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How Godfall’s Combat Works (& What PS5 Gameplay Looks Like)

The “looter-slasher” gameplay of Godfall is centered around melee combat, and here’s how the acquisition of new weapons and armor is tied into that.

How Godfall's Combat Works (& What PS5 Gameplay Looks Like)
How Godfall’s Combat Works (& What PS5 Gameplay Looks Like)

Over the past month, Counterplay Studios has released a number of trailers for Godfall, an action RPG about magical Knights with Valorplate armor and ornate weapons, carving their way through the monsters and minions of the elemental realms. Godfall has been described by developers as a “Looter-Slasher” game, a concept that adapt the trappings of the “Looter-Shooter” video game genre to gameplay revolving around elegant melee combat and the acquisition of newer, shinier blades and panoplies.

The plot of Godfall, set to be released along with the PS5 near the end of 2020, revolves around a group of heroes called the Valorian Knights, an ancient order of warriors with the power to wield legendary suits of armor known as Valorplates. In true epic fantasy tradition, the surviving members of the Valorian Knights must come to together to save the world of Aperion, which is divided into four Elemental Realms, from the machinations of a currently unnamed Mad God.

As a next-generation game, Godfall will be taking advantage of the PS5’s advanced graphical capabilities to render beautiful large-scale environments, transforming weapons, and Valorplates armor sets with dynamic features such as fluttering capes. The main campaign will be single-player, with the option to summon two other players in co-op. Most notably, developers have stated Godfall will not have micro-transactions in any form, a decision that wasn’t just made out of principle; a game built on the steady acquisition of new weapons would break if the best weapons were walled off by cash.

Godfall’s Hack’n’Slash Combat is Centered On Mobility & Evasion

How Godfall's Combat Works (& What PS5 Gameplay Looks Like)
How Godfall’s Combat Works (& What PS5 Gameplay Looks Like)

The gameplay of Godfall, displayed in great detail in a recent gameplay walkthrough trailer, seems to draw strong inspiration from other classic hack’n’slash titles. The ability to block, parry, and throw your character’s shield is similar to the combat in the latest God of War, while the wide range of weapons with different Movesets bears a strong resemblance to the weapon collection in the Dark Souls games.

The meat of Godfall’s gameplay, as described by game director Keith Lee, is mobility and evasion: a single press of the dodge button sends players hurtling across the map, while the special abilities and heavy attacks of weapon types like Longswords or Dual Blades close the gap between Knight and foe. Getting in, striking, and getting out is the name of the game, so to speak.

Godfall’s Loot Will Unlock New Movesets (and Possibly Elemental Attacks)

How Godfall's Combat Works (& What PS5 Gameplay Looks Like)
How Godfall’s Combat Works (& What PS5 Gameplay Looks Like)

Godfall is set in an explicitly magical science-fantasy setting, but the emphasis of the game is on swift, aggressive melee combat, not standing back and casting magic missiles. Building on this premise, character progression is tied explicitly to the equipment player characters don: instead of gaining a class level, a PC will discover a more powerful Valorplate (or upgrade their old one). Instead of acquiring a new spell or weapon skill, players pillage a new weapon with a different ratio of speed, range, and area coverage.

Additionally, the different “Realms” of Godfall, themed around the elements of Earth, Wind, Water, and Fire, may not just be an excuse to design realms with different enemies and environmental details. An elemental vulnerability system might also be in play, incentivizing players to seek out certain weapons to target an enemy’s weakness; to defeat a boss in the Realm of Fire, for instance, players may need to loot weapons from the Realm of Water.

What is the name of the Mad God the Valorian Knights must fight? Why are they so few members of the Knights Valorian left? Why are the creatures of the Elemental Realms so hostile to the players characters? Where do all these fancy weapons and Valorplates comes from? To truly make its mark during the holiday season, Godfall will need to answer these questions with a compelling, novel plot that gives the the slashing and looting gameplay both purpose and significance.

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