The PlayStation 5 launched two months ago alongside a wide selection of upgraded games and enhanced remasters. Despite these taking advantage of the new power on offer, there were only a few games which were purposely built from the ground up to run specifically on the new system and not the last-gen. Godfall was one of these games, a PlayStation 5 and PC exclusive (maybe timed) which pushes the platform to its limits in regards to the visuals whilst also utilising the new controller features to enhance the gameplay.
Godfall was developed by Counterplay Games and published by Gearbox Publishing, it’s a new IP from developers who have worked on games such as Destiny 2, Diablo III, God of War, and Ratchet & Clank. It’s clear to see, when you play it, where all the inspirations for the game came from, as it combines elements from a number of different franchises together to form, what they’re calling, the “first-of-its-kind, looter-slasher, melee action-RPG”.
But is it a match made in heaven or a ‘too many chefs…’ situation? Let’s find out…
Godfall is an action-adventure game which focuses a lot on loot and progression, requiring you to keep on top of your loadout and abilities in order to adapt to the world and enemies around you. You are the last of the Valorian Knights, a group of God-like warriors which are the only hope for Aperion to return to peace. Thankfully, just like in Mortal Shell, you can swap out your legendary armour for any of the others which reside within the Sanctum, each one offering new abilities and passive bonuses.
Your goal is to ascend the world by fighting your way to the mad God, Macros, taking out all of his minions along the way. Each ‘world’ has its own theme and enemies, not to mention a wide selection of bosses and resources to collect. As you take down your foes you’ll become stronger, find new weapons, and unlock new abilities through upgrading, allowing you to take on bigger and more aggressive baddies. Personally, I was more focused on the combat and the gameplay, than the story, but there is a standard narrative holding the game together and filling in the reasoning behind everything you do after each boss fight.
As of last week, I’ve ‘finished’ Godfall having played through every stage within each of the worlds and beaten the final boss. I’m still a long way from actually ‘completing’ the game (in regards to trophies) as there’s a lot of grinding and replaying to be done, especially considering I’m playing the game on my own. But, seeing as I’ve seen everything on offer, let’s take a closer look at the game…
Godfall is a PlayStation 5 game so there’s one thing I expected when I first played it, some form of DualSense utilisation. As we all know, the new innovative controller supports Haptic Feedback throughout the device and Resistive Triggers that adapt to the game – did Godfall use these? Simple answer, yes, it uses both of them to enhance the gameplay. Combat is performed using the trigger buttons, as opposed to the face buttons (something we’ll see a lot of in games that want to use the resistive triggers). As such, when performing a heavy attack (R2), you feel the tension as you engage with whichever weapon you have equipped.
Overall, I was happy with the experience the game provided, it pulls you into the world and lets you attack and feel the devastation you’re supplying. The force feedback isn’t too aggressive but it is enough to feel it – just like in DiRT 5.
The game also utilises the haptic feedback in order to step up the immersion once more. As you walk over the various terrain in the different worlds, the controller adapts and provides feedback based upon what you’re walking over! It also provides feedback when you get hit, when you’re dodging the enemies, and whilst you’re hitting them. Basically, the haptic feedback is much more than the simple ‘rumble’ we saw in previous generations of the PS controller, it’s more akin to the ‘HD Rumble’ within the Joy-cons, it allows the game to send multiple smaller vibrations all around the controller rather than a single rumble.
This leads me to the…
The biggest draw to Godfall for me was its combat – I’m not really a fan of Destiny 2 and it’s loot-based gameplay (or at least I wasn’t before playing this game). However, I’m a massive fan of games such as the Dynasty Warriors franchise and the new God of War (which I’ve only just got around to starting on my PS5), so I was beyond excited to try out this ‘heavy’ action-based hack-and-slash approach. In short, the combat felt like God of War (2016) combined with Monster Hunter but modernised with some new mechanics.
There are five weapon types and a lot of weapons within Godfall, not as many as we saw in Borderlands 3, but there’s enough to keep things fresh and new. At any time you can carry two weapons, which you can swap between on the fly, allowing you to experiment and try out new styles of gameplay or simply the same weapon but with different stats and abilities. Each weapon comes with two power moves, which are recharged by slaughtering your foes, and new elemental attributes and/or secondary stats (such as bleeding) will unlock as they’re upgraded.
