I feel like I totally missed the boat on the battle royale phenomenon. This relatively new genre within games pits a large number of online players against each other, with only one competitor or team left standing at the end. It's a great idea, and with a majority of people connected, it makes total sense to take advantage of the online space in such a way. But you probably don't need an explanation as to why battle royale is cool, and how it's become this extremely popular form of play with both players and viewers. Personally, I tapped out early and have mostly kept away -- until Fall Guys arrived.
If you want to know how I feel about this new game from developer Mediatonic, I completely agree with our review. There's a reason this thing is the new hotness; it brings something totally fresh to the table, combining physics-based platforming with battle royale in the format of a gameshow. It's such a good concept, it's a wonder it hasn't been done before. Despite some early server issues, the game has exploded in popularity thanks to its charming presentation and capacity for hilarious hijinks. It's wonderful, and far too addictive.
The game is also a fantastic gateway into battle royale for newbies or people just looking for something different. The genre is popular, but it's also heavily dominated by shooters. Obvious examples like Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone, and Apex Legends are all great and all iterate on the idea in unique ways, but there's a clear barrier to entry. Drop into a match in any of these games and you'll likely have your arse handed to you. To stand a chance of winning, you need to build up a high level of skill. As someone who's attempted to play all three of the aforementioned titles, I don't find it fun to run around in search of a weapon, run around in search of a target, and wind up dead because someone with a thousand hours of playtime one-shotted me from a mile away. That's not to say these games aren't well made, it just feels as though they ask a lot of me for what I get in return -- which is, more often than not, abject failure.
Fall Guys doesn't so much lower this skill barrier as push it into a vat of pink slime. Yes, some dexterity is necessary to make it through each round, but the game smartly puts everyone on a level playing field. Each of the 60 players in an episode controls a clumsy, unfit-for-purpose jellybean. Everyone waddles forward, easily knocked over by obstacles as well as each other, and it's not only joyous to watch the carnage -- it means everyone has a better shot at qualifying for the next minigame. The fact it's a basic platformer also makes it more accessible; all you can do is run, jump, dive, and grab. No one is at any significant advantage. There are micro-strategies you pick up on in certain rounds, but nothing really gives you a meaningful edge over others. Heck, I've even won a few times.
The result is that, for me, this is the first battle royale title I truly enjoy playing. Putting aside that I love the presentation, the silly outfits, and the fun obstacle courses, Fall Guys makes the last man standing structure approachable and consistently engaging in a way I've not seen before. I sincerely hope its popularity isn't a flash in the pan, because it's doing something truly unique with a genre that had previously felt a little played out. In the battle royale of battle royale games, Fall Guys comes out on top for me.
Do you agree with Stephen's assessment? Is Fall Guys your favourite battle royale experience? Don't rock the seesaws in the comments section below.