REVIEW: Fall Guys – Ultimate Knockout

REVIEW: Fall Guys – Ultimate Knockout

I am terrible at Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout.

But honestly, that’s where most of the fun lies and is probably one of the reasons I find this game so refreshing. Despite it being an online battle royale, I can’t be too hard on myself when I lose, because there isn’t a great amount of skill that goes into this game.

It was a bold move for Devolver Digital to offer Fall Guys as a free game, on its launch day, for PlayStation Plus subscribers this month, but it ultimately worked in its favour—it’s had 2M sales on Steam in its first week and has become the developer’s biggest selling title to date. Fall Guys’ success is perhaps a result of the hype surrounding it being on PlayStation Plus, but it’s also likely due to its wonderful simplicity. It works as a bit of mindless solo entertainment, it’s great for streaming, and it’s also so much fun as a party/co-op game.

In Fall Guys, you get bundled in with 60 other players and you have to make it through a series of rounds, ultimately aiming to be the last person standing. Sounds simple, and it is, as far as mechanics are concerned. The game only utilises three buttons on the controller, but each level has its own hurdles to overcome… literally. This simplicity is great, as I can see a lot of non-gamers getting into Fall Guys and giving it more mass appeal as a party game.

This game is hard to progress in and the levels are tough, mainly due to the other players frantically trying to achieve the same goal, with chaos ensuing as soon as you take control of your little “guy.” To me, this is not a game to get competitive about; this is a game to have as much fun as possible with, which is why I think it is such a well-needed breath of fresh air in this type of online battle royale game.

The first time I played a level of Fall Guys, I immediately broke into a fit of hysterical laughter because the entire thing is ridiculous in the most wonderful way. There is something so joyous about seeing these adorable little creatures fall over, bump into each other, and race frantically to the finish line.

The level designs are all a lot of fun, bringing in elements from equally ridiculous television shows like Takeshi’s Castle and Total Wipeout and taking them to new heights. They are diverse enough to keep your interest and engagement up, which is so necessary due to the sheer amount of times you may get knocked out of a match. The bright and colourful nature of each level is also a delight and adds to the lighthearted nature of this game.

Now, let’s talk about see-saws.

One downside to the game, which isn’t the developer’s fault, is that some levels get a little frustrating. This is usually because other players don’t know how things like see-saws work, leaving you standing for a painful few minutes as each see-saw levels out again after being vertical for way too long. It will be interesting to see how and if this could be rectified with updates or balancing. As it stands, however, I kind of enjoy my love/hate relationship with the see-saws…

I am a sucker for unlockable content and Fall Guys, like so many battle royale games, has a “battle pass” system. The great thing is that this pass is included with the game and you only have to pay extra money if you really want to get some different skins. For me, the skins are a lot of fun and add much-needed differentiation between players. I can’t even imagine how difficult this game would be if everyone looked the same. In certain levels, it is hard enough to find where you are in a stampede of other players, so with the odd hotdog, pigeon, and dinosaur skin thrown in, it makes this a lot more manageable.

Overall, Fall Guys is a bright, fast-paced, and relatively simple game that is a delight to play. Whilst I can’t see myself playing this game for hours on end, it will be a go-to when I require a pick me up while also being great for when people are allowed to get together for parties again!

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