Skip to main content

Godfall review: Repetitive gameplay hurts next-gen spectacle

Godfall player in combat.
Godfall review: Repetitive gameplay hurts next-gen spectacle
“Godfall's dazzling visuals and promising combat are held back by repetitive dungeon crawling.”
  • Impactful combat
  • Useful abilities and upgrades
  • Impressive visuals
  • Sparse dungeon crawling
  • Repetitive missions
  • Shallow loot
  • Limited world design

If there’s one thing Godfall gets right, it’s spectacle. The PlayStation 5 launch title is filled with the kind of visual razzle-dazzle that one might expect from a next-gen game. There’s a whole menu of hyperfocused graphics options meant to push the new hardware to its limits.

Early buzz around new consoles tends to center around power, putting day one games like Godfall in the spotlight when they might otherwise fly under the radar entirely. Go back to any console launch and it’s easy to find a long-forgotten launch day title that maximized power, but failed to make too much of a lasting impression otherwise.

Godfall takes advantage of the next-gen power jump with its dazzling visuals, but misplaces its promising combat system in a repetitive loot game where rewards rarely feel rewarding.

Less Destiny 2, more Diablo

When Godfall was first announced, it drew immediate comparisons to Destiny 2. Part of that was due to the game’s marketing push, which branded the game as the first “looter-slasher” and focused on flashy armor that wouldn’t be out of place in Bungie’s space epic.

Perhaps the most surprising revelation about Godfall is that it’s not a live service game at all. Instead, it’s more akin to a dungeon crawler like Diablo. The bulk of the game is spent popping into missions from the game’s small hub. Players slash down crowds of enemies, collect new loot, and discover resources hidden throughout the world.


It’s a rinse-repeat experience that asks players to complete a limited number of tasks (most of which involve hacking up enemies), while running circles around the same areas over and over. For instance, players will frequently need to survive a wave of enemies for 60 seconds or kill 16 enemies, who slowly emerge from statues. Big boss fights break up the tedium, but they’re only unlocked by gaining seals obtained by grinding through more missions like this.

Like any dungeon crawler, loot is the real hook. Missions are filled with rewards, from weapons to gear that each come with their own perk. The constant stream of goodies makes it so players can start customizing a build quickly. After a few missions, however, I became thoroughly overwhelmed by the amount of treasure I was collecting. Even salvaging it for resources felt like a monotonous time commitment.

It’s a rinse-repeat experience that asks players to complete a limited number of tasks, while running circles around the same areas over and over.

Exciting loot is only half the battle for a game like this. There’s a constant power accumulation through the game, but few compelling reasons to show it off outside of a few high-level postgame activities. Godfall offers a lot to play with, but not much to actually play.

Big battles

The weak gameplay loop is a shame, because combat offers some genuine potential. Like many modern action games, fighting revolves around light and heavy attacks. The key difference is that players use oversized weapons like hammers and spears. There’s genuine weight to each weapon, making each hit feel slower and more impactful than a standard sword swing. The trade-off is that players need to think more strategically about every hit, as committing too much can lead to disaster. Each button press matters, which is rare in a hack-and-slash game.

There’s a heavy defensive component as well, with a shield that plays a major role in combat. This can be used to block attacks, parry enemies, or for ranged attacks. Like primary weapons, the tool feels devastating and adds a genuine sense of power to combat. There’s a lot of satisfaction that comes with tossing the hunk of metal like Captain America’s shield, knocking an enemy off his feet, and opening it up for a brutal takedown.

Each button press matters, which is rare in a hack-and-slash game.

That strong foundation evolves even further throughout the game thanks to a smattering of upgrade systems. There’s a skill tree that adds more combos and color to the experience and gear enhancements that grant specific perks. On top of that, the game features 12 unlockable “valorplates,” which are different armor sets that players can equip. Each one comes with its own special perk, like shock damage or poison, adding tons of ways to craft character builds.


Everything is successful up to a point. I found myself using just about every single tool in battle, spending a lot of time enchanting gear, and switching up my valorplate every chance I got. But I was still loading into missions that felt indistinguishable from eachother and mowing down the same types of enemies ad nauseum. I was all dressed up with nothing to do.

All strategy and nuance tends to go out the window as enemies become more plentiful and bosses’ health bars get bigger. It only gets more and more tempting to just equip a quicker weapon class and spam light attacks to push the advantage. The weighty combat could likely provide thrills in a focused action game with big-budget set pieces, but it’s a mismatch for a modest dungeon crawler built on grinding.

Razzle-dazzle them

The game’s design decisions feel like they’re taking a back seat to its technical prowess. It’s a visual spectacle that feels like the video game equivalent of a Great Gatsby party. Valorplates are lavishly detailed, particles fly in every direction, and golden light shines down on every surface to drive home the wow factor.


