Godfall may have been the first game announced for PlayStation 5, but as we’ve approached the launch of Sony’s newest console, it has seemingly surrendered its leading position in the vanguard for a seat on the sidelines.
Despite some telltale trappings of an online title, this “looter-slasher” from Counterplay Games and Gearbox Publishing is not a multiplayer live service game akin to Destiny, Marvel’s Avengers, or Anthem. It does have a reliance on replayable content, as you run the same gauntlets time and again for a chance at better loot and higher gear stats, but Godfall is primarily an action heavy RPG that is mostly built around solo missions from what we’ve played so far.
The story here is pretty thin and boils down to a rivalry between two powerful warriors, the last of their kind. Having been bested by the wolf-headed Macros, you must regain your strength and must seek him out before he becomes unstoppable.
Although Godfall has you interacting with other characters, there’s a very small supporting cast here and they’re mostly there to fill the game’s hubworld with vendors and quest givers. Counterplay have at least tried to craft some lore for their game’s setting but it’s just not that interesting and feels like filler.
Your base of operations looks like a fantasy Batcave, its main portal surrounded by an armoury of Valorplates: chunky metal suits, each one imbued with various perks and abilities. The designs are pretty imaginative, even if there are only two human-looking body types, though it’s arguably Godfall’s weapons that are the most important part of a loadout.
Godfall touts five weapon classes in total and it won’t take long for you to try them all out. These include the longsword, polearm, warhammer, greatsword, and dual blades, each with their own movesets. Aside from their individual “Weapon Technique” attacks, they don’t feel wildly different and you’ll still get the same basic actions such as blocking and dodging.
This game straddles the line between basic hack n’ slash and something more refined. As you explore Godfall’s open areas and carry out objectives, you’ll dispatch enemy patrols and larger bosses with a flurry of light, heavy, and special attacks. Your foes will bite back, however, and you’ll soon find that evading and parrying their colour-coded blows is just as important as unleashing your own onslaught.
If we had to compare Godfall to one game in particular, it would be 2018’s God of War. There’s a heft to its combat and the close-up camera angle means that you’ll need to rely on flashing indicators to avoid off-screen attacks.
The similarities end there, really. Outside of combat, Godfall aligns more with your typical run-based loot game. Chasing down Macros quickly becomes a secondary objective as you feverishly pursue the best weapons and gear for your Valorian knight.
Godfall doesn’t have the most exciting loot system we’ve come across, though it does succeed in funnelling a steady churn of items for players to sift through or salvage. The upside to weapons having so much common ground is that you can easily switch between the five without having to completely relearn how to fight. As they increase in rarity, they’ll come tagged with better DPS and a growing list of perks which may swerve your combat playstyle.
There’s still a lot more of Godfall we need to play before we pass a final verdict. What we’ve seen so far is a serviceable action RPG and one that could well step up a gear once we’ve hit that endgame and its multiplayer elements. However, at this early stage, Godfall feels like a lesser deity among the PS5’s pantheon of launch titles, though one that some fans of the genre will still come to worship.