I think it’s fair to say that the absolute last thing the gaming world needs is yet another Battle Royale game. I mean, what is this; 2018? Well, somehow indie developer Mediatonic have managed to squeeze one out, but there’s a catch: this Battle Royale doesn’t see players take control of a gun toting soldier or a demolition derby car. Instead, Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout stars 60 adorably squishy cartoon figures, who must jump, slide and grab their way through a series of challenges, until only one remains to snatch the crown. But is this Takeshi’s Castle-esque game show a rip-roaring triumph or a Total Wipeout?
Each match of Fall Guys comprises between four and six rounds, showcasing a selection of games to whittle down the player count. There is a total of 24 game modes available, and which ones will appear in any given game are completely random. Many of these are some form of obstacle course: push aside your competitors to get from point A to point B whilst avoiding swinging pendulums, tilting seesaws, or rising slime. Some are a little bit more unique: navigate continually falling platforms or trying to survive atop a continually rotating log. Regardless of which mode comes up, they’re all fairly solid mechanically. Sadly, the same can’t be said of the handful of team games on offer; potluck tends to be the main factor when progressing past these stages. Sometimes things can get a little awkward control wise and there’s no guarantee that your teammates will be even close to competent, but despite this they’re still very enjoyable.
This is exactly what sets Fall Guys apart from its counterparts. Like other Battle Royales, there is an inherent, competitive drive to be in pole position. Where Fall Guys differs is that there is almost no backlash when you fail. The game’s silly premise, cute aesthetic and simple controls mean that it’s hard to get frustrated, even when losing. The result is a game which not only embodies the “one more go” attitude, but is also suitable for every occasion and audience. Young or old, alone or as a group, casual or hardcore; almost any gamer, in any setting, can get some degree of joy from Fall Guys. In the best possible sense, this is a game to be laughed at, not to be taken seriously. This is all helped considerably by a quirky soundtrack, accompanied by eye popping-ly bright, bubble-gum visuals. Imagine a children’s play area of padded mats and ball bits, except on LSD.
Progression in Fall Guys takes the form of gaining experience to gain levels and unlock cosmetic upgrades, such as outfits, skins and emotes, for your little Tellytubby person. There’s also in-game currency, which allows players to buy similar upgrades from the main menu’s store. The longer you last in each game, the more experience and currency you earn. Of course, micro transactions are available for those wanting to cut corners and get the fanciest gear, but honestly, the game’s economy is fairly well balanced without them. Those wanting to earn their way to the best items won’t be met with a monumental grind and will be regularly rewarded simply for playing the game. Inclusion of “Season 1” over the progress bar implies the addition of extra rewards down the line. Fingers crossed this continued support includes introducing more game modes to the current roster, but only time will tell.
Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout’s breakout success has been somewhat marred by continued server issues, dropping players from games and not properly rewarding them for their achievements. But for me this is a testament to Fall Guys unprecedented success and popularity. It’s not often we see a relatively unknown indie developer make a game that resonates so widely with the gaming community, so much so that that same developer simply isn’t prepared to deal with the demands that followed. Even then, constant updates and a strong social media presence have helped steady the ship, with the game now handling the server side of things much smoother. Mediatonic deserve the utmost praise for what they accomplished, and I for one am looking forward to what they have in store next.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout Review
Gameplay - 10/10
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 7/10
Replay Value - 10/10
User Review( votes)
Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout takes the tried and tested, Battle Royale formula, then completely turns it on its head. Unique, wholesome, chaotic and a hell of a lot of fun.