Godlike Burger Review: Soylent Beef
Running a restaurant is not an easy business, especially if you’re going it alone. You’ll have to open the shop, take customer orders, cook the food, and clean up again all with a “happy to serve you” smile on your face. Then there’s the matter of closing up the till, keeping the amenities well stocked, and ensuring all paperwork is in order. And who could forget keeping customers satisfied in an effort to maintain prestige, kicking out freeloaders, learning their weaknesses, and killing them to use their flesh as meat for future meals? Yes, cooking up customers is tireless work, but hey — someone’s gotta do it, right?
Wait, so that’s not how a typical restaurant works? Well, that’s how it is in Godlike Burger, a cooking/restaurant management simulator where you “stun, poison and kill customers in many devious ways… and turn them into burger meat!” Available on PC and console, Godlike Burger’s crazy premise is matched by its wild storyline and wacky cast of characters. Can you keep the burgers coming, the customers happy, and the police off your trail as you strive to run the best burger joint in the galaxy?
Godlike Burger’s out of this world premise keeps its promise in its gameplay. Taking on the role of a gruff chef with a Grizzly Adams beard, a prosthetic leg, and morals the size of an atom, players will set up shop on various planets, serving up customers with the best burgers in the biz. Sourcing meat is no simple feat, however, as it turns out the local fare is preferred by… well, the local fare. To keep the patties on the grill, players will need to strike a fine balance between serving customers to customers, letting some eat, drink, and be merry, while others die by way of carefully laid traps. If the traps are successful, congrats — meat’s back on the menu, boys! If not, you may need to go mano a mano with the meatbags, who can absolutely do some damage to you if you’re not careful.
Although Godlike Burger has a reasonably satisfying core loop of landing on a planet, getting to learn about its inhabitants, then frying up burgers that are to die for, the way it all comes together is surprisingly polarizing. For one, it’s imperative that players understand that, while this is a sort of “Diner Dash meets Hitman” in terms of gameplay, it’s also something of a roguelike. If you die — and you will — you’re sent right back to the beginning of the game instead of the beginning of the planet or at the start of the day you were on. It’s something of a grueling Sisyphean task to replay the same days over and over again without feeling any real sense of progression; if there were checkpoints, I could see the frustration with this system slightly abated, but as it stands it’s good to go into this recognizing its roguelike nature.
The issue I noticed right up front was Godlike Burger’s control scheme. If you don’t have a controller, don’t get this game. I went into Godlike Burger fully intending to use my mouse and keyboard, only to discover all controls are keyboard only. It is very, very strange to play a game like this without any sort of mouse support, and while other reviewers agree with this sentiment, the developers consider mouse support to be “low on the list” of priorities. Thank God there’s controller support, because even remapping the largely left-handed default control scheme is fraught with bugs that force you to restart the game if you’ve changed the scheme in the wrong place.
Although there are a few other questionable points of contention (unclear sense of progression, stale storyline), Godlike Burger is a novel game that attempts something strangely dreamed of yet largely unrealized. So few games have tried to create what Godlike Burger has; where else are you going to get into an argument with an alien in your strip club, followed by beating him and turning his lifeless corpse into tomorrow’s freshest burgers this side of the galaxy? Don’t worry about the police catching wind of what you’re doing, you can just bribe them or jettison off to another corner of the universe. There’s nothing that can top your burgers when the secret ingredient is crime.
Godlike Burger is not for everyone. If you love roguelikes, have a controller handy, and possess a morbid sense of curiosity, Godlike Burger could easily entertain for hours on end. If you want a clear sense of continued progression and are loyal to the ol’ mouse and keyboard, I can’t recommend Godlike Burger to you. Like a Portobello mushroom burger, this one’s a bit of an acquired taste, so your first bite is only going to be enjoyable if you know what you’re getting into. Godlike Burger may be every health inspector’s worst nightmare, but for the roguelike fan seeking a fresh batch of novelty, a nibble of the forbidden meat may be too tantalizing to resist.
Final Verdict: 3.5/5
Available on: Switch, PS4, PS5, XBox One, XBox Series X|S, PC (Reviewed); Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment; Developer: Liquid Pug; Players: 1; Released: April 22, 2022; MSRP: $19.99
Full disclosure: This review is based on a copy of Godlike Burger provided by the publisher.