Fall Guys Review – Takeshi’s Castle Wonderland

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It’s safe to say Mediatonic has struck Gold with Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout! While the game is only available on PC and PS4, it seems to be a mega-success already. Is this a matter of a game garnering enough hype that players are roped in due to public perception or is it a worthy addition to the battle royale genre? Read on for our Fall Guys review!

A Different Kind of War

I’ve never been a big fan of the battle royale genre, mostly because I like my team play with unlimited respawns. The thought of playing a mode for 30+ minutes, only to get cheaply shot from across the map is just all too frustrating. I would much rather play a mode of deathmatch since they’re typically short and straight to the point. Still, with Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout being free on PS+ this month, I decided to give this battle royale a chance, and surprisingly it’s nothing like I expected.

Whereas games like Apex Legends, Fortnite, Call of Duty and many other battle royale genre titles pride themselves with their loot system and skill based style of play, Fall Guys instead throws that away and focuses on an RNG (random number generator) style of gameplay. The goal of Fall Guys is similar in that you are going against 59 other players to try and be the last one standing. However, unlike the aforementioned games, Fall Guys takes a twist in its competitiveness by turning it’s gameplay into one massive party game filled with winding obstacles. Think of it like a game show such as Takeshi’s Castle where players will compete in a series of rounds, with each eliminating those who simply can’t make the cut.  

Run, jump, dive, and grab are the only functions that these little bean-shaped characters can perform, making this perhaps one of the most accessible battle royale games to date. And while the controls are simple, the overall feeling is both highly enjoyable and frustrating. Bobbing and weaving, avoiding other players, jumping, and clinging to your dear life as you slowly begin to tumble towards the abyss is just dumb mindless fun. It’s everything a video game should be about without the worry of someone having someone better than you. Because levels are designed to throw everything they can at it, and I mean that in a literal sense as some levels will throw fruits at you, it comes off as both fair and unfair. Everyone has an equal chance of succeeding as much as they do being eliminated. 

Playing across the various stages, I can’t say that I hated any of the mini-games. I thought they were all cleverly designed and they do everything in their power to try and eliminate players. The game physics really come into play here, especially on the daunting seesaw level. Seeing and trying to jump on a near vertical platform, only to watch your character fall off the map is just too funny. There’s another mini game where players race in a straight dash, but they need to jump through brick doors. Some of them break, other don’t, but one thing is certain, you are gonna smile when it doesn’t break. This here is ultimately the goal of Fall Guys, to make sure you always have a big smile on your face, even when you’re losing. Can we really hate something that’s so fun? Well maybe, and you’ll know that for sure once you dive in.

No I In Team

The idea of battle royale has always been centered around the one-versus-all mantra. While squads are now becoming popular, the last man standing has and always will be the appeal of the genre.  It’s here that I truly feel that Fall Guys shines, because you know you earned that win. You overcame everything the game threw at you and earned that shiny golden crown at the end of it all. Yet, despite me winning several episodes I think the biggest weakness of fall Guys comes in it’s random team-based rounds. While they are fun, they prove to be far more frustrating due to the incompetence of some players. Being eliminated because you and half the team were playing the objective, while the other half were standing around doing nothing is just infuriating. I get why they’re there as they are meant to eliminate a large pool of players, but it just seems so unfair to throw your trust into another player.  I feel if I wanted to play in teams then it should be given as an option and not forced upon players.

Again, I don’t think the games themselves are bad, there just seems to be a grossly amount of people who purposely throw when those rounds happen. I’m hoping the team adds enough puzzles as the years go by to maybe make team play it’s own dedicated playlist and leave the solo players alone, but who knows.

It’s a Knockout!

My time spent with Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout was an absolutely joyful one. An easy time killer that I recommend playing in short bursts, and despite teamplays being the annoying part of the game, I highly recommend this to any battle royale enthusiast, heck anyone in general really. It’s fun in its purest form, regardless if you win or lose. 

SCORE: 9/10

Pros

  • Ease of access, anyone in the family can join and play without issues.
  • Dumb fun, watching a small bean character flail around in a valley of swinging mills will never get old.
  • Level designs are fantastic.
  • Visuals are cute and simple that truly fit in line with what Fall Guys is about

Cons

  • Team Play should have it’s own filter
  • Yellow Team, they’re the worst. DELETE THEM. (not a real con)

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout is now available on the PS4 and PC for $20. PS+ owners will get it for free as part of the August 2020 offerings.

This copy of  Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout was given as part of the monthly PS+ offerings. Game tested on the PS4 Pro. You can read SP1st and MP1st’s review and scoring policy right here

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