GODFALL is one of the biggest and most beautiful games of 2020 – but is it any good?
I’ve spent hours hacking and slashing my way through high-fantasy baddies, and I’m more torn that the corpses of my enemies.
Note: This is a first impressions article and not a full review.
For the unaware, Godfall is an upcoming high fantasy RPG that’s out on November 12.
And it’s really important for three key reasons.
The first is that it’s absolutely gorgeous, making use of loads of next-gen graphical techniques.
Secondly, it’s one of the first games to launch for the new PlayStation 5 – though it's coming to PC too.
And thirdly, it’s made by a relatively small studio called Counterplay Games with some staff that previously worked on Destiny 2. It definitely shows.
For those three reasons, there is now a mountain of hype weighing down on what's become the poster child for next-gen graphics.
The game is ostensibly an action RPG where you play as a knight trying to stop big baddie Macros, the mad god, from destroying everything.
In some ways, it’s Destiny with swords.
There’s a map where you drop in to certain locations to pick up missions in a semi-open world.
Loads of collectibles and fun little God of War-style puzzles will distract you, but the main narrative keeps chugging along.
The game is heavily focused around loot: you’re constantly upgrading swords, rings, amulets and more.
And there’s a system called Valorplate that sees you donning one of 12 swappable armour-suits, each with unique perks.
It’s satisfying to constantly upgrade your weapon in terms of seeing the raw numbers go up.
But it’s often intangible how powerful your new weapons are during gameplay.
You generally see more of an effect in terms of their special abilities, or their swing speed.
A slow weapon is great versus a single enemy, but I found myself opting for faster swords when confronted with loads of baddies.
Some players will certainly find this loot system too grindy.
Combat is definitely fun, with gorgeous effects, big sweeping strikes, and plenty of mobility.
And different enemies pose unique challenges: some can shoot at you, others can vanish into thin air.
But it often feels a bit same-y. I’m already starting to get a bit tired of beating my way through endless hordes, and the story isn’t incredibly gripping just yet – though that may change.
Where Godfall does success is visually.
It’s a sight to witness: even if you’re not buying it, go watch videos on YouTube at least.
This is a fantastic way to show off how powerful the PlayStation 5 is – and to put your PC to the test.
I managed to get it running in 4K at max settings using a Dell Alienware R10, kitted out with an AMD Ryzen 9 3950X CPU and Nvidia’s RTX 2080 Ti graphics card.
Frame-rates were excellent even at top settings (great optimisation, I’d guess), and it’s an absolute delight to watch.
But it's not for any old PC – Godfall is recommending 12GB of memory, and with good reason.
Textures are rich and detailed, draw distances are huge, and there are particle effects to no end.
Lighting is also brilliant: Godfall makes use of the much-coveted Ray Tracing tech that maps out how light really moves and bounces off surfaces.
It's such a joy to play such a beautiful game, and think about how far graphics have come in such a short time.
The Sun’s gaming test rig
The Sun’s tech team uses a Dell Alienware Aurora R10 Ryzen Edition to test PC games and accessories:
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
- Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti
- Memory: 32GB Kingston 2933MHz RAM
- Monitor: Acer Predator XB3 27" 4K 144Hz
Dell Alienware Aurora R10 Ryzen Edition – buy here
Sadly, I worry that Godfall might be remembered for being beautiful – and not much else.
It’s definitely fun to dive into for a quick hack-and-slash, but I’m not hooked yet.
I feel like it lacks the narrative richness of something like God of War, or even the variety of Destiny 2.
For now, Godfall seems like an astonishingly beautiful showcase for next-gen gaming – but I’m not sure it can keep me for the long haul.
Godfall is out on PS5 and PC on November 12, 2020.
- Godfall at Amazon for £69.99 – buy here
In other news, check out our PS5 review.
And take a look at our Xbox Series X review for good measure.
Or maybe you should buy a virtual reality headset for less money: check out the Oculus Quest 2.
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