Launching exclusively on PlayStation 5 (not a typo) and the Epic Games Store in the increasingly expensive “Holiday 2020” window, Godfall is a third-person “looter-slasher” developed by Counterplay Games and published by Gearbox Publishing. As seen in the below trailer, which debuted during tonight’s Game Awards festivities in Los Angeles, people in very elaborate suits of armor use big swords to accomplish some kind of goal, which probably has something to do with the big ominous hydra tower.
Also a war has been going on for 1,000 years, but now it’s the apocalypse? The premise isn’t entirely clear. “Set in a bright fantasy universe, utilize melee combat to hunt for loot, don legendary armor sets, and pursue vicious enemies,” so sayeth the official Godfall Twitter account. Not much to go on, but, okay! The game’s official website is similarly vague, promising “high-impact combat,” “legendary weapons and armor,” and optional co-op for up to three people.
Sounds like the makings for a live service game — which the world is sorely in need of, lemme tell you — but until someone actually steps up to say what you do in this game and how, that’s just my interpretation of the available information.
Godfall runs on Unreal Engine 4 according to developer Counterplay Games’ official website. That “bright fantasy universe” mentioned on previously is described here as a “brand-new high fantasy IP written by Hugo Nebula award winners,” though Counterplay does not name names. Seems like maybe something that would have also called out in the trailer, during the Game Awards, or on Twitter after the fact, so that’s weird.
It’s also worth noting that the Hugo Award and Nebula Award are two different awards granted by different organizations — the World Science Fiction Convention and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, respectively. Is this new fantasy IP the work of multiple writers, some of whom received Hugo awards, while still others involved won the Nebula? Why is this feather tucked deeply away on a barren website, rather than prominently affixed in the game’s messaging hat? Friends, I honestly have no idea.
If Counterplay Games sounds familiar, you may remember it from from Duelyst, its Kickstarter success story strategy game. (For clarification, it’s a strategy game that was successful on Kickstarter, not a game about Kickstarter success strategies. Moving on.) But while Duelyst was a stylish 2D pixel-art affair, Godfall appears to be a fully 3D, fast-paced action RPG, replete with high-poly models, high-resolution textures, realistic weather effects and, dare I say, at least 60 frames per second.
These two looks are on opposite ends of the Style Spectrum™ (which I’ve just trademarked, don’t even think about it), but it has been almost four years since Duelyst came out in 2016, so Counterplay has probably staffed up since then. Speaking of, Counterplay likes to point out that its staffed by folk who previously worked on Diablo 3 and Rogue Legacy; two games explicitly designed for nigh-infinite replayability. As far as resumes go, you could definitely do a lot worse when staffing up for a service game.