There are a few epic tropes that have stuck with me over the years, and one of them is that of a people who decide to rebel against, and destroy their own gods. It may have been a concept I was first introduced to through Roger Zelazny’s Lord of Light, or Star Trek, whose Klingon race has a mythology where their warriors rose up and killed their gods. It’s about rising up against impossible odds, to face the gods themselves to end suffering and oppression—and that’s exactly what you do in Gods Will Fall.
Gods Will Fall is a third person action role-playing game played from a slight isometric perspective. In it, you control a motley crew of adventurers, tasked with destroying their gods and ending their grip on humanity. The gods have enslaved humanity for millennia, demanding obedience, or to suffer the fate of a slow, agonizing death. The only logical conclusion, then, is to take up arms and storm the gods’ island to seek them out and kill them. Gods Will Fall has a little bit of a Dark Souls meets Diablo feeling, but the combination makes a game that’s pretty different than both of those.
In Gods Will Fall you take control of a group of warriors—each with their own strengths, weaknesses, fears, and loves, and who will have their stories written during the course of gameplay. There are two main modes of travel: as your warrior band in the overworld, and as an individual warrior inside a dungeon. You can explore the peaceful overworld at will with your entire group, but when it comes time to enter a dungeon, you have to commit a single warrior. Once committed, that warrior will either succeed, or they will be killed/captured in their attempt at killing that particular god. Death is permanent, but not every attack that puts your adventurer’s hit points to zero is fatal. If they’re instead captured, they can be rescued by defeating the god they failed to defeat. Once your party reaches zero warriors, it’s game over, and you have to start a new playthrough.
It’s not exactly roguelike, but its permadeath mechanics are interesting. Each playthrough is different, not by changing levels, but by virtue of what characters you have available to you. While their appearance and stats are randomly generated, they seem to consist of a few archetypes: large, small, fast, slow. They also come equipped with different weapon types: spear, sword, mace, axe, with all of them except the spear having dual wield variants. There are no shields, but there are items that can be found and equipped before entering dungeons.
Combat in Gods Will Fall is a little spongey, but fun. It’s not quite as precise as Dark Souls, but it requires careful damage avoidance. Healing items are rare—the most reliable way to get your health back is by using blood lust, which is powered by hitting unarmored foes. This allows your character to take a few hits, deal damage, and get that health they lost right back. Gods Will Fall is somewhat challenging, however, especially with massive damage spikes—especially if your hero is in a dungeon that may be a little over their heads. The only thing is, you won’t know which order to do the dungeons in without trial and error—and eventually, if it takes enough tries, you might find yourself out of warriors.
While the combat in Gods Will Fall is serviceable, and mostly fun, it does tend to feel a little floaty. Hit boxes feel imprecise, and of the different weapons available, it doesn’t really feel like there are very many different movesets. The spear tended to by my favorite weapon, and its heavy attack can do large amount of damage to enemies at a distance—but it’s not fun spamming the same heavy attack repeatedly. There’s a dodge button which also serves as a parry—if you dodge into an enemy when they swing, you will stun them momentarily, allowing you to attack without retribution for a moment.
When a warrior is successful in defeating a god, it will often buff the entire group in some way. However, if your warrior got especially beat up, it’s possible they may take on a debuff that can reduce their overall health, strength, etc. Your warriors are also individuals, each with their own fears and desires. If two warriors are lovers, one may get a buff represented by their desire to return to their loved one. If the warrior is scared of a specific god, they may fear their domain, and suffer a debuff when inside. I appreciate the character stories, as they add flavor to the various buffs and debuffs gained. Beyond receiving upgraded weapons, though, there isn’t any other character progression, making character stats completely dependent on random chance.
Each of the gods’ domains in Gods Will Fall are interesting, and different—and though I would have liked to see larger differences, each zone does a good job of being a visual representation of the god that inhabits it. Each area also has its own set of enemies, with their own attacks and quirks. While enemies usually look visually distinct, most of the time they just walk towards you and attack—and that’s about the height of their strategy. Obviously, there are boss fights, with each god being a different boss. The more enemies you defeat in a level, the more you weaken the boss—reducing its health before you even encounter it. This is usually accomplished by killing vassals, but in some cases, destroying totems does the trick. And while each of these bosses and the mechanics surrounding them are interesting, none of them feel particularly well-polished or refined.
My overall impression of Gods Will Fall is that it’s unfinished. It’s very fun, but I feel like it had potential to be a truly great game—and it falls short. I love the concept of attrition, when your small band of warriors is running low due to defeat—but I feel like it’s missing elements to make it as fun as it could be. That said, I really enjoyed my time with Gods Will Fall, and will even be going back in to search for secrets I missed in my first few playthroughs. It’s flawed, but certainly worthy of your attention.
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