Fall Guys has created quite the stir. Being a free game for PS Plus users most people downloaded it and tried to give it a go. If they could get through the server chaos on the opening weekend they would have experienced one of the most uplifting and fun multiplayer games currently available.
If you have seen the TV show Takeshi’s Castle or Total Wipeout, this game is as close as you can get to competing in same. Around 60 players start the game and take part in a variety of wacky games that usually involve a sprint to the finish line with the bottom 20 being eliminated each time and then ‘falling’ out of the game. The rounds are like wacky assault courses and the characters, the customisable and whimsical, titular Fall Guys.
Like oversize team mascots with short arms they bounce and batter their way through difficult obstacles in a race to the finish line. Your only controls are jump, dive and grab and these are all used to get your Fall Guy to the end before others. From selecting the correct door out of 5 to squeeze through, to jumping over rolling beams and windmills. Fall Guys always strikes the correct balance between fun and hyper competition because at the end of the day it is last man standing.
This is where the dark arts come in. With such an open-ended and to an extent physics-based sandbox race, people will learn how to exploit the system. From blocking other players, to grabbing them in elimination games and diving through small gaps, that normal players would just run through, alls fair in love, war and Fall Guys. There are plenty of videos online already of grown men losing their minds after being eliminated from a rolling log by another player who bumps them or grabs them when they were mid movement.
The game also excels in the small amount of team-based rounds. Usually involving three teams with the last placed one getting eliminated these range from jumping through hoops, stealing tails from other players or a massive hungry hippos type game of collecting eggs and stealing them from opponents nets. The small bit of teamwork in the sea of survival is always a welcome change of pace.
The only thing that stops Fall Guys being all-conquering is repetition. Everyone will have favourite mini-games and levels and ones they dislike yet it seems the same ones come up time and time again. See-saw and memory match are two that spring to mind. They are fun the first time you play but after an hour’s session you will have played each around 5-10 times depending on your success. Of course with more DLC planned this hopefully will be less of an issue.
So, Fall Guys is an excellent Battle Royale game at the moment, time will tell if it hits the heights of Fortnite and the others, but the anonymity and lack of direct aggression in it make it one that anyone can play yet it still generates the competitive edge of a Hunger Games.