I’ll be honest when I say that I suck at battle royale. I can find the fun in them, but you won’t ever see me winning first place. Still, the genre becomes more and more popular each and every year. Well, leave it to indie developer Mediatonic to give those of us who suck at this genre a chance by blending it with gameshow-like obstacles in Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout. Now that we’re on a level playing field, I am finally to compete, but that doesn’t mean a victory is easily obtained.
Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout has had my attention since the first time I saw it. The colorful visual and premise just struck me as a no brainer. What came at a surprise is just how vast Mediatonic’s catalog of games is—working on games such as Hatoful Boyfriend to Gears POP! seems to make it clear that you don’t know what to expect from this team.
The idea of the game is simple, 60 players enter a series of obstacle courses, and each round people are disqualified. This last until the final round that decided the winner. The obstacle courses themselves vary from “Get to the finish line” and “Collect Rings” courses, which ends up making each round unique.
However, there was a tag course that people quickly figure out how to manipulate by holding onto the ledge, making it so they can’t be tagged. I believe that this means a feature will need to be added to grab onto players, even if they are on a ledge.
The grabbing mechanic is a little wonky on its own. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. I think the grabbing system could be a little more forgiving to make up for the hectic nature of the obstacles. It just adds a layer of frustration that doesn’t need to be there when you’re already dealing with other players tumbling over you and the most useless jump in gaming.
Falls Guys doesn’t want to hand you a win, so it does limit your mobility in certain areas. If you fall too far you’ll stumble, you can trip over, and jumping seems always to be an inch shy of where you need to be. It takes skill to another level where even the best gamers will have difficulty adjusting to the movement, but it also creates a balanced experience overall.
There are some of the funniest moments of a multiplayer game to be found when 30 people try to Black Friday rush through a doorway. I found that even after running the same course multiple times, there was always something new that I had to account for during the round.
Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout comes at a time where the battle royale genre is being reserved for the most skilled players of a particular genre. Sure, games like that should exist, but this really opens the door for many others to join in the fun and possibly get first place. There’s some balancing that needs to be done as the community finds ways to cheese through courses. Still, I’m emotionally excited about this game and the range of experiences that I’m sure to have during future rounds.
Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout is out now on PlayStation 4 and PC-via Steam.
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