change aspects of the armour but I think in this environment that works as the Valorplate’s are stunning as they are.
The tools that really influence how you play begin with your weapons. You have two weapon slots and five types of weapons. These are Longswords, Polearms, War Hammers, Greatswords and Dual Blades. Using different weapons changes the way you play vastly and have different advantages and disadvantages. I found Dual Blades to be the best way to deal with rank and file enemies, being able to very quickly land attacks and finish them off. However for harder enemies I need to keep some distance from Polearms were incredibly useful. My favourite weapon of all though were the Warhammers. The way they absolutely obliterated enemies and even bosses provided more joy than maybe it should have! Each weapon has two forms of attack, a light attack (R1) and a heavy attack (R2), the latter doing more damage but taking longer to hit. They also can be combined with L2 to perform weapon techniques which is where the real damage is done. Each type of weapon has a different weapon technique for both light and heavy attacks but you can only perform them once your technique bar is filled up. These techniques can do considerable damage from safe distances so make boss fights feel more manageable when you are under pressure and needs to maintain space. After your weapons you still have a lot more to think about. You have Amulets, Charms, Rings, Life Stones, Augments and Banners all that provide different purposes and contribute to your load outs. I won’t cover what each does as we’d be here all day, but there is certainly variety in potential load outs. There is also the ability to Masterwork your gear in order to upgrade their stats and gain extra perks by heading to a certain area in the Sanctum. This however was not explained particularly well and I actually only figured it out close to the end of the campaign.
I would like to take a moment to praise Counterplay Games for creating a stunning world. The visuals in this game at times are simply breathtaking. Character and enemy models are unique and varied and the environments in each of the different realms are beautiful. It may sound like I am gushing here but to be honest, I am. The world created made it very easy to want to explore every nook and cranny simply down to how beautiful it was. Playing it in 4K 60fps is a sign of things to come on the Playstation 5. Another thing that the PS5 made possible is faster loading times and they are incredibly fast here in Godfall. But my one, admittedly very small complaint is that we get a loading screen for travelling from the Sanctum to a Realm when it’s not really needed and it breaks my immersion in that moment. It shows up for 5 seconds max and then we are ready to go, but if they could have implemented a cool animation instead that would have made for a cool detail like we have seen in titles like Demon Souls and the upcoming Ratchet and Clank but then perhaps this was limited due to the fact the game released on PC as well. A quick nod should be given to the audio in the game, some lovely sound effects within the world do a great job along side the visuals of creating the world, the music is also beautiful although it did feel like I was hearing the same track over and over.
There is more I could touch on here so it’s not like the game is lacking general gameplay depth but once the campaign was finished I felt less enticed to delve into the end game thoroughly and play the Dreamstone missions which pit you against bosses you’ve previously faced with modifiers in place to make it harder. They are the only way to earn certain currencies needed to unlock one of the Valorplates. Now that I have that last Valorplate I can’t think of any reasons to continue to play the game until the next paid DLC planned for Q2 of 2021.