It’s immediately impressive, even if on a shallow level. As someone who’s not easily impressed by visual flair, I still found myself marveling at tiny details like smooth motion blurring as if I were a seasoned techie.

That surface sheen never really goes away, but the excitement is short-lived due to the game’s lackluster world design. Godfall primarily features three maps, each with its own elemental flavor. Despite thematic differences and motifs, the areas are structurally similar enough that they rarely feel like radically different environments. That doesn’t negate the impressive eye candy, but it does make its tricks feel limited at times.

The underlying design decisions undercut the spectacle, bringing the game down from next-gen cloud nine.

Console launch games are always going to be in a tight spot as they tend to be the most heavily scrutinized games of a generation, at least on a technical level. Godfall does everything in its power to make a splash, but it’s a short-term solution. The underlying design decisions undercut the spectacle, bringing the game down from next-gen cloud nine. Once the paint fades away, players are left with a surprisingly light looter that doesn’t feel much more complex than Minecraft Dungeons.

Our take

Godfall offers a lot of promise with its impressive visuals and impactful combat, but those highlights are lost in a sparse dungeon crawler that sells its strengths short. It’s far different than the Destiny 2 clone fans were anticipating, but that live service style may have been a better fit for its commitment to loot grinding.

Is there a better alternative?

Warframe is more effective as a “looter-slasher” and Destiny 2 offers the same next-gen grind with greater reward.

How long will it last?

The main campaign gets up to the 8- to 10-hour range, but dedicated players can spend more time grinding for rewards and completing a small handful of postgame activities.

Should you buy it?

No. There’s plenty of better next-gen games to try right now, even if you’re just looking for a multiplayer game to try at launch.

Editors' Recommendations

Giovanni Colantonio
Giovanni is a writer and video producer focusing on happenings in the video game industry. He has contributed stories to…
PlayStation reveals new features and UI for its PS5 Access Controller
Sony's Project Leonardo controller sits on a table.

Sony revealed new details about its PlayStation 5 accessibility controller, which has been renamed from Project Leonardo to the Access Controller. A new blog post details what comes with the controller and offers a glimpse at the UI interface that players will use to customize it on the PS5.

Sony surprise revealed its "Project Leonardo" at CES earlier this year (Digital Trends named it the best gaming tech of the show). The circular pad features a unique design meant to make it easier for people with disabilities to customize controls to their needs. While it still doesn't have a price or release date, Sony has opened a new website for its newly renamed Access Controller and shared new details on it.

Read more
Final Fantasy XIV jobs guide: which job is right for you?
A party of characters stands together in a Final Fantasy XIV dungeon.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is widely accepted as one of the most beginner-friendly MMOs. During its opening hours – and even beyond – it does a great job of introducing new features and mechanics so that new players are able to engage in everything its sprawling world has to offer without feeling lost.

However, that's not to say the game is without complexity or confusing elements entirely. In particular, its expansive selection of jobs may prove a bit overwhelming for those starting the game for the first time, as there are simply so many options available. In this breakdown, we'll tell you how to access each job and what prerequisites may stand in your way, as well as explain their role in a party and give you an idea of how difficult they are to use for the average player.
Healer | Difficulty: Hard
The Astrologian uses a unique card system to heal, buff, and shield the party – however, it's a job that requires a lot of skill and quick thinking. Unlike an easier healer, such as a White Mage, you'll have to put in much more work here to get similar results. That being said, the creative design and compelling risk/reward tactics of the Astrologian can make them an exceptionally rewarding class to play.

Read more
One of the PS5’s most impressive exclusives leads next batch of PS Plus games
Rivet from Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart.

Sony revealed a large and varied batch of games coming to PlayStation Plus Extra and Premium this month. Its headliners are Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, a true PS5 exclusive that utilizes the system's technology for visually impressive and seamless rifts between areas and worlds, and Humanity, a quirky new puzzle game launching day one on PS Plus Extra.
Rift Apart is a must-play for PS5 owners, so it's a good thing that Sony has finally made the decision to add it to its subscription service. Some great indie titles like Rain World and Lake, as well as the full Tomb Raider and Dishonored series, will also be available on PS Plus after May 16.
On the classic games front, it's a PSP-dominated batch, with Logan's Shadow completing the Syphon Filter series' presence within the PlayStation Classics collection.
A lot of good games, including Marvel's Spider-Man, are leaving PlayStation Plus on May 15, so it's good to know that a lot of other interesting games will be hitting the service on the same day. Here's the full list of games that will be added to PlayStation Plus Extra and Premium later this week.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
Watch Dogs: Legion
Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin
Bus Simulator 21: Next Stop
Rain World
Conan Exiles
Rune Factory 4 Special
Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town + Expansion Pass Set
The Evil Within 2
Wolfenstein: Youngblood
Dishonored 2
Dishonored: Death of the Outsider
Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition
Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20-Year Celebration
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow
Blade Dancer Lineage of Light
Pursuit Force
Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered

Read more