Title: Good Goliath
Developer: Knocktwice Games
Publisher: Knocktwice Games
Genre: Arcade Action Game
Official Site: Knocktwice Games
Release Date: March 31st, 2020
The PSVR is a fascinating piece of tech. Over the last few years, it has evolved into a multifaceted device offering tons of entertainment options. One need only look at titles such as Moss and Ghost Giant for its emotional narrative-driven experiences or Beat Saber for its arcadey fun experiences. Good Goliath attempts to offer the second category. Unfortunately, with all the experiences the PlayStation store offers, Good Goliath fails to make a punch.
What is Good, Goliath?
Good Goliath has a fairly simple idea. You are the titular “Goliath” being antagonized by nasty villagers, egotistical kings, almighty sea creatures, and more. In it, you are sat stationary in one position as things are thrown at you. You must then turn this on its head by grabbing them out of the air and flinging them back at their source. The story starts off in a lovely storybook style. You sit in the dark as a booming voice introduces you to the game. The villagers have tied you up in their town square as you are burned at the stake. Not content with this, they have also decided to throw spears, bombs, and cakes(?) at you.
This brings one to the central gameplay loop. Each level is designed around some key ideas. The first is a town hall. In this town hall, it is surrounded by houses and a shop, all of which offer a satisfying level of destructibility. You can use the villager’s pitchforks against them or use them to hit targets around the area. These can award health, more points, or some secrets. You control the two giant hands with your move controllers, each with an open palm and clenched fist activated with the trigger. For the most part, this is all the gameplay system. There are slight changes in the way certain objects are thrown or the tactics for bosses, but this is the majority of what you do in Good Goliath.
How are the levels in Good Goliath?
Most areas contain a set of levels. These levels often involve a major unit that you have to deal with. Things such as legions of pitchfork using villagers or lance throwing knights change up the way you see the level. This moves one to the second major control you have in Good Goliath. As you move your head, so too does the Giant. If there are too many obstacles heading your way, you can opt to ignore them entirely and duck out of the way, a cowards move. Good Goliath is at its best when you’re flailing around trying to catch and throw everything you can possibly grab.
This is best accentuated in boss fights. One particular boss fight offered in the second area threw two giants at you as well as a multitude of smaller enemies. The giants and armies all had their own unique style. You had to watch for the armies near the bottom of your screen and the giants at the top. The two giants threw rocks and even some soldiers at you. You could punch the rocks to acquire explosives that could then be used to whittle down their health together. This is where Good Goliath works at its best. When it offers fast-paced action without much thought, it can be a lot of fun. Unfortunately, this brings one to its issues.
Whilst it does offer a lot of content for the price point, that content becomes rather boring quite fast. The initial levels are interesting based on the concept of the game alone, but it does little to really change up its formula. There are some great sights offered in the form of a sea battle and other giants, but the base gameplay stays rather predictable. This, paired with the sometimes obtuse controls of PSVR, can feel log a slog. It often becomes tedious to will yourself to finish a section as checkpoints come ever few levels. I have, on multiple occasions, wished there was more to keep me interested. Due to PSVR only really operating well with certain axes, some targets and enemies become annoyingly hard to hit.
Verdict: The appeal of Good Goliath is obviously from the get-go. It attempts to offer arcadey fun, possibly to be had with friends as was so popular at the start of PSVR’s life cycle. Unfortunately, due to the lack of change throughout levels and the sometimes frustrating controls, It is hard to see something in Good Goliath that isn’t offered elsewhere. There are many launch titles from almost four years ago that do similar things better. While it starts off in an intriguing manner and does offer a lot of content, it eventually becomes a chore to make your way through it. This is a shame as, at its best, Good Goliath was genuinely quite fun.
- Lots of content
- Decent gameplay loop
- Becomes tedious
- Occasionally frustrating controls
- Little variation