Godfall is a polarising PlayStation 5 launch title with claims of creating a brand new genre: the looter-slasher. The game takes place in a fantasy world and blends action RPG elements into its unique gameplay style, delivering a novel experience with beautiful, next-gen targeted visuals. However, does the experience live up to the promise?

I found Godfall to be a fun game to experience, with inventive and satisfying combat, however, there are also many flaws with the game, both in the core gameplay loop and in narrative. To begin, however, let’s get some background on the game.

Godfall tells the story of two knight brothers who keep the balance of power in check in the world of Aperion. You play as one of these brothers, Orin, after your sibling, Macros, decides to remove your power and attempts to take full control of the world himself. You are tasked with preventing this from happening, however, you must enlist some help along the way and dispose of your brother’s lackeys in order to take him on.

The story is rather generic, however, that is true for a large majority of games and so we cannot knock Godfall too hard for this, particularly given the focus on combat. The main issue lies in the fact that Godfall doesn’t seem to even try to make the story interesting and so you’ll likely find yourself skipping or ignoring most of the narrative-focused elements as you wait for the next gameplay section to come forth.

Thankfully, Godfall puts out a much improved showing when it comes to the combat system. As the game is a looter-slasher, most of the combat focuses around melee attacks, with the occasional ranged ability thrown in for variety. There are a huge number of weapons in the game, ranging from huge great-swords; which perform slow, powerful attacks, to dual wield small blades; akin to something like Kratos’ Blades of Chaos from God of War, which do rapid, lower-damage swipes. As the game is based around loot, there are a variety of rarities for each weapon, with everything carrying associated stats and numbers determining various powers, effects and abilities. This also applies to other equipment items which determine defence levels, increase health etc. The game drops loot extremely generously and so you’ll be doing regular inventory management to keep your loadout optimal and to clear clutter from your carried items, as in a typical RPG game.

Godfall performs well in the gameplay category, barring a few minor flaws. One dissatisfying element of combat lies in the input system. Godfall doesn’t have input and animation cancelling like most games; meaning you cannot cancel an attack to perform a dodge, block or parry. You must wait for the attack to fully complete before the dodge will execute. Initially, there was also no input queuing, which meant you had to wait for the animation to end before pressing the button, however, the most recent patch added limited queuing which does help to mitigate this issue. Despite this, the combat still remains somewhat frustrating due to the nature of the system, however, this cannot be knocked as a con, as this system is an intention creative decision in order to set difficulty, much like FromSoftware use challenging and extremely time-sensitive mechanics in their games for fair difficulty.

Unfortunately, the combat system tends to get a bit boring in the latter half of the game, due to a lack of new mechanics being introduced. I did, however, enjoy the combat quite a lot up to that point and I do return to the game now and then for short spells due to the fun combat that Counterplay Games have created in Godfall.

The four main worlds of the game are distinguished by the elements and each of them culminate in a fight against one of Macros’ generals, allowing progression to the next upon their defeat. In terms of design, Godfall is semi-open world in the sense that most of the levels occur in somewhat large, open hub worlds which are quite non-linear and have a number of ways to get to the objective, in addition to side quests and hidden objectives. Unfortunately, the side content, like the main narrative, isn’t particularly interesting and so it will be the combat and motivation for better gear serving as the only hooks to the game in these missions. The hub worlds themselves are very nicely designed, with a high amount of detail present across their entire area. I am impressed with the number of hidden enemies, scenery and loot packed into every nook and cranny of each map and the design team have done an excellent job with this aspect of the game.

One of the best things about Godfall is its excellent use of the PlayStation 5 hardware. The game looks visually stunning, featuring extremely high resolution textures and impressive lighting and reflections. The game has two modes, quality and performance; the former running at native 4K with a 30FPS cap and the latter running at dynamic 4K with a 60FPS cap. I would highly recommend the performance mode due to the fast-paced combat; the smoothness of the 60FPS greatly pays off in this scenario. The DualSense is also used well to convey the sense of combat via haptic feedback, and the game loads incredibly quickly, taking advantage of the blazingly fast SSD in the PS5 console.

Overall, I think Godfall is a decent game which has satisfying and unique combat, however, it becomes somewhat tired by the latter half of the game. The story is not going to keep you hooked to this game, however, the visual splendour in combination with very nicely designed worlds, great sound design and extremely fast loading times may be enough to keep you coming back to Godfall for your fix of looter-slasher gameplay.

DISCLAIMER: This review was carried out on PlayStation 5 using review code kindly provided by the publisher.