Review: GODUS 1.3.1 Alpha (2013)

Whilst GODUS' world and surface are beautiful, the tedious gameplay and animations, in their current form, are too hard to ignore, says Liam Tobin.

This review is of a game that’s still in development so the score given may not reflect the full game upon release.  

[dropcap]F[/dropcap]lying wolves, tedious gameplay, unfinished animations and a game that instead of making you feel like God makes you feel like the boss of a construction yard of asleep builders.

So for a game that’s only 41% finished as of this writing the GODUS’s surface and overall look is surprisingly polished and great to look at. Its colourful and I can only imagine what it will look like when its finished or when the 2.0 build is released. But for as nice as it is on the surface, we have creepy flying wolves, which make you remember that we are looking at a game that’s still a long way off being finished. Well, the 41% that is finished should help show 22 Cans that they have a lot of bugs to fix already such as continuous crashes, tedious gameplay and actions that don’t have any real consequences.

Now if you can see past all of the problems that they have at this time there is a great promise for a game that is going to let you play God and guide your followers through from primitive life through to the era of space travel. There’s a promising single-player story that you can only imagine how crazy and off the wall it’s going to be, a multiplayer that promises to have all Gods toil each other, starting war, making alliances and taking on or taking out other Gods. 22 Cans are looking to create a playground of creativity, wonder and opportunity. None of which unfortunately is unavailable in the current build but it is a paid alpha, which is looking for feedback that they can work off of and they will be adding new systems and online components with every new update.

At the moment there isn’t that feeling of jeopardy the game feels very relaxed, as there is no AI tribes or consequences at this time. So for now playing in 30-minute batches I would say is for the best as it’s very easy to get bored and irritated quickly. Right now those I would take this game with a pinch of salt, as its current build is more of a test to show you how the system works for when the full game is released. So for now its not really a game but for simplicity reasons were call it a game.

GODUS’ environments are stunningly beautiful

GODUS starts beautifully and looks amazing in the first 2 minutes as the game takes you in over the pre-made landscape for the sake of the alpha. We get taken over mountains, beaches and forests all in this great art style that feels and looks great when you’re panning over the landscape. The game gives you the task of setting and laying the land which you could be spending up to, and over, half an hour for your followers to start building their houses.

This is where things start to become quite tedious and annoying, as you can’t do anything without faith, which you get from your followers. So for every follower, you get a little bit of faith, which you use to landscape the land and create more followers. Be warned though, for the first 10 hours this will be all you’re doing as it takes a while for your followers to grow and expand to other territories. Having started on a beach where I was left with corpse after corpse of followers as they stood around just waiting for their death.

The problem with this being an early build is that they haven’t completely opened up the game yet so a lot of features are still unavailable at this time. So for now you may find your followers just standing around dying, making it feel more like a death montage then a real playable game. Back to the faith, having to click each follower and their homes to get the faith start to feel very tedious after a while especially playing it on a PC/MAC. So after a while of clicking pink dots over and over it feels more like a mobile game. While this game will work wonderfully with that format for a mobile, it makes you think maybe they should change formats on PC, maybe hold down right click and all available faith is given.

Faith is needed for almost anything, which at the start is used for gathering resources, laying the land, gathering and growing your numbers of followers. Due to the fact you have to spend faith for everything, out of the blue, the land will just fall in places, spending half of your faith flattening the land out again. The lay of the land also feels sluggish and slimy as it just falls unexpectedly leaving you spending belief to send followers to retreat rather then expand while you flatten the land out again. But with the promise that buying belief rather then harvesting it will be available in the future will make everything easier. Micro transactions aren’t great for anyone but it does help in a multi-player standpoint when instead of strategizing how to fight your enemy your point and clicking gathering resources.

Players have to gain faith from their followers

I guess what this all comes down to is are we buying into a early build of a game that’s boring for now because we haven’t been able to access everything yet? Or is this just showing the way the whole game’s going to be when it’s completely finished – a boring, tedious point and click game that lacks any consequences and leaves you only wanting to play it for 30 minutes. If they can make the animations for look and work as well as the landscape it may start doing better. But I don’t think I can judge it completely in its current form as its only 41% complete and I’m sure most games feel this way in this current state. I guess the main problem is, I’m looking at a landscape that is great to look at but I don’t feel any connection to it. Which I hope in later builds starts to change when multiplayer is enabled and I’m trying to keep my people and villages alive.

I can only imagine that the iPad and iPhone versions will be great because they will feel like games such as Clash of Clans, where similar point and continuous click gameplay works well. But with no insight into how they have built the game from what they have done so far, I would say that there’s enough there to keep you interested enough to see the final build. Hopefully, this first 41% is just more of a demo and that when the 2.0 build comes out they will open more for us to do. Hopefully, bringing players together so that it fully opens up and you can feel consequences have some sort of meaning. But for now I think listening to the fans and fixing all the bugs and problems is their best option.

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