Review – The Fall of Gods
23rd September, 2011 Leave a comment
There was a point in The Fall of Gods, half way through a trade-chain, where it became obvious to me how much I loved the game. I don’t want to tell you what it was, it wasn’t even a significant moment, just the tiniest of touches that shows how much a developer cares about their game.
Trade-chains are a fairly big part of The Fall of Gods. You’ll be wandering the world trading various trinkets for other trinkets all with the ultimate aim of getting an all-important trinket or as at the end of a few of the chains, a level up. If you’re familiar with Zelda you’ll be familiar with this kind of gameplay; the world is full of people that need specific items and it’s up to you to find them. This is something that’s always really annoyed me about Zelda. There, the hints are vague at best and it’s often pure luck whether or not you’ll speak to an NPC and just happen to have the correct item. Most of your time is spent wandering aimlessly, hoping for that chance encounter.
The Fall of Gods doesn’t suffer in the same way. NPCs are always clear about what they’re after and if you can’t remember, often it will be marked on the map anyway so there’s almost always somewhere to head for. Not that there aren’t times where you’ll be stuck. Horribly stuck. I know exactly where you’ll get stuck. The world is so pleasant though, the music so calming, that it just didn’t matter that I didn’t know where I had to go because I was happy just wandering around. The world is large, but it never feels prohibitively big and so everything feels within reach, even when you don’t know what it is you’re reaching for.
To say something of the gameplay, the initial Zelda comparison still stands but at the same time it feels a bit more like Alundra to me. There are a few dungeons in the game and they have enemies, puzzles and bosses as you’d expect. Most of the ten hours (which is a conservative estimate) will be spent exploring the overworld, though, and the game puts much more focus on this aspect of the game. While most of the puzzles are in the dungeons, there are some in the overworld too, and even some Layton-esque riddles about the place if you can find them.
Combat is real-time, see an enemy on the field and rush over to them and smash them with your sword, or from afar with your bow and arrow. There are a number of magic spells too, and these can also be used in combat though are more often used to interact with the environment to aid progress. The weapons, too, can interact with the environment in various ways, and by the end of the game you’ll have fifteen or so things between your inventory and your spells that you can use in the wild.
And you’ll have a tennis racket because you’re sure someone somewhere needed one of those.
What’s important, is that it all works really well. Combat isn’t ever particularly difficult, which just means that you’re free to explore. I have a (quite rational) dislike for games that encourage exploration and then bog the player down in needless combat, but The Fall of Gods gets that balance perfect. There’s loads to explore, too, in a world full of hidden caves and secret passages, with all of them leading somewhere. You’ll find new armours, new shields, and all kinds of other things.
Such is its scope and ambition, there can be bugs now and then. They’re not common, but it’s recommended that you save often anyway. You can save anywhere, so it’s only ever a problem if you forget, albeit a fairly frustrating one when it happens. That certain indie “rough around the edges” charm manages to feel just that, charming.
Everything about The Fall of Gods is that, really. The story, the world, the music, the dungeons, the puzzles. I was expecting another generic RPG when I began it, but somehow it got its claws into me and I have nothing but absolute love for it now. Just ask her to play for you. You’ll see.
The Fall of Gods is available now for 240 Microsoft Points.