Jun 22, 2014

Godfire: Rise of Prometheus Review: Gorgeously Boring

in category Games

 

I love me some hack and slash. The best parts are when you have a plan even when you are surrounded by countless enemies. One skill move here, another combo there, evade, slash thrice to start another combo and finish off with a final skill move. The satisfaction that you get once you clear levels of evil demons, orcs or the undead feels so good.

So how’s it like with Godfire then?

Erm…

Basically, you are a one man army going up against the gods, to unleash a spark in humanity that the Gods have refused to do. Told through cut-scenes and decent voice acting, the game does well to immerse you in the story and guide you to, as much as possible, care about the bulging muscular half naked protagonist that you play.

To help you immerse further into the game, it is clear that the developers paid extremely close attention to the graphics. On a phone, it looks fantastic. The locations (varying from temples, castles to broken cities) are beautifully rendered and the cut-scenes are animated well, with the mythological back-story told through drawings. It all works brilliantly to give you a sense of the world that they had created.

godfire-1

“Why can’t we attack him now? Why?”

Unfortunately, all these comes at the expense of performance. I have an iPhone 5 and the game stuttered a little at the start. As you move around in the world, you get the feeling that you are moving through water. Surely a dude with that much muscle could do well to move just a bit faster?

Gameplay wise, you are thrown 3-4 demons at one go. You walk a linear path and every few seconds, a few demons would appear, trying to slow you down. You can either block, do a light attack, a heavy attack, a combo move or even evade their attacks. But you cannot move without evading. The moment the swords are out, you cannot walk at all. Just a touch of the movement button and you roll to the front, sometimes even away from the demons that you are trying to cut down. It was utterly frustrating when I want to chop down an enemy who is near death, only to find myself rolling towards another who is mid-way to chopping my head off.

BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE

BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE

Even though the game is gorgeous, the enemies that you face are not. Carved from the same mould, you face the same few demons all the time. Two sword wielding, snarling and brown looking, they come at you like moth to a lamp. All you have to do is to evade, slash, rinse, repeat. It’s like all the energies have been spent on the landscape, so much that they don’t have enough budget to think of more varied enemies.

To help with the monotony of the game, you have the ability to dish out killing moves. Press the big red button when the demon is near death and watch as Prometheus execute an excruciatingly slow animation to finish off the already dying demon. The poor creature is already tortured, unsure of why he is attacking you aimlessly and there you stand, casually killing him off. As crazy as it sounds, activating a kill move renders you almost invincible. Somehow, the other demons will circle around you, backing off you as you destroy your comrade, especially when this is the best moment to be slicing you to death.

I guess they might be praying silently for their dying comrade.

Brown and red all over

Brown and red all over

At each of the acts (where they are 7 in total), you come face to face with the boss. You would think that, given that they are bigger and look much more bad-ass, they would be smarter and much more powerful. So it’s unthinkable how they could swipe at you twice and then suddenly stay still to allow you to attack them because they got tired. TIRED.

It’s like the Gods themselves want you to defeat them.

Oh look mum, clean white teeth.

Oh look mum, clean white teeth.

So I gritted my teeth through the slightly less than 2 hour campaign and found myself shaking my head as the end message told me that a harder mode has been unlocked and I could do the same thing again, this time, with enemies with more health to unlock more weapons. I could name so many things wrong with the game, from the repetitive gameplay to the short campaign (and lack of subtitles) and an attempt to lengthen the gameplay by difficulty modes!

Wow.

I want my 2 hours (and 1 hour writing this) back.

Verdict
Godfire: Rise of Prometheus is pretty but shallow and it shows. It plays like a graphic demo, short and pointless after the initial awe. You would be better spending on the damn good Battleheart: Legacy.