The last one loses: a review of Fall Guys – an unexpectedly hit arcade game with battle royale elements
Many stars had to converge in the sky in order for Fall Guys to gain such an impressive popularity – neither analysts nor even the developers themselves expected it, whose servers massively crash from suddenly surging players.
And at the same time, the gaming interest is quite understandable: at a time when console wars and fierce disputes about “politics” in games – that is, everything that is most unpleasant in the industry – suddenly comes out such a project. Simple as two sticks, without any ambition and with one single goal: to make you have fun.
According to the genre, Fall Guys are often referred to as battle royale, although the game belongs to it very conditionally – one session is divided into 4-5 different levels. About 60 people always start, after the first assignment there are about fifty of them, a little more than a dozen reaches the fourth. In the end, of course, only one should remain – he takes the crown and wins.
If we continue associations with films (and the genre of “battle royale” got its name precisely from the movie of the same name), then it is more likely “The Running Man” with Schwarzenegger or any other action movie with a similar plot. Where participants have to complete a number of different, unrelated tasks to reach the finals in the minimum composition.
The tasks themselves are very different here, there are more than a dozen of them, and they drop out randomly. There are those in which you need to run through the obstacle course. In others, it is necessary to roll the ball with the team to the finish line or score it into the opponents’ goal. Third, they require not to fall from a moving platform or memorize tiles with the same pattern.
Because of this, no one race is alike, and “skill” as such does not solve much – you can practice platforming as much as you want, but it will not help to win the local “football” or pass the level of memorization.
Fall Guys is a game in such a fundamental, primordial sense. Without points and points, without any narrative or any other semantic add-ons, in general, pure mechanics. The whole gameplay is three buttons (jump, rush forward with your head, grab), and the goal is always formulated in two ways, clear at a purely intuitive level to everyone who has ever played games. Not even video games, generally any games. Run, don’t fall, catch up, roll the ball.
In this sense, Fall Guys is much more than others getting close to the purely children’s collective excitement of yard games. When you do not need any confirmation of success (there is a pumping here, but very conditional, I personally did not think about it at all), but simply success as such is a momentary feeling of triumph, which will soon be replaced by a thirst for new adventures.
Here the tasks are very similar to what we could do on the grounds between the gray high-rise buildings: we have our own football, and catch-up “tags”, and just running to some point at speed. The last one loses.
In this, the game resembles the classic party games that, say, Nintendo loves to do. But, unlike the conventional Mario Party, Fall Guys cannot be played with one device (which is a pity). And if you connect with your friends over the network, besides you, there will always be another fifty random people in the lobby.
However, nobody canceled the game “to death”. So Fall Guys, perhaps, can reveal itself even more – the more the bet, the more screams, joyful exclamations and disgruntled mates. And you will shout in any case – what else to do when a guy in a wolf mask pushes you into the abyss right at the finish line.
Fall Guys generates such unique situations regularly. Still, 60 people starting at a time at a small location is a lot: you constantly collide, you are knocked down, they deliberately try to push you, you jump over someone’s head, or someone – over yours. The human factor penetrates into the already difficult levels: uncontrollable, cruel and merciless.
And here is the time to insert such a huge “but”. Yes, Fall Guys is an endlessly fun game, but only when it works properly. So far, it often doesn’t work in any way.
Due to problems with the servers, other players sometimes move “jerkily” – and it is impossible to understand what each of them will do in the next second. On missions where you just need to run with obstacles, this is even more or less bearable, but on command levels, such lags become completely unbearable.
And even when Fall Guys is working relatively well, it has big netcode issues. This is especially noticeable in local catch-ups – in order to “stain” someone, you have to run up to the opponent almost end-to-end, but you are “stained” from five meters away.
The developers are right now trying to fix all these problems, but so far it does not get better. On the contrary, due to regular maintenance work for the last couple of days, for example, the game did not work at all.
It remains to be hoped that the developers from Mediatonic will be able to solve all the technical problems – it’s a shame that Fall Guys is experiencing the peak of its popularity in a half-dead state. Moreover, such games do not often last long and can hardly take anyone for hundreds of hours – although, judging by the Season One inscription in the menu, they are supposed to make a full-fledged service out of it.
At the moment, Fall Guys is definitely a great game, but it’s hard to recommend it to anyone: it’s better to wait until it starts working as it should. And then you can safely, with friends or alone, go to run, jump and kick the ball. By the way, I would also have to go – the crown is waiting.
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