Gods Will Fall (Switch) Review
Eight adventurers, randomly assigned weapons and stats, wash up on an island containing ten evil gods. Your task: to enter each dungeon, survive the many creatures within and kill all the gods before burning through the lives of your eight characters. The twist: each time you enter a dungeon, the difficulty is randomised. So, you might breeze through it on your second or third attempt, or you might end up losing five warriors in a row to punishing difficulty, prompting the decision of moving to a difference god or perhaps abandoning your run altogether. It’s also a gamble to send your strongest warrior in, for they may not survive, and then who will be left to save the rest?
There is no option to exiting a dungeon, only to abandon a character within it. You are locked into a hard run and can only get back lost warriors by making it through to the end and vanquishing the boss. As you work through each dungeon, the enemies you kill will slowly bring down the god’s health bar, which adds to the gamble. Do you try and explore every nook and cranny to get the god down as much as possible, or do you attempt to dodge and rush past them all and make it to a boss at full health?
If you should emerge victorious from a battle with a god, any warriors that fell will be returned to your group. However, they may suffer stat reductions. Conversely, the warrior that killed the god might be granted boosts. It’s all truly up in the air! To add to this, certain warriors might have visions or reactions to specific gods. This gives you a clue as to how difficult their run might be and whether the rewards for any warrior initially fearful could be greater.
Warrior types are mostly determined by their weapon. I found the spear to be my preferred weapon because it allowed me some reach and I could instigate attacks, stunning enemies most of the time. Other weapons such as the axe or sword require you to get in much closer and negotiate far more sluggish attack animations. Enemies will almost always get in an uninterrupted attack, which can be parried by dodging into them at the right moment. This is a big gamble as each warrior can only take a few hits before death. However, a parry will increase your bloodlust, which is the game’s version of healing. Each successful attack and parry will build bloodlust up in your depleted health bar, allowing you to cash it in to heal one-to-several bars. Indeed, with the right character, you can often heal entirely after a particularly intensive battle against multiple aggressors.
This may all seem too difficult. There are a couple of things that keep you hooked, though. The first is that you can use a well in the map once per run to store items for the next run. This means that if you are doing badly, it can be worth abandoning your current run, chucking your stuff down the well and starting again. The second thing is that the randomised difficulty usually results in a super easy run after just a few failures. It’s often worth sticking with a hard dungeon to see if the next run gives you one where you can carve through an entire level in minutes and kill the god in just a few swipes. This ebb and flow of difficulty keeps things interesting, although I question if perhaps an adaptive difficulty might not have worked better. Some players will bounce off this as too hard early on without realising that it does have moments where it pulls back a bit.
Gods Will Fall is an interesting take on both the rogue and hard-game genre. Its reliance on randomisation of character stats, weapons and dungeon difficulty makes it perfect for short or long plays and helps to keep the player hooked with moments ranging from abject difficulty to hilarious ease.
Rating: 3.5 / 5
+ Interesting approach to randomisation
+ Creature and level design
+ Player must gamble on multiple aspects each run
- Parrying feels sluggish
- Can feel a bit too difficult