The actual combat is one of the biggest reasons I highly recommend people pick up Godfall, thanks to the controller everything feels heavy, immersive, and impactful as you smash in the enemies faces with a giant hammer or furiously slice them up with dual blades. You can parry with your shield then take advantage of the moment to deliver a counter-attack, throw your shield at enemies and stun them, switch weapons mid-fight for a boost in your power, or even beat your foe to an inch of their life and then push R3 to perform a death blow and creatively kill them.
I never found myself becoming bored with the combat, I constantly swapped weapons, changed my armour, upgraded everything that could be upgraded, and adjusted my active boosts. However, if you’re going for the platinum then there are a lot of trophies based on killing enemies with certain weapon types and/or performing a number of skills with certain weapons. There’s also a few which involve inflicting a number of enemies with traits such as bleeding or curse. So, there is a lot of grinding if going for the trophies, but I didn’t mind, it actually forced me to experiment and use weapons I wouldn’t usually use, such as the very slow hammer.
First of all, Godfall is a beautiful game. The world is very colourful, the environments are really well designed, and the various ‘worlds’ are all unique with their own visual style. However, despite it appearing to have multiple stages in each world, there’s really only one actual ‘area’ for each world, you just start from a different point based on the mission you pick. This, again, didn’t bother me too much at first, but once you’ve spent about 40+ hours in the game as I did, you begin to wish there were more unique areas as things can start to get a little repetitive.
When you take on a mission, you’re sent down to the world and are always pointed in the right direction with a waypoint on the screen (you may be able to turn that off). As such, you always know where you’re going and what your goals are. The first time you play the story missions you’ll have to use the teleporters to find the right path (as you can’t jump), take on groups of enemies, unlock doors, and then take out the bosses. However, once you’ve done the ‘story’, you can return to that ‘mission’ starting point and simply take out the boss again.
What’s different? This time you have three goals, take out the boss, take out the boss within a set time of starting the mission, and a third goal which seems to be random – things like performing a Soulshatter a number of times before you kill the boss (Soulshatter is attacking the enemy with light attacks until the enemy is alive but all their health is now white instead of yellow – one hit with a heavy attack and all the white is changed into damage, thus killing them in technically one hit). But, once you’ve killed the boss you have two choices, return to Sanctum or remain here and explore.
Explore and challenges
If you choose to remain after killing a boss, you can freely explore the world your in and take on new challenges which are quite tricky sometimes. Basically, pushing left on the D-Pad allows you to use your spider-sense and see what challenges are hidden around the world – indicated by a big red pillar. I’m not sure how many of these there are but they seem random each time you agree to stay. I’ve seen walking treasure chests (like the luggage in Discworld) which you have to smash open, various arena-based combat segments, and even some puzzle-based challenges where you have to swap between normal and spidey-vision to solve them.
You may be wondering, what’s the point? I just want to play the story missions and complete the game. Sure, you can do that but if you’re playing on the Normal difficulty setting or higher – you’re going to have a lot of trouble with the later bosses. The whole concept of the game revolves around loot and upgrading your gear in order to become a badass God. As such, you NEED to replay these missions in order to explore, smash all the pots, find resources, and gain experience so that you can stand up against the bosses and not die when they smack you.
Each world is populated by respawning enemies, the aforementioned bosses, challenges, and lots of chests and collectables. You’ll find lore items, as you do in Destiny 2, which unlock backstory to read through, as well as lots of items, weapons, and resources hidden in pots, chests, and on the ground after killing enemies. The game is very, very heavy on collecting things, utilising the coloured level-system for the weapons and skills as we see in games such as Diablo and Torchlight. If you like games such as the Lego games, which require you to break everything you see, and ARPGs which focus on loot, you’re gonna love Godfall.
As stated above, I’ve now finished the game (technically) so am I just sat here twiddling my thumbs as I randomly go back and face bosses I’ve beaten before in order to unlock the final trophies? Sometimes, but the majority of my endgame experience has been within the Tower of Trials and the Dreamstones. These are new gameplay modes which unlock once you’ve finished the story.
The Tower of Trails is quite literally a tower which you must ascend, killing all the enemies as you try to stay alive until you reach the top. The Dreamstones are tournament-like missions where you blindly pick which boss you’re about to face – these are much harder than the first time you fought them but they offer better rewards.
