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God’s Trigger Review

Edited by: Tiffany Lillie

God’s Trigger, developed by One More Level and published by Techland, is a new take on the core mechanics of Hotline Miami but with a few minor twists. Playing as an angel and demon in a swappable character duo with differing abilities, you are tasked with taking down the four horsemen of the apocalypse in a predictable and campy story. The swappable character dynamic is an interesting one, but only managed to feel lopsided and likely balanced for cooperative multiplayer due to the leveling system.

With the characters leveling independently of one another (in addition to a needlessly tedious menu system), my demon quickly outleveled the angel simply due to my enjoyment of her play style over his. This snowballed into having one character that felt as if they were on par for the abilities needed for the area and another that was being dragged along against his will, leaving me floundering in sections that required his specific abilities. A single twist in the last boss fight (that I won’t spoil) was somewhat refreshing, although it was far too little too late.

Story

From a story perspective, God’s Trigger is about as predictable as it gets. Marred by poor voice acting and questionable microphone quality, the delivery is ham-handed at best and never managed to be enough to keep my interest for long. While the cutscenes with animatics showcased some beautiful artwork, the animation quality in the 3D cutscenes was on about the same level as the voice acting. The story may not have been the main focus, but it was a  detriment to my overall impression of the game.

Mechanics

With many of God’s Trigger’s mechