A fun, casual platforming battle royale with room to grow after a shaky start
Having bought the game on day one and also participated in the beta previously, I’ve sunk quite a few hours into Fall Guys over the past few weeks. It’s genuinely been a blast to play since release, providing simple gameplay, colourful visuals and an interesting premise taken straight from obstacle course gameshows.
Fall Guys is really easy to pick up and play, with only a few simple controls – basic movement, a jump, a dive forward and a grab. Each “episode” of Fall Guys begins with up to 60 players racing to the end of an obstacle course, with the bottom 10-15 being eliminated from the round. In total there’s currently 25 different rounds that you can encounter throughout the match, each with varying objectives, some of which being team games.
I’ve seen a lot of people complain about the team games, saying that they feel cheap or a disheartening way to lose a match. Personally, I think they’re a good way of eliminating a decent chunk of players whilst providing some variation to the matches you play. Sure, it can be frustrating if you lose a team game in the later stages of a match when you put in a lot of effort getting there, but the matches are fast-paced enough to make you forget and move on to the next one.
The races are the most common type of level you’ll get in the game. These courses have all sorts of obstacles to overcome, with levels including huge bits of fruit hurtling at you whilst you traverse up a conveyor belt and a level with all manner of whirling blades and poles to avoid. Of the ten race levels (one of which is reserved for the final round) six of these are guaranteed to come up in the first round. Due to the relative lack of variation these do get a bit repetitive. If you’ve played these a few times you’re pretty much guaranteed to get through to the second round, bar any major mistakes.
I won’t divulge on every single round Fall Guys has to offer but if I had to name a favourite, I'd say Hex-A-Gone. Being one of four final rounds, your aim is to be the last guy standing on floors of hexagonal tiles that disappear from underneath you when walked on. There’s a good mix of strategy and panic in this level as you carve your own path along the tiles. You could purposely carve big holes in the levels of tiles to make other players fall down to the lower levels. Alternatively, you could play it slow and jump from tile to tile, hoping that there’s a space on the floor below to continue your route to victory. It’s by far the best final round available at the moment, providing that perfect blend of strategy, fun and suspense. The other final rounds still offer a good deal experience for the climax of the game, except Royal Fumble, which I’ll get to later.
Your hard-earned victories in Fall Guys earns you crowns, an in-game currency primarily rewarded by winning the game. Crowns are paired with Kudos, both of which are used to purchase cosmetics for your character to give a personal flair. Unlike crowns however, kudos can be earned both through playing and through microtransactions. Honestly, I’ve been earning more than enough kudos through just playing the game and I don’t see any reason to buy kudos aside from supporting the developer (there’s also DLC-exclusive costumes for that, however, current in the form of fast food costumes). Still, there’s a lot of customisation on offer, with colour schemes, patterns, costumes, taunts and victory cutscenes for you to equip. I’ve really been enjoying all the cosmetic options provided so far and I’m looking forward to what new costumes they come up with next.
Even though I’ve really enjoyed the game, it’s not without its problems. Looking at the game as a whole, the servers have been sketchy at best, only recently becoming more stable, and there’s still occasionally issues with claiming rewards after a match is done. There are also cheaters once in a while, using speed hacks or jump hacks to entirely circumvent the courses. I’m sure these issues will be ironed out in the long-term.
The real thing that sucks all the life out of me whilst playing Fall Guys are the “grabbing” rounds. Team Tail Tag, Tail Tag and Royal Fumble are all minigames where the objective is just to grab onto other players and take their tail, with Jinxed instead having you grab members of the opposing team to “infect” them. There are times where people grab me from ridiculous distances and other times where I grab someone but it doesn’t even register that I had. Even if the latency for grabbing was fixed, these rounds would still be quite a boring experience: so much so that you can just sit around and do nothing until the last 30 seconds or so. Whenever I see Royal Fumble – the tail grab final round – I groan in disappointment, as it just feels like blind luck.
There’s also been loads of suggestions from the community for features to add into the game, a lot of which I’ve really liked. One suggestion I feel should’ve really been in the game at launch is a personal stats menu, showing stats such as episode victories, rounds won and sillier stats such as the amount of times you’ve fallen over. Currently you can only really get a rough gauge of your progress through Steam/PS4 achievements. It's clear that there's plenty of avenues to explore for content for the game.
I know I’ve been complaining for the previous three paragraphs but I’ve honestly had a great time playing Fall Guys. It’s currently free on PS Plus during August, so Playstation 4 owners really have no excuse not to pick up this game. Even for £16/$20 on Steam it feels like a steal, especially seeing as there’s plans for constant updates, with additional levels and cosmetics. I would thoroughly recommend this game to everyone!