I’m not put off by repetitive and monotonous games – I love the Musou franchises – so the grinding within this game isn’t too bad for me. The combat keeps the game enjoyable and the reward of tonnes of loot to organise is something I enjoy. If those aren’t things you like, you’ll probably not enjoy Godfall as much as me.
I never actually tried this aspect of the game, as I had nobody to play it with, but the game supports up to three players in online co-op PvE. Although I didn’t have too much trouble with the game, I could clearly see that it was made for multiple players. Some bosses took me upwards of 15-20 minutes to take down, something which would have been much faster if there were others fighting alongside me. I only really felt at a true disadvantage when I got to the final few bosses, this was where I reduced the difficulty as I couldn’t pass them despite trying for many hours. As such, if you’re playing solo then it’s still a fun experience but expect to possibly grind for a while when you reach these difficult adversaries.
I’ve already said it a few times but, Godfall is a very gorgeous game on the PlayStation 5. It comes with two gameplay modes, Performance and Resolution. The Performance Mode runs with a 1350p resolution but the gameplay is almost locked to 60fps. I personally kept the game on this mode, as it was too jarring to drop to 30fps, and I only encountered a few framerate issues very late into the game when there was a lot of effects on the screen. The Resolution Mode is a native 4K but it runs at 30fps – this is the best-looking mode but due to the game being reliant on split-second reflexes, I’d say stick to the 60fps mode.
One thing I’m unsure of is Ray Tracing. It’s the buzz word which everyone is screaming about at the moment, Watch Dogs: Legion has it, so does Spider-Man, even the remastered >Observer_ Redux has an RT mode, but does Godfall? From what I gather, no, not on the PS5. The PC version supports it, but only if you have an AMD GPU. I originally thought the game did support it due to the impressive reflections and lighting within the game, and because various sites reported it did have it after the original announcement, but I can’t find any confirmation of this tech online.
Despite that, the game is still one of the best looking titles on the PlayStation 5 at the moment, in my opinion.
Godfall uses most of the PS5 tech to its advantage, bar one. The loading times are great, barely a few seconds to load in a new world or respawn when you die – this is great in a game like this. Also, it has ‘Activity cards’ which lets you boot the game up and instantly take you into the action. However, there are a lot of trophies based on doing something a number of times (as I stated above) – these DO NOT have activities or cards which tell you how far off you are!
This would have been a perfect example of a game using all of the tech available – fast loading, higher resolutions, 60fps, enhanced lighting, activities, cards, etc… but, they forgot to include the counter/progress update on the progression trophies! I wonder if this can be patched in?
Godfall quickly became an obsession for me, the gameplay is super addictive and the combat is brilliant. If you’re into loot-based games such as Diablo III, or you like games with heavy combat such as the Souls games, you’ll enjoy this game – as long as you don’t mind a bit of grinding if playing solo. If you’re looking for a deep story with lots of lore and background, this may not be for you (although there are hidden lore files to find), this will appeal more to those who like to jump in occasionally in order to gain better gear and experience. It won’t be for everyone but I couldn’t stop playing it once I started, THIS is a next-gen game – from it’s visuals to the use of the intuitive controller.
We were kindly provided with the standard edition of the game for review but there is a Deluxe Edition as well. The Deluxe Edition comes with the Season Pass (as does the Ascended Edition), giving you access to the paid expansion which is due out later this year. I’m not sure what this expansion will be but I hope it includes a few new worlds and more incredible bosses for us to beat up – if so, I’ll be grabbing it day-one!
On a side note – the menu within Godfall has an option for SHiFT codes – I’ve been unable to actually find any of these online – which is strange as Gearbox pushes out codes for BL2 and 3 all the time. I’m not sure what the codes would do but I imagine a future update may put a chest within the Sanctum, just like in BL, allowing you to open it and claim powerful gear? Maybe?
- - Visually one of the best PS5 games
- - The combat is very satisfying and immersive (thanks to the DS controller)
- - Lots of weapons, abilities, unlocks, and armour to wear
- - Runs great at 60fps with very few drops
- - Very addictive and hard to put down
- - Can get repetitive for those who don't like games you have to replay multiple times
- - The story holds the game together but I was never truely invested in it
- - It doesn't take advantage of the 'activity' cards in terms of displaying your progress
- - The game was clearly made for multiple people so it can get pretty tough if playing on your own