Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout is one of the freshest takes on the Battle Royal genre, and I’ll tell you all about it. Created by Mediatonic, Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout is not your typical last man standing wins battle royal.
Instead, it is an obstacle course battle royal, where you, a living jelly bean (yes I am serious) must complete a certain goal in order to advance. Fail and you and the other failed players will be out of the game. I’m going to flat out admit I detest battle royal games, but occasionally there comes a game that makes me love a genre. Fall Guys IS that game.
Basics of the game
Fall Guys isn’t about being complex or story focused, instead it’s about having fun and being fun. Personally I’d say they succeed with that goal. Whilst there are microtransactions, they are simply for cosmetics, so it’s not pay to win. Even grinding the in game currency doesn’t take long, maybe two or so games. The game is very well designed and has some incredible crossovers, with my favourite being the Team Fortress 2 Scout costume.
As previously mentioned, you are a simple living jelly bean, as you play against a large group of players. At the end of each round, players will be dropped from the game should they fail to reach the goal or survive the round. Games typically consist of 4-5 rounds with it rarely being 3.
Once there’s around 10-15 players left, you will move onto the final round. This final round may have you playing Tag, be the first to touch the crown at the end or a traditional Last Man Standing. So you do not have the same final game every time.
The game seems to be inspired by old game shows like Takeshi’s Castle and Total Wipeout, with the minigame Door Dash reminding me of Takeshi’s Castle’s Knock Knock. This creates a strong feeling of nostalgia if you grew up with these old game shows. I would be shocked if they weren’t inspired by those shows.
Controls are simple to understand. You can move, jump, dive and grab people and ledges. You can use either a controller or keyboard, so you can always use what’s most comfortable to you (except maybe an arcade stick). The types of minigames come in three flavours and have a good variety of content.
Get to the end of the race course within a set number of players. For example, the first 42 players will move on to the next round. Fail and you’re kicked from the game and will have to try again. The biggest complaints for the Race mode seems to be some of its maps.
On the map See Saw, the seesaws are too easy to tip and when they reach their peak they stop the race til the platforms are flat again. If the peak was lower so that you don’t keep falling over, it would be much better and way more fun to play.
The giant fan on The Wiggly gig course goes too fast and makes it almost impossible to pass it. However this is more of a personal preference and it is meant to be a high risk high reward shortcut, so feel free to disagree.
You get paired up with the other players and must work together to have higher points to qualify for the next round. The team with the least amount of points will be kicked out of the game. Yes, all players on the loser team.
This is generally considered the most hated type of minigames by players, and I agree. It mainly stems from an uneven amount of teams instead of an even amount of teams, as it uses three teams instead of four or two, so if you have a bad team you basically have lost the game.
Communication with your team is non existent and is something that I feel needs to be implemented. This could be in the way of something like set messages like in Rocket League, the way people can say “hey pass to me!” or “I’ll grab the goalie to create an opening!”.
The first players to lose within a set number of players leave the game whilst the others move on, though you can move on by simply waiting out the time. How long can you last?
There’s no complaints on this mode or its maps. They work great and aren’t frustrating to play. Quite frankly I can’t wait to see what new maps and ideas they add to the mode. Maybe a sort of zombie survival game would be fun where you get chased in a maze by gummy bears.
I occasionally fail to get into a game, however this is due to the developers not being prepared for the amount of players at once. They have said they are working on it, so this is not a massive problem. Hackers are also a problem that appear from time to time.
Graphically, this game is a bright colourful game and is simple but very attractive. It doesn’t try to be realistic or even goofy, it’s just being simple and that’s all it needs to be. Now this is not a bad thing and this actually works in Fall Guy’s favour, as it helps the game stand out with the human vs human shooter battle royal games that saturate the genre.
Even on my not so powerful computer, it actually looks go at 30FPS and medium graphic settings. This game looks impressive and I can only imagine how well it will look on a more powerful system. There are not any complaints I have for how the game looks. Gameplay is more important for me.
Audio and Music
Audio time. So the sound effects of this game continues the simple and cute theme of the game. However, whilst the music is good, it does get incredibly repetitive after the first few hours, as I kept hearing the same looping tracks over and over. Because of this, I ended up turning off the music.
I did lower the volume for sound effects after a while, since the moans of the jelly beans did get on my nerves, so you may want to get some music playlists ready as background music instead.
I love this game. This is easily my favourite game of 2020 and all I can say is you need to try this game. I cannot wait to see what Mediatonic does next with this game. The pros and amount of fun I’ve had far outweigh the cons. A strong contender for game of the year. I wanna end this review with what Fall Guys for me represents.
Games have come along way as an industry, but also in some ways have lost some important aspects that only a few studios keep going: Fun over everything else.
Fall Guys shows you that you can follow trends, but with some imagination you can make something unique. That’s something very few game series can achieve, with only Halo, Tekken and Super Smash Bros coming to mind.
I give Fall Guys a solid 85/100. If they fixed a few of the maps, removed the Team based games, added some new game modes and maps. this game would be perfection in my eyes. It is still fun regardless and I love the flaws all the same. Season 2 is out soon too, so check out the trailer below.
Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout is available on both PlayStation 4 and PC and I hope I’ve convinced you to give this game a try. I can’t wait to see you guys on the courses and I wish you all a very good game. Our review of Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout was reviewed on PC.
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