Title: Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Genre: Battle Royale
Version Tested: PC
Official Site: https://fallguys.com/
Release Date: August 3rd, 2020
Battle royales are in a strange place for me. I do find myself enjoying them for the first little bit, but few have captured my attention for more than a week. The only one that was able to was Apex Legends, and that was mainly because of friends playing it. It just gets very repetitive quickly due to it being the same map, and most of the time dropping into the same place. When I initially found Fall Guys, the concept seemed interesting to me. A battle royale that makes an effort to innovate on a stale genre is something that I couldn’t pass up. With the beta behind me, and many hours clocked into the full release, what did I think of it? For initial impressions, very positive.
Fall Guys’ Colorful Simplicity
It wouldn’t be doing Fall Guys justice to not talk about its atmosphere first. You likely saw exactly what I’m talking about from the images of this review alone. Fall Guys prides itself on being equally cartoonish and simplistic. Despite that, it’s very good at captivating more mature audiences as well. Being able to play Mario Party mini-games with your friends is too much fun to pass up. That and, well, I like adorable things, what can I say? With every inch of the art style showing off passion and charm, it’s hard to resist.
An upbeat soundtrack and some hilarious audio design only bring this further. The game’s soundtrack is stuffed with upbeat tunes, joining in with the game’s standard colorful levels and flying fall guys. Speaking of them flying, the little noises they make are very cute. Hearing simple little squeals at every action shows they’re having fun too, even if they’re falling at terminal fall-ocity. All of this combines to form an exterior that’s very pleasing to the eye, making you want to jump in. It explains why watching others play Fall Guys is almost as fun as playing it yourself.
Soaring Through the Air in Fall Guys
Chances are though that you’re coming to Fall Guys for the gameplay, and it delivers well on that too. At launch, there are 25 modes with each one feeling just as good as the last. You’ll be jumping, grabbing, and flying while finding each one unique. While not all game modes hit their mark (I’m looking at you, Fall Ball), they do still hold their own as individually special. The issue comes more in the quantity, as 25 feels like a lot less than 25 when you’re playing match after match. Battle royale fans, thankfully, will find this par for the course. Those coming from other genres though may find it a little repetitive.
What isn’t repetitive is the different cosmetics, a staple of battle royales out there. As far as I’ve seen, you’re left with a lot of options with even more to come. Every few days there’ll be special items refreshed in the shop. These feel a lot more exclusive, meaning those who get them feel a sense of pride in owning them. There’s also the regular shop, providing more options that are cheaper, but most of lower quality. These refresh each day and are nice if you want that variety. As far as I’m aware, completely new ones join the shop with each Season (battle pass) so it’ll leave a lot of variety for those wanting more cosmetics.
Minimal Cost, Maximum Fun
Considering we just went over the shop, I think it’s time I address the elephant in the room (and probably why you’re here), the payment model. Fall Guys sits at $20 which at first seems like a lot for a battle royale. You could just as easily play Warzone, Apex Legends, or Fortnite without having to spend a dime. Where it lacks in initial payment, it thrives in minimal microtransactions. The game’s main currency, Kudos, can be bought, but are very easily earnable. In fact, you’ll likely prefer earning them through games over buying. The other currency, Crowns, are exclusively from wins and battle pass rewards. With the battle pass also being free, this is one of the best models I’ve seen in a while for a battle royale. As sad as that is, it’s refreshing. Sustainability is another question, but the focus on players is unheard of in this day.
As far as overall polish goes, Fall Guys does well in most aspects. Bugs are mostly squashed, though server issues still hinder the experience a bit. Options are fleshed out rather well (in fact better than expected), with things like bloom and depth of field. There are even re-bindable keys and controller inputs, which is always welcome. The main issue I have here comes in accessibility features, which are lacking. Besides the re-bindable controls, there’s a lack of things like colorblind modes. Given how colorful and aesthetically pleasing the game is, it’s a shame that isn’t present. Regardless, areas other than accessibility are mostly well thought out.
Verdict: Fall Guys manages to be a battle royale that everyone can find something to love in. Whether you’re winning or losing, every moment is filled with laughs and intense moments to keep you going. With fun to be had both solo and with friends, along with unique levels, everything is going for Fall Guys. There may not be many levels right now, and server issues may cause problems, but you’ll be too busy laughing and hearing your fall guy make noises to care. If you’re willing to pay the $20 entry fee, Fall Guys is a game that’ll have you jumping, flying, and falling for hours on end.
- Intense, enjoyable gameplay
- Colorful and simplistic art style
- Upbeat soundtrack
- Hilarious audio design
- Varied cosmetics
- Amazing business model
- Good options and polish
- Repetitive levels
- Lacking accessibility
- Server issues