Nearly everyone has been enjoying the gaming craze that is Fall Guys (including me) so here's what I think of this indie phenomenon.
I've been excited to try Fall Guys ever since its trailer debuted at E3 last year and now that I've finally played it, I must say that it has thoroughly exceeded my expectations. First of all, just what the heck is it? Well, it's quite a simple game at its core and I think the best way to describe it is: a 3D platformer game show that incorporates light parkour elements within a variety of events. The controls merely involve running around with the left stick, jumping, grabbing, and diving. You could get away with simply running and jumping for the most part but as you play, you'll observe your fellow contestants perform clever moves such as jumping then diving to extend their leaps and you'll eventually amass a whole repertoire of useful tricks. In the end, it's exciting and intuitive stuff that basically anyone can enjoy.
On top of its simple and rewarding gameplay, Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout features lovely visuals that are as bright, colourful, and cheerful as this website; if not, more so. I absolutely adored the pastel environments that feature subtle textures which make them feel tangible yet at the same time, retaining a whimsical atmosphere. Also, the bean-shaped character models that merely have a couple of eyes for faces are very cute, especially their stubby little legs. Plus, you can dress them up in various colours, textures, costumes, and such that you'll unlock as you play which adds a welcome layer of personality to the characters. Considering 60 of them can be running around in a tight place, it's amazing to see just how different most of them look. It's certainly hard not to smile when you play Fall Guys.
Although I've already touched on the gameplay, I should describe Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout's structure. Whenever you're ready, you can basically dive in to a game show with up to 60 online players then you partake in various events. Players get eliminated after each event depending on their (or their team's) performance until there are only a handful of chums left. Finally, you race to grab a crown and whoever does so first wins the whole show. It's impressively exciting, especially if you manage to make it to the final round and the events themselves are varied, plentiful, and there isn't a bad one in the bunch. You'll try and stay on a rotating cylinder, race through obstacle courses, memorize tiles to match and stand on the prompted one, try to snatch each other's tails, and play a massive game of tag where you try not to get jinxed. These events are tons of fun; even after playing individual ones multiple times.
Of course, like every game; Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout has its flaws. Although I didn't necessarily mind playing the same events over and over again, you'll start to get a bit too familiar with course layouts which makes them feel a bit easy and that is compounded after you learn some tricks that make them even easier. I wish that these layouts featured more procedural generation to remedy this. Similarly, luck sometimes feels like it dictates success. This is primarily true during team events when your teammates just stand around and don't help much. Finally, one aspect that I wish was implemented is the ability to play with a combination of online and local players. There is no local multiplayer component at all yet it seems like a perfect game to play with a few friends as you take on dozens of online folks.
Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout is a hard game not to love. Even the most cynical and jaded gamers would have to jump through a lot of rotating hoops to call this fun-filled extravaganza anything less than a revolution in online gaming.
- + Incredibly fun and lighthearted gameplay that's as intuitive as it is exciting
- + Delightful environments and cute characters
- + Customization adds a layer of personality
- - Stage layouts get too familiar after a while
- - Luck sometimes plays a role in success
- - Additional local players can't join