Indietail – Fall Guys

As a kid, I used to watch “Takeshi’s Castle” whenever I came home from school and I loved it. Both the candidates and the commentary were hilarious. The game modes were extremely cool as well… and then there was the final round against Takeshi himself where everyone storms the castle and it was just great! Well, today’s game has a lot in common with Takeshi’s Castle, so I thought I’d talk about that first.

Developer: Mediatonic
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Release Date: August 4th
Genres: Multiplayer, Battle Royale, Casual, Platformer
Reviewed on: PC
Available on: PC, PS4
Technical Beta key was received for free. 

In today’s Indietail, I’m taking a look at the Fall Guys: Technical Beta!

Fall Guys could be described as a “wholesome Battle Royale” game that takes a lot of inspiration from game shows like Takeshi’s Castle and that uses “mini games” to separate the winners from the not-winners!

I don’t usually like Battle Royale games since there is too much shooting going on and I am not too good at them. A lot of times you just get outplayed by FPS-players as a Non-FPS-player and alas, I didn’t really get into it too much. BR games that I do enjoy are ones that are different, just like Fall Guys. Instead of shooting others until only one person or only one squad is surviving, you try to manoeuvre your way through a bunch of mini-game rounds with a ton of other players around. I guess it’s not exactly a BR-game but due to the “Survive until there’s only one man standing” aspect of Fall Guys and BR games, I would call it that… but whatever.

Controls feel quite alright. You’d expect something similar to Human Fall Flat or Octodad with cute characters like that but they actually control relatively normal with AWSD and Space as your main button on top of the mouse controls to leap forward or push others. Overall quite intuitive!

The game modes get rotated through randomly with a bunch of them queued up one after another. There are a bunch of parkour-style mini-games requiring you to reach the end of the way and dodge all kinds of moving and rotating objects. It’s incredible fun to see someone in front of you getting yeeted (Yoted? Yoten? YEET!) off the platform and respawning behind you at the last checkpoint. There are also some mini-games where you just need to survive until enough people didn’t… and also a soccer-style minigame where the winning team gets to proceed.

And that’s cool! A bunch of variety and mostly about three rounds before you get to proceed. It’s hilarious to see you and other players wobble through the game… but it still gets quite competitive. I could see myself and friends play this together but I’m not exactly sure if they’d stay friends afterwards. After all, I’ve seen people push other people off the ledge or jump over there head, leaping into the goal. I’ve seen people win with the cheapest tricks… and it can also get frustrating.

There has been one round where other people constantly where jumping over my head and where I had some latency issues as well, making some jumps quite impossible. And then there were some other rounds where I didn’t have latency issues but people ganged up on me and pushed me off into some Slime… so that’s been a bit of a bummer. I also had one round where my team did little to nothing in the soccer minigame, resulting in us losing and me not qualifying for the next round… And that’s the spirit of Competitive Games – even when they’re cute, it can get frustrating or annoying. Overall though, I really enjoyed the game.

“YAY, I WON!” – this guy… not me… oof.

And most of my enjoyment came from the presentation probably. It’s still fun to get competitive. It’s incredibly fun to dwell in nostalgia, thinking back to TV shows like Takeshi’s Castle. And the presentation is just fun as well – I guess that’s the best way to describe it. “Fun”.

After completing rounds, you’re awarded Season Pass progress and you get to unlock new customs or spend your in-game currency for new cosmetics, emotes, etc.

It’s got vibrant colours and a very energetic and neat soundtrack that essentially provides the optimal tunes for the game. It’s fitting and enjoyable and different. And having a “different” soundtrack is important in this case as I’ve heard similar tunes in other games and as I got annoyed by them. That wasn’t the case in Fall Guys.

But despite all the fun I had with this game, there are some points that I didn’t like or that I’m worried about.

For one, it might get a bit too frustrating when you’re paired with people in team games that just don’t really want to play with you or that just don’t want to defend or whatever. It can be difficult and I hope that there’s going to be some sort of regulation as to how many team games there will be in the game… I’d rather like this to be more of a “Survival of the Fittest” situation than a “Get lucky with the team” situation. Of course, you could say that people probably are not intentionally losing those… but if a few of the players are having latency issues, it’s incredibly hard to win the round and alas, you get hindered by your team and lose the game based on something that isn’t your fault.

I guess you can talk about latency issues as well in this review-section but I didn’t have too many issues on that front apart from one or two rounds… and it’s in the Technical Beta phase… so of course there are bugs or issues. Duh.

On the other hand, spectating the game after you have fallen out of the competition is a pain in the butt. You don’t have to do it but I found it hilarious to watch the other participants until only one person is remaining. Betting points on participants could be quite interesting for a mechanic to make it “spicier”. Queuing up only to spectate could be a fun idea. Right now… it just needs a mechanic that shows you the leaderboard and where you can choose to spectate certain players without having to click through all of them. Might be quite nice for potential tournaments as well.

So in the end, I did enjoy this game. If you like Takeshi’s Castle and want to get competitive without having to “gid gud” at shooters, I’d recommend this game to you. It’s quite enjoyable and I think that a lot of the issues will get fixed in the actual release.

Cheers!

Valorant – My First Impressions

Valorant is the new thing and I’ve got a beta-key, woohoo.
In this post, we’ll talk about the latest release by our favourite Indie Game Studio, Riot Games!

Only a few days ago, Riot released their take on the tactical shooter genre, Valorant, for PC in a Closed Beta. To get keys for that Beta, you had to lurk in Twitch Streams that had these drops enabled. To enable those drops, Riot had to choose you to do so which is why Twitch was having a few problems here and there for the past few days as a ton of people have been lurking in summit1g and some other streams.

