A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know Godfall is a hack-and-slash action role-playing game exclusively for the PlayStation 5. Players control a superhuman knight-like fighter who ventures out on missions to thwart a power-mad warrior intent on becoming a god. They use an arsenal of swords, hammers, and shields to attack and kill a variety of aggressive and clearly malicious fantasy creatures, including animal and human-like monsters. Combat is intense, filled with bone-rattling attacks as well as enemies that yell out in pain and disintegrate into burning cinders once defeated. The player's character is clearly presented as a force for good, but rarely attempts to solve problems without violence. Much of the experience is about finding and collecting loot, fostering a consumer-like want and need for better and better gear.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
GODFALL drops players into a brightly colored fantasy world on the verge of being overwhelmed by the forces of Macros, a power-mad warrior with aspirations of godhood. Players take on the role of a fighter once defeated by Macros who dons dazzling sets of armor before heading out into the world to do battle with the villain's minions, the bosses that control them, and eventually the would-be god himself. The action's focused on melee combat, with players using weapons such as great swords and hammers to attack squads of aggressive monsters blocking their paths. You can quickly switch between two primary weapons, use a shield as both protection and a weapon, and parry or gracefully dodge incoming attacks. Unlockable skills add stat increases and new combination moves to players' tactical options. As more of the world opens up, revealing access to new areas, players will discover chests – some of which are sealed by little environmental puzzles that need to be solved – containing better and better loot that they can equip, along with various resources and currency that can be used to craft new suits of armor and upgrade and augment weapons and gear. Co-op play allows groups of friends to adventure together in teams of up to three.
Is it any good?
If you want to spend hours slicing and dicing monsters using an endless arsenal of weapons that gradually grow stronger and stronger, this is the game for you. Godfall doesn't waste time developing a convoluted story, instead providing a straightforward tale of epic warriors engaged in a battle of good versus greedy ambition. It spends a bit more time developing a unique sense of place, thanks to its slightly flashy but awesome world filled with towering stone and metal structures that gleam in the sunlight. There's a ton of graphical whizbangery that clearly distinguishes this as a PlayStation 5 game, and it provides plenty of interesting scenery as you explore the same places over and over again in story missions, Monster Hunter-style hunts, and other activities.
But where the experience will be made or broken is in whether players warm to the combat, which takes up the bulk of your time. The melee fighting is intuitive to start, with attacks and defensive moves mapped to the buttons and triggers you'd expect, but it gradually grows more convoluted. Players must learn specific combinations and understand how different types of attacks affect enemies' health and stagger meters in various ways. This complexity gives players something to focus on during the grind (part and parcel to pretty much all loot-based games), encouraging players to spend time perfecting the execution of advanced techniques. Still, the grind is real. And repetitive. Players in search of endless hack and slash action may find something of interest in Godfall, but it's not for everyone.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in the media. Is the impact of the violence in Godfall affected by the fantasy violence that the game constantly portrays? Would the impact be stronger if the violence was more realistic? What other elements might have been added to mix things up a bit without taking away from the action?
What sort of tactics do you use when dealing with someone who is mean or aggressive? Can communication be used to make someone see eye-to-eye with you?
- Platforms: PlayStation 5
- Price: $69.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Gearbox Publishing
- Release date: November 12, 2020
- Genre: Role-Playing
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: T for Animated Blood, Violence
- Last updated: November 24, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.