The time for the Giants has come in VARSAV Game Studios‘ action indie game Giants Uprising. Currently in Steam Early Access, Giants Uprising puts the player into the massive shoes of a Giant who finally breaks free from enslavement by the humans. There’s a huge focus on destructive action in this game that brings along a decent narrative to feature two distinctive main characters. But as aforesaid, this game is in Early Access, and not everything is perfect quite yet. Nonetheless, I had fun being a Giant during my first hours, and I’ll be looking out for more as VARSAV continues to develop the game. Here are my Early Access impressions on VARSAV Game Studios’ Giants Uprising.
Big Shoes to Fill in Giants Uprising
Enter Rogbar, one of the many Giants whose freedom has been stripped away after a brutal conflict with the humans. They have nowhere to go, and the humans use the Giants as entertainment to watch them fight to the death in arena battles with human riders. It’s not until a human criminal named Kielbasa befriends Rogbar to work together in the arena, where all hell breaks loose. From there, Rogbar and Kielbasa are on the run, but not while taking down the many settlements along the way.
Honestly, the chemistry between our two heroes shines through in a story worth being invested in. Kielbasa is a wise-cracking fighter whose dialogue syncs nicely with Rogbar’s comprehensive language. They share some of their struggles as they discuss the several issues plaguing their world. It’s good writing that drew me closer into the game and characters, especially with their motivation for vengeance. As of now, six missions will provide sufficient context and story before more content is added down the road.
Fee-fi-fo-fum, I Smell The Blood of Revenge
Allow me to get this out of the way: Giants Uprising is a blast. The gameplay offers a unique blend of action/adventure with minimal RPG elements sprinkled with RTS enemies. As a Giant, humans are relatively puny, and they usually march in waves and patterns that might seem overwhelming. While that is true in the case of the game’s graphics, the supreme sequences of action certainly aren’t. Rogbar is equipped with just a few attacks and weapons, but they’re enough to produce massive levels of carnage. This can range from using giant wooden tomahawks and spears from debris to charging through a line of towers and defenses.
With his mighty stomps and punches, buildings and armies can crumble and flatten. While going up against a barricade, Rogbar can charge on through while leaving behind nothing but piles of debris. You may need to get used to his slow pace, for he is a Giant after all, but that certain learning curve comes naturally. Being the destructive mass of flesh that is Rogbar, it’s thrilling causing chaos, and with good reason. You’ll spend a good two hours fighting through the six main missions, but possibly more if you focus on completing challenges. For each completed mission, you’ll earn a Skill Point to kick up Rogbar’s stats. This is all to keep you busy as the developers plan to eventually add more levels, enemies, and mechanics.
The Presentation of Giants Uprising
While the story and gameplay will invite players into a new world of amusement, the graphics will be problematic for many. Right off that bat, the framerate began to severely deplete upon this journey’s beginning. I attempted to fix that through the Options menu, but that’s only accessible through the main menu as opposed to the one you use while playing the game. In other words, I had to back out of the game to adjust the graphics. It took me 20 minutes before I realized that I wasn’t going to get a solid presentation. It’s just something you have to bear with, and that’s simply not good enough yet.
I experienced significant framerate drops where it was starting to interfere with the combat. It was frustrating to endure, which is not a good thing to say when the gameplay feels like an adrenaline rush while being 70 feet tall. It didn’t link up at all. Even when there was a nice window of consistent FPS, I still feared that the negative rates would return. It makes the otherwise solid world difficult to appreciate when its display isn’t up to par. I’m positive that once the developers patch up the optimization, the game will be a thing of beauty. And I’m rooting for them because they have a promising product here with Giants Uprising.
Aside from the troubling graphics, the music is great to listen to. During the more quiet moments, you get this atmospheric Eastern-like score that completely flips when the action kicks. You’re then battling your foes to heavy metal music that fits perfectly with the ridiculous violence. Blend that with the sounds of broken structures and dying enemies, and you got yourself an interesting sound mixing experience. Of course, it’s not all flawless. Some of the audio cues don’t sync up with the written dialogue; an overabundance of sounds can cause temporary audio overload where you can’t distinguish which is what; the options are tightly limited to a few choices, so you might have to adapt to the madness while this game runs its Early Access course.
Surprisingly though, when I started my research on Giants Uprising, I noticed that the developer’s showcase on Steam experienced similar issues compared to mine. It only led me to believe that this is just the current state of the game, and perhaps using a mega-powered PC will produce the same results. Regardless, Giants Uprising is an action game that I will keep on my radar solely because of how fun it is. There’s potential here from VARSAV Game Studios. They have a nice grasp on the two main characters, and they know what kind of game they want to produce. With that, I’m beyond excited to see what the team has in store for the coming months.