And yeah, I guess I’m part of the problem, too. After all, I’ve got a key, too, and I’ve lurked in probably eight different streams for two nights in a row, leaving my PC on for that time while I slept and I was rather successful to get a key and to now be able to present it.

Alas, I’m able to tell you about what a great game Valorant is… well… I don’t know if it’s that great.

I mean, I’ve never been much of an FPS-player… let alone someone who likes to play tactical ones… Every now and then I did play my share of shooter games, I guess, but more often than not I didn’t really stick around to them all that much. Overwatch is a perfect example for a game that was fun to play but over time got changed so drastically that it wasn’t fun to play anymore (RIP Mercy)… and Destiny is still fun to play but I mostly play PvE in Destiny and, therefore, I wouldn’t really count that one.

But why then would I get out of my comfort zone and play yet another shooting game or rather a tactical shooter that could be compared to Counter-Strike: Global Offense?

Well,… I guess “it’s new and I’d like to try it out” is the most perfect fit for that kind of question. I like Riot Games and was quite excited about their take on the Auto Battler genre and the card game genre, so I wanted to see what they’d bring to the table in FPS games and well… they are really trying hard to create a new Esports of sorts.

After all, they are pumping a hefty amount of money into this. Not only is this game built for low-end PCs (with minimum and maximum specs that are quite old now and shouldn’t be too hard to achieve) but it also features 128-tick-servers which should get rid of a ton of the “I was covered, how did that hit me, hacker hacker” crap.

Essentially, the server-stuff is quite expensive and Riot isn’t exactly making money right now with Valorant but it shows that they’re serious about this and are really invested in the idea of having two huge esports games. I guess the only way for them to make money off of this is selling skins and maybe some faster access to characters and stuff. I could also imagine there being a paid battle pass in the future but I so far haven’t seen any loot boxes, yet.

The game seems to be aimed to become a special mix between CS: GO and Overwatch, as it features several different “agents” from different countries of the world, each with their own abilities and personalities.

While the agile duelist Jett, for instance, is able to dash around and create sight-blockages for other players, Sage is more of a Support-character who’s able to provide crowd-control in form of a slow and an ice-wall and heals for allies. There are a total of ten agents right now in the game and while they have a perfect mix of all kinds of abilities in there, the gunplay and the player’s skill are not meant to be overshadowed by certain characters’ abilities.

That’s at least what Riot said themselves, which is why a big chunk of the current player base is complaining about Raze, a duelist that has four different offensive abilities with three of them being able to insta-kill you, being the complete opposite of what Riot wanted.

Raze, Jett and Sage aside, there’s plenty of male and female characters with their own characteristics and their own quirks. I enjoy playing Sage (Support Main forever), Raze (the Valorant-version of SC2’s Protoss), and Pheonix (a very hot dude).

While there are different characters with different abilities, overall the game’s not too different from Counter-Strike. There are a few different maps with different zones where you need to deploy a bomb at (if you’re on the attacker team) while the defender team is trying to stop you from doing so. Alas, you either plant the “spike” (aka the bomb^^) and defend it or you try to kill everyone and defuse the “spike”, to stop the terrori- eh, attackers!

There’s been some CS: GO fanboys out there who are criticizing Valorant for being like a cheap version of CS: GO but I don’t really see all that much of a point to talk one down and lift the other one up when in fact nothing has changed for ages now in CS: GO (as far as I know). They are two sides of the same coin and Valorant is trying to keep things simple with no distractions on the map while implementing quick and fast-paced rounds that can go either way with nothing being lost after just a few rounds.

The abilities are a nice take on the genre, the guns feel really great and precise, and you can actually use the ADS on a ton of them while customizing your cross-hair, too, which I reckon might be great for a lot of professional players.

I haven’t experienced any toxicity yet, despite the voice chat being a thing in there… but I’ve noticed that a lot of the Counter-Strike-players are picking up the game rather fast and are leaving complete newbies like me in the dust already, which is a bit bothersome.

There’re also some cool mechanics here and there with gun recoil and spray patterns and whatnot but I don’t get that stuff, honestly. A lot of the weapons feel strong but there is no “overpowered” weapon right now. It all depends on how you use them.

For instance, I like going for the Ghost (pistol) and the Judge (shotgun) or the Ghost in combination with one of the snipers. I just like these weapons. The Guardian can quickly take out multiple enemies but I still need to get better at learning the maps, aiming, and overall I just need to “gid gud”, I guess, but that will have to wait as I’ve just now spent about two hours exploring the shooting range map and doing a stupid jump-n-run that can be found here while trying not to cheat it at all. Was a lot of fun.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. There are some people out there who don’t have drops enabled but put it into their titles regardless of that. If you ever encounter one of those, ignore what’s in the titles and check their tags and if it says that they have drops enabled under the title and if it doesn’t, please report them as falsely advertising your streams, using misleading titles and misleading categories is against TOS, afaik.

Apart from that, I will probably post a bit more about Valorant every now and then once I’ve got some more first impressions, but I don’t think that I’ll play too much of it soon… Regardless of that, I’m excited to see how this one goes. It’s easy to learn and thus, I really enjoy watching it on Twitch, which is not the case for CS: GO, which I personally find boring.

Anyways, have a nice day! Cheers!

This post is part of a challenge called BLAPRIL. The goal is to post as much as possible during the 30 days of April. There are different themes during some of the weeks and a lot of mentors, newbies and participants participating. Feel free to check this hub-post out and check out the other participants!