Devolver Digital can always be relied on to publish fantastic games. But what I didn't expect was to walk away from the PAX show floor and spend the next week still thinking about just how fun Mediatonic's Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout is. Even more so because it's a battle royale game.
Battle royales are a bit passé nowadays. Most of us are probably suffering from battle royale fatigue, between Fortnite, PUBG and all the other games that I'm far too tired of to list. There was a brief period where games could just slap 'battle royale' onto their title and get away with blue murder. But that time has come and gone. Battle royales have been done to death, and it's high time that somebody stepped up to the plate to make them fun again.
Fall Guys has taken that nugget of an idea and run with it. And then kept running.
Fall Guys is a multiplayer party game where you and 99 other players take on the role of chubby little bean creatures (which you can dress up) as you take on a variety of obstacles and mini-games to crown the final, gloriously blobby winner.
The demo that I played at PAX featured five rounds. I've quite forgotten the name of them, but I hope you enjoy the following (approximate) descriptions:
- Find Door: In this mini-game, players are required to run through an obstacle course filled with false doors and find the right path through. With the camera constantly tracking forward, players that can't find the correct door are callously swept off screen to their death.
- Jump Quick: In this game, the little bean creatures stand in a smoggy room and are immediately confronted with bricks, walls and stacks flying at them from all directions. To survive, players must avoid all the obstacles and not be swept off the stage.
- Grab Tail: This game, my favourite of the bunch, featured tailed and non-tailed beans. Beans with tails have to escape the beans without tails, and they, in turn, have to hunt down the beans with tails. If players end the game without a tail, they're eliminated.
- Egg Steal: In this game, players are required to raid a massive pile of plain and golden eggs and steal them for their team. The golden eggs are worth more points, and at the end, the team with the most points is victorious.
- Take Crown: This game was a race to the finish, where players all climb and grapple with each other to reach the finish line and grab the golden crown. Along the way, huge spiky balls drop from the sky and knock wayward players out.
Really, these descriptions don't do them justice. Fall Guys was so much fun, and watching your strange, wobbly children clobber and steal their way to victory is a delight. The game also has some brilliant collision physics which means that your little jelly-legged chums slam, slip, slide and jiggle their way through stages like ungainly blobs of butter.
These physics also mean that if you want to be a bit of an arsehole, you can be — jiggle and jostle hard enough and you can push other little beans off the stage and (presumably) to their death. Fun for all the family!
These five stages were more than enough to get me excited about Fall Guys when it eventually releases — and if past trailers are anything to go by, there's plenty of other stages to get excited about.
It's currently planned for a 2020 release, and I'd say it's definitely one to keep an eye on. Bring on the blobs!