Gods will fall down laughing at you.
Gods Will Fall brings together familiar elements from Shadow of the Colossus, Dark Souls, and Diablo 3, but it pales in comparison to each one through puzzling design choices. You take a random group of eight Celtic warriors who are shipwrecked across a mysterious island, one inhabited by 10 powerful gods bent on the destruction of humanity. Although the premise is an interesting one, the lack of direction, awkward combat, and unforgiving difficulty combine to form an altogether unappealing action experience.
Each of your fighters comes with slightly different stats and a unique weapon to start with. New weapons and items can be acquired within the island’s 10 dungeons if you successfully make your way through them and defeat the gods within. Brief story beats about certain characters and their dreams and relationships can impact their stats, such as increasing their total health or reducing their strength. If you fail to clear a dungeon, the character you sent forth will be trapped or killed, and can be rescued in the latter situation if you end up completing that dungeon. This is a task much easier said than done.
The dungeons themselves are filled with a variety of basic enemies that can quickly take you out if you’re not careful. This is reminiscent of how dangerous even simple Hollows can be in the Souls games, but Gods Will Fall features a parry system that demands you master it to make any real progress. The combat and movement also feel stiff and frustrating; successful strikes and parries raise your bloodlust meter, which can be converted to health that you’ll sorely need. Every weapon has a different weight and power to it, with light and heavy attacks to choose from. A dash move into an enemy at the right moment parries their attack, but sometimes the visual cue to parry doesn’t show up, and you’re left on the butt end of a series of sword swipes, for example. Worse than the combat is that you can simply fall off the edge of platforms and ledges, and because you can’t move the camera it’s possible to fall down a pit you never even saw. Many areas within the dungeon look the same, making the lack of a map another baffling omission.
Most areas display the total health meter of their respective gods as soon as you enter the dungeon, and by defeating basic enemies you can gradually whittle down the boss’ health. This feature makes exploring and taking out every foe you find worthwhile; the downside is that spending all that extra time to navigate the stage and attempt to make the god fight easier adds a real sting to losing said fight or falling off the stage at any point. Combat with the gods is frantic and challenging, but it can be manageable if you’ve managed to take off 25 percent of their hit points before the fight even starts. While these bouts are certainly engaging, you can easily end up reaching them with a weapon like the spear that is entirely ineffective against gods such as the spider-like Osseus.
The lackluster music and washed out visuals do nothing for the presentation, but it’s really a culmination of elements that make Gods Will Fall a game to avoid. Losing all eight characters results in a game over, meaning all your progress is gone. Starting a new game means the difficulty of the dungeons on the world map is randomized again, and so you can’t even plan a strategy of which order you should tackle the dungeons and gods. Because there’s no signposting or hints of any kind, you also can’t tell if a particular dungeon is harder or easier without going into it, and then you’re basically stuck unless you die (meaning that character is at best temporarily unusable) or make it all the way through. Ultimately, Gods Will Fall just isn’t very fun, and even if you can stand the sub-standard gameplay, you might see the game crash and one of your characters killed as a result. Unfortunately, it’s just much more likely that you will fall than any of the actual gods.