Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout review
When I say battle royal, no doubt you think of a gaming genre that’s flooded with games that all feel a little bit same-same, PUBG, Apex Legends, Fortnight, the list goes on and on with developers and publishers looking to capitalize on the success of some of these truly massively popular games.
So when Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout was announced as a battle royal my enthusiasm for it was low, to say the least. However, all that quickly changed once I got a taste of what can only be likened to Takeshi’s Castle style action. If you’re too young to remember Takeshi’s Castle, the ’80s were dangerous times…
So, what have the developers at Mediatonic done to create this truly unique battle royal experience?
Fall Guys places you in a game show where your only objective is to be the last contestant standing. You take control of your Minion-Esque bean-person and are flung into random arenas to square off against (up to) 59 other players. The arenas vary from foot race obstacle courses to memory games and even team events like soccer! At the end of each stage, only the group that qualified are moved onto the next round, the rest are left to lick their wounds and start again.
Each game consists of 5 rounds with the player base shrinking at the end of a round as players get eliminated. The games are action-packed from the moment the timer starts, bumpers, windmills slime, drop-offs and bouncing balls all strategically placed along the way to ensure your journey to the finish line is as eventful as possible. It feels a little like Mario Party meets Ninja Warrior.
Not only do you have to deal with the various obstacles littered through the courses, but you also have to get through the hoard of other players. Seriously, you’re often tripping over each other as you try and barge your way through a small gate or attempt to perfectly time a jump to clear a gap or just getting shoved out the way as you attempt to squeeze between a moving platform.
One thing that really tickled me about Fall Guys is there are no weapons to speak of. The very worst you can do to any of your opponents is grab onto them, which at most slows you both down. This is what separates Fall Guys from the rest of the battle royal games out there at the moment and really makes it stand out as a game that can truly be enjoyed by all. For me the lack of weapons or even combat enhances the competitive feel, it creates a completely even playing field, and while luck and RNG do play a factor it never really feels unfair.
Fall Guys takes on a cartoon art style and really pumps up the bright happy colours. In most levels you find yourself surrounded by hot pink, baby blue, yellows reds and purple.
Each player’s character models are identical, the only distinguishing factor is the outfit you choose to dress your Fall Guy up in. Participate in more games, unlock more gear. It’s safe to say we will see more and more outrageous costumes and accessories added into the game as time passes.
The innocent and cutesy look of the character models makes it hard to stay mad at these guys and is a refreshing change from the typical military or fighting folk we find in many other games at this time.
Unfortunately, at this stage, the game does not support any 21:9 aspect ratios so if you’re running a widescreen you are stuck with the black bars for now. Interestingly as well, displaying Steam names has recently been patched. Apparently players were using exploits to break the UI. Classic gamers. Hopefully, this is fixed and changed back soon as having everyone identified as “Fall Guy” and a random number just isn’t as fun.
Audio and Soundtrack
The Fall Guys soundtrack is fast-paced and hits you square in the face with its upbeat tempo the moment the game starts. Like a game show, there are different songs for, rounds, intros eliminations and victories. It did start to wear a little thin after a couple of hours so hoping the developers throw in a couple of extra songs in future patches.
There is no group or team chat options built into the game. Although it would be nice to be able to communicate basic commands like “defend” or “attack” when you’re in a team arena, the lack of any communicative options keeps the game light and accessible.
The response to Fall Guys has been massive. It saw 1.5 million players in the first 24hrs and at the time of writing is currently the 2nd most popular game on Twitch.TV and has 75,000+ players in-game on Steam alone. Its player count has even surpassed the ever-popular GTA V.
I am hoping with all this interest early on we see a slew of new features and extra levels patched in soon.
Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout Review
- GAMEPLAY - 89%89%
- GRAPHICS - 75%75%
- AUDIO - 70%70%
Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout manages to take the very basic core elements of gaming like running and jumping and make it feel new. It’s the breath of fresh air the battle royal genre has been waiting for. Good clean fun with hours of playability.
For more on Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout, check out our previous coverage.