Let’s begin the review with a stark personal story. We promise this is 100 per cent true: we fell asleep playing Babylon’s Fall. Multiple times. Sat there in an office chair, DualSense in hand, fast asleep. That could almost be the end of the review, surely? A new game from Platinum of all people, patron saints of hardcore gaming — some of the fastest-paced and most demanding combat in the medium. Responsible for Vanquish and Bayonetta for goodness’ sake! And now it's put out a game that we’d market to insomniacs. And we don’t mean the Marvel's Spider-Man and Ratchet & Clank kind.
Platinum and Square Enix have stumbled into the "games as a service" arena here, the soulless Milton Keynes of gaming already overflowing with titles rivalling for an audience. This, oddly, includes Square Enix and People Can Fly's very own Outriders, which operates in a similar space (despite having rather different gameplay). So what's the story with Babylon's Fall? We'll try and piece it together. We're still not totally sure what we played and what we simply dreamed, as the sheer dullness of the experience ushered in the sandman to grace our eyelids with his sleepy quarry.
The first thing that struck us about Babylon's Fall is its atrocious visuals. Now, we're well aware that graphics aren't everything and that the oft-used and frequently disingenuous exclamation of "it looks like a PS3 game" is wielded rather carelessly, but — in places — Babylon's Fall really does look like a PS3 title, especially in the quality of its character models, which we found muddy, poorly-defined, and shockingly ugly.
In a game that's about 90 per cent combat by volume, you need visual clarity — and that's simply not present here. In fact, the presentation is rather lacking in general, with generic and confusing menus, and a hub world filled to the brim with distracting icons — yet none of them are actually helpful. We received a notice in said hub that told us we had new items in our "Inbox", written in the same green text as a nearby prompt asking us to press "up" on the d-pad to "claim items". So we dutifully hit "up" and, no, that brought us to the game's Battle Pass. Accessing the inbox required us to climb a flight of stairs and open a treasure chest. A chest is not an inbox, Platinum. It's just a regular box.
This kind of bizarre failure in clarity characterises Babylon's Fall rather effectively. You can jump, but not between the small docks in the hub, even though it would save time. The game doesn't trust you to make your own way, forcing you to avoid clear shortcuts simply because they're not the right way.
And that's before you even get into one of the many near-identical missions that see you walk along a linear path before being locked in a battle arena with various fuzzy, boring monsters. Here, you'll engage in some relatively slick Platinum-style combat; the major gimmick here being your character's "Gideon Coffin", a spectral armament that allows you to equip up to four weapons at the same time. That doesn't amount to much, though, as you'll simply find the shoulder button or trigger that seems to do the most damage and mash that instead of square or triangle for your basic light and heavy attacks. Different builds are certainly possible, but the enemies aren't unique or threatening enough to make character progression feel like it matters, even in the endgame skirmishes.
In fact, the loot aspect of the game is shockingly unengaging. There's an initial gacha-esque thrill to the cascade of collectables you'll receive on completing a story mission, but this gives way to ennui when the armour all looks so poor, and the weapons essentially amount to an extended game of "number go up", without drastically modifying your playstyle or allowing for particularly unique, interesting builds. Compounding this problem is the game's aforementioned weakness in communicating with the player; often you'll receive loot that's superior on paper but in practice it completely disappoints.
And so it goes, unfortunately. We tried to drag any and all enjoyment we could out of Babylon's Fall, and the best we can do is highlight the odd moment of visual promise — some of the vistas are admittedly impressive-ish, and the boss battles could be mistaken for something spectacular by a passive observer of the game being played.
Even bringing in friends doesn't improve matters — you barely need to interact with them, so you basically just end up wasting four people's time instead of just your own. It also seems pretty glitchy — we found ourselves inexplicably locked out of battle arenas a few times, forced to simply watch our teammates kill the enemies while we hovered around outside fecklessly. On the plus side, watching the mindless battle unfold wasn't that different to actually being in there and mashing the buttons ourselves.
Ultimately, we just don't see a reason why you should play Babylon's Fall when such superior alternatives exist in the likes of the recently released Destiny 2: The Witch Queen, or even Square Enix's own Outriders. Sure, they're not melee-focused, but when the gameplay is this weak we don't see that it particularly matters. Think of it this way: you wouldn't play Babylon's Fall even if it was strictly single-player, as it's by some distance Platinum's worst game. And yes, we include the fairly risible Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan in that equation.
Given the nature of live service titles it's possible that Babylon's Fall could see a phoenix-style resurrection with some rebalancing, but somehow, we doubt it. Hopefully this absolute misfire doesn't signal a profound change in direction for Platinum Games; this title had a troubled conception and it shows, but rather than iterate on things, we'd rather see a return to single player dominance. There's just nothing about Babylon's Fall that warrants going back to the drawing board. Except for that fantastic boss battle in which you race the Batmobile against those jorts-clad pink elephants. Oh wait, that was just a dream we had when the game put us to sleep.
Oooof that sucks..i was hoping this might turn out to be a diamond in the rough but nope..its crap..incidently i fell asleep playing elden ring at 2am on thursday morning..
Had the game since release and agree with everything mentioned in the review, but I've kept playing just so I can atleast finish the campaign. Did you also encounter problems finding people to join your missions? As so far I've only had two matches that had a full team, usually I find no one or one person to join me (European servers)
Absolutely rancid demo put me off this. Probably the right move.
@Kooky_Daisuke Probably thinking about finishing Scalebound so much it's affecting their concentration on developing their current games. Hope they get to finish it but hope it doesn't end up like this review.
Great review, if a little harsh on Milton Keynes 🤣 I actually enjoyed Platinum's Ninja Turtles game but this really does look like an absolute stinker all round.
everyone should be very concerned about the fate of platinum games. they look to be hanging on by a thread.
I think we all knew this would be bad. Platinum can make really good games but they peaked at metal gear rising for me (haven't played Bayonetta 2 as i dont own a switch but its no dmc5 for observations).
Also why are we taking companies that specialize in single player and give them online multiplayer games. Platinum and Babylon, Remedy and Crossfire.
Well, it sure is a game. I'm genuinely surprised they finally got someone to willingly review this. Super disappointing to see from both Square & Platinum. This game looks like it was a no budget game that should've just been cancelled but Square wanted to try to recoup their money. Hopefully this isn't the nail in the coffin of Platinum.
I’ll say the obligatory - Thank you for playing this, Stuart, so we don’t have to.
Ouch. That's rough.
Platinum seem to have been in a weird place since they moved away from Granblue Fantasy.
And it looks like Square-Enix are experimenting hard lately in various genres. Normally that would be great to see, but they're not quite nailing anything.
I was on the fence about this game though. This review has pushed me firmly off.
@Porco I wouldn't be surprised if Nintendo or MS bought them.
A strong example of why I hate live service games. Too often it's code for "a rushed game that is designed to make as much money as possible". They rarely go to plan and have little artistic merit.
Every publisher wants to chase that damn Live Service dragon. It’s heroin to them.
They never realize that you never catch the dragon. Unless you are insanely lucky, like Epic or Activision.
Brutal! Heard much the same elsewhere.
But the review makes no mention of the fact that this game is like 60 quid and features all of the bad monotisation that's inherent to live service games - most of which are at least free to play and by most people's standards superior in the gameplay department.
Not that I care anyway really, these games can all get in the bin as far as I'm concerned.
@TeapotBuddha It's in the cons at the end - there was too much else to slag off in the main body of the text to fit it in
This will either be a decent game in 4 years or completely abandoned in 4 months.
@Northern_munkey I just beat godrick!
Between A Quiet Man, Left Alive, Balan Wonderland , and now Babylons Fall,, I truly wonder if Square ever cancels games in development....and if they do how terrible are they if games like this actually get released?
This here is what happens when you make a game with absolutely no soul. With most games you can at least see what they were going for and that there was genuine passion in at least some of the people involved in the conception but with this it's obvious nobody at any point gave even a slight s--t.
It’s such a shame, what a waste of developers time and company money.
Especially when they could have been putting the time into making Bayonetta 3 look better than it did in that gameplay video a while ago.
Never sure about this studio now, they were great with Bayonetta 1 and Vanquish and Joe, since then they gone down hill for me.
I hope FFXVI is staying safe.
Yes i agree with the score this game is terrible.wtf.this game and metal gear survive is one of the worst game ever.word up son
"A new game from Platinum of all people, patron saints of hardcore gaming"
As I said on NLife, people are severely overvaluing PG, and that's what leads to disappointment.
Time for Platinum games to join the Playstation suite of studios and be given a chance to (re)focus on a single player only, high octane and energetic action game - similar to how they did with Vanquish.
> it's too bad though, Babylon's Fall is kind of a dope title for a game.
@Savage_Joe Acknowledging that this studio have put out great games isn’t overvaluing. In fact, what you’re doing is undervaluing them.
I feel like plautium will be bought out by another studio, it will probabaly be PlayStation or Nintendo, maybe even tencent, hopefully the latter doesn’t happen
Platinum always have at least two projects cooking at the same time and they are spreading themselves thin… I feel this is the B-Team, hopefully the A-team is on Bayonetta 3 but they should be careful because it’s been a while they can’t be trusted to deliver quality on all their projects.
I think they should work on something that's already established and was well received to increase morale over there. Vanquish 2, Bayonetta 3, Nier: Automata 2 or Metal Gear Rising 2 are all fine choices... man Platinum has a mix record but when they're on fire they are blazing hot 🔥
Platinum Games has quite the range of games, ranging from excellent, like Bayonetta, to total travesties like Babylon's Fall. They have more good games than they have great or bad games. I'd love for more Bayonetta games on PlayStation, but that won't happen. Instead, we get poop.
might aswell put it on ps plus like godfall , i don't see people buying this
As ever SE is trying to chase trends and failing hard at it. Platinum right now is just rough and i really hope Bayo 3 is not a let down, honestly i think its a matter of time before someone buys them and i really hope its Sony, MS or Nintendo and not Tenscent.
I just want to say: I have fallen asleep during some pretty great games! I have a full time job and a family, and my gaming time is pretty much limited to when the family goes to sleep. I have fallen asleep with controller in hand so many times when I should have just given up and gone to bed instead of trying to play. Thank goodness for the automatic rest mode feature!
That said, I am very sure this game is terrible. I have heard of no one who enjoyed it. This game was on my wish list, and now no longer is.
Not surprising at all...I have decided to never play this game.
Hopefully PlatinumGames next project on PS5 will fair better.
@strawhatcrew not gonna happen
theres a bad blood between sony and platinum because of bayonetta on ps3
@arra1213 Well if they are about to go bankrupt or are just not doing so good financially (like now) I'm pretty sure they will sell to the highest bidder no matter who's mad at who.
Platinum or bronze?
Excellent. Live Service games/stuff should fail.
Anyone remember Google Stadia? No? Good.
This just sounds like a dreadful f2p phone game. For £50...
@Juanalf doubt sony will nab them
thats why platinum is offering themselves to xbox last month
like they want to continue scalebound
or that its not true that foreign entity could not buy a japanese studio
Well I couldn't even log into the demo with my Square Enix account although the login data was 100% correct... So that was my first and last impression of this game..
I hope the crashing failure of this game and the resounding triumph of Elden Ring teaches the Industry something.
Big ol' oof for Platinum.
I tried the demo for 5 minutes and deleted it before finishing the tutorial. The game is just that bad.
This looks like a game that was stuck in development hell for a decade and was barely put together in one year. Jesus Platinum, what's going on with you people?
I do hope they get their wish to resurrect Scalebound, because this... this is not IT..
Brutal piece, but probably not undeserving.
I knew this would be a stinker as soon as the first trailer dropped, tbh, so it hasn't even been on my radar. Although this sounds even worse than I expected.
I just hope Bayonetta 3 turns out well for the people who have been waiting years for that game to release. And, for Platinum's sake, I hope it sells very well.
@nessisonett I am being realistic with PG. I won't deny the good games they've made like Bayo, Nier, and Okami, the best game they've made IMO. But the expectations of everyone believing that Platinum will make a banger every single time when they have made more average to bad games than genuinely good games is what's hurting them.
Platinum games made a TMNT game?
When and would you recommend it?
The recent collection announcement made me want to play anything TMNT especially if platinum games are involved.
Too many projects, to small a studio?
Probably helps explains the delays with bayonets 3
Anyone considered that platinum might also have a junior or sister team to the main one that does all the heavy hitters. I'd like to think so. As for Babylon Fail this was the first time I tried to see how hideous I could make a character and I also fell asleep with controller in hand.
PG are starting to fall off, if not already
Wow, ennui. Kudos to anyone who that includes a word in a gaming article that I need to look up.
Well, it's not surprising. Hard kind of game to make and unless PG drops a huge roadmap and really tries to communicate with the few players they have still and websites like this one, it's going to die. The reason games like Warframe and Destiny do so well is because of communication and delivering on promises of future content. I don't see that here.
No reason why this game should have failed. They announced it YEARS ago. It was supposed to launch years ago as well.
@arra1213 I mean...PS3 was many many many years ago. I'm sure alot of the folks over at Platinum weren't there when they had whatever petty thing there was with Playstation. shrugs
I'm a big fan of Milton Keynes, so I might try this.
@arra1213 Yeah probably because they made a horrible port of the game.
vixe with Babilion Fall turning into a disapoitment, now i worried Bayonetta 3 migh become a mess.
I know this comment will sound contrary to the media opinion but I don't think it deserves all the hate it is getting. It feels like every journalist got a talking points against this game and carbon copied them. It as if Destiny had a perfect launch or FFXIV version 1.0 was never a thing. Instead of applauding them for trying a new thing, we get a visceral screed decrying Platinum for defiling the entire ecosphere of gaming with this release.
Then the masses love to pile on. This comment will have no spot in this discussion. I'll be criticized for enjoying a 'terrible' live service game. Maybe they should have Genshin Impacted it and charged for everything else later. Currently there isn't anything to purchase but cosmetics and Ubisoft pulls that with every Assassins Creed release. Last I checked those cost full price.
In years to come the harshness that was projected upon this game will be reflected on. Hopefully less emotionally than the reviews that were published.
@Dr-M Yeah, Platinum games made a TMNT game a while back. TMNT: Mutants in Manhattan (or something similar)
It was delisted very quickly digitally so physical copies go for around £25+ on PS4 and XOne.
I enjoyed it. It had the Platinum games depth of combat, but the level design was not up to the usual Platinum standard. Worth a play through for sure buddy.
@StuartGipp my apologies! How did I miss that? 🤦🏼
Part of that is because they make more average, good, and bad games than they do great games.
@PhhhCough congrats bud..he was an utter pain in the arse..sorry i didnt reply but i was knee deep up in the citadel area having my prostate examined by just about every nasty little (and bloody mahoosive) monsters up there..back on subject i really enjoyed transformers devastation by platinum games on the ps4..
The advertising for this game is also AWFUL. SE claim it's in the same style as Nier Automata/Bayonetta, the good games from Platinum, however it's nothing like it.
Game deserves to fail, especially after all those MTXs
Always love waking up to news of a failure of a live service game. (Sips my coffee) ahhh
It appear squareenix just gave pittance budget to platinum games and says "make us live service games", and somehow hope it will be a successful game.
Squareenix executive should be less greedy and make nier automata 2 with platinum and yoko taro instead. I'm sure that game will sells way better than this game.
So I get this is the blandest game ever. But hey, microtransactions in a $50 game, where's that in the Gran Turismo 7 review?
@Northern_munkey no worries. I wandered off and started exploring the liurnia area. Massive enemies here as well. Masterpiece of a game.
Man, watching devastator come over the buildings for that fight, was mindblowing! This is one of plats better games.
@Flaming_Kaiser i think the reason was sony itself fixed the game since platinum cant make it work on ps3
sony doesnt want a dev that they cant rely on lol
@arra1213 Thats a good reason you got me there. 🤪
From what I've read Platinum had a gem, and Square kept demanding they dumb it down. Bunch of exposes on YouTube and stuff, so take it with a grain of salt. I wouldn't be surprised if it's true though, I love Square but there have been a slew of weird choices they've made lately. I'm confused what drugs they're on.
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