Time To Slay Some Gods
There’s been a glut of amazing games lately. Even in 2020, a year I fervently want to forget, there’s been a ton of them. But I’m more excited about those games on the horizon in 2021. One such title that I’m quite galvanized by is Gods Will Fall. I previously wrote up some early press of it the other day, and found it looked like a fun adventure game that centered around battling against hideous monster gods. That whet my appetite for more, which is why I jumped at the chance to check out a Gods Will Fall virtual preview presentation just last week. It was run by Mark, the lead designer at Clever Beans, and moderated by the fine folks at Deep Silver.
If you’re not familiar with Clever Beans, you should know they started out with a game called When Vikings Attack for Sony. They’ve since made other games, but the whole viking angle feels relevant today. Cause even though Gods Will Fall features a shattered band of Celtic warriors, they could easily have been vikings instead. Reason being, this is a game utterly focused on warfare and brutal combat. It’s a dedicated single player game with no multiplayer elements. It was also inspired by the Souls games, so you know it’s gonna be a challenge. That also means perma-death is very much a key element in the game. In the preview itself, myself and many other game journalists digitally watched someone put the game through its paces while Mark explained what was occurring. Though you have a band of 8 Celtic warriors to choose from, you used to be a massive fleet. But fate had its way with you, and now this meager force is all that stands between salvation and utter destruction.
Gods Will Fall takes place on a solitary island where the gods reside. There’s 10 dungeons total to get through, but things aren’t gonna be easy. For one thing, there’s rogue elements in the game. Though the layout of each dungeon is unchanging, the better to showcase the unique personality of the gods therein, the distribution and makeup of enemy forces will be different every time. You never know which of the 10 dungeons will be the most difficult in any run, nor which of the gods will make you suffer the most. Though it’s a safe bet none of the battles against the gods will be all that simple. A good reason being, the massive health bar of each of the gods. The good news is, you can deplete their health in advance by defeating their overzealous minions. Each minion defeated takes away some of the god’s health bar. But you still will have to face off against dangerous and quickly adapting boss battles. You’ll face some deities that look like giant ravens, and others that appear like hideous undead spiders. They’re all larger than life and devious, with distinct attacks and nasty tricks.
One of the cooler things about Gods Will Fall is how every run will be a little different. Each of the 8 Celtic warriors will get a randomly chosen skillset every time, along with a different starting weapon. You’ll progressively learn new abilities for each warrior, even if they don’t participate in combat. The warriors also have different body types, with some only being able to equip certain weapons. What’s especially cool is your choices in battle might affect their outlook. Warriors might resent being benched, or feel hatred towards those that earn the most accolades. They might even befriend each other. All of which will affect their stat growth and capacity. If you want to utilize progressive benefits, you’ll look for an area on the overworld called Munlock Well. Other than that, you’ll need to master the systems of the game to succeed. It’s all very organic and dynamic, which struck me as a very cool system. Each god will be protected by a giant stone gateway, and you’ll send one warrior at a time into the depths. If they’re defeated in combat, they might end up a prisoner of the gods. Or they could instead be fatally wounded. The entire game is about your decisions and how you react to situations that crop up.
Gods Will Fall is split into two distinct areas – lairs and the overworld. The overworld is your only safe haven, and it’s utterly free of any threats. Entering the overworld will also save the game, which is handy. But once you step into the lair of a god, assume everything is going to start attempting to murder you. Worse, if you leave the game while in a dungeon, the game counts that warrior as having been defeated. Luckily, you have many ways to defend yourself. You can utilize magical spells from the defeated gods, attack with a variety of weapons and even parry attacks. It’s also a good idea to knock foes down and use finishing moves on them. Once you successfully beat a god, not only do you save any of your imprisoned kin, but you also get new equipment to distribute. One quirk of the game is that once you have equipped a warrior with any weapons or items, you can’t move those items to anyone else. They’re only able to be equipped with something else once you clear a dungeon, and only then.
One of my favorite parts of the Gods Will Fall presentation was the lore behind all the gods. A ton of effort was put into each and every one of them. Though inspired by Celtic legends, the guys at Clever Beans really made each deity their own. You’ll even find unique gimmicks in dungeons that correspond to said lore. The war god has a giant forge where you can enhance your weapons, whereas the wicker dungeon has areas you can sacrifice foes to unlock beneficial pathways. Just don’t ignore the details, since once a dungeon is finished, it’s totally done for that run. It’d be a shame to miss the painterly quality of the art style, as everything looks fantastic and steeped in darkness.
It wouldn’t be a proper article about a game called Gods Will Fall without talking about the gods themselves. There were three gods present in the presentation – Osseus, the bone and sinew god; Morrigan, the god of war; and Belenos, the wicker god. I can’t express how much I loved the designs of these monstrous entities. Osseus was the aforementioned spider, and appears constructed of a beating heart and bones. Belenos, meanwhile, looked like a hideous mix of a Yeti and a moth, and assaulted you with blasts of blazing sunlight. Morrigan might seem the most basic in comparison, essentially being a giant raven, but it was nevertheless a worthy foe. Morrigan blocked weapon strikes with its massive wings and threw blade-like feathers at the warriors, eventually succeeding in killing one entirely. Knowing that these are only a small portion of the 10 gods included has me quite excited to see what else Clever Beans has waiting in the wings.
Overall, I was very pleased with the Gods Will Fall virtual presentation. This looks to be a promising game with hardcore difficulty and tons of variety. If you’re a fan of Souls games or just like killing giant monsters, this is one to keep on your radar for late January. And stay tuned to HPP in the coming days for more news of this harrowing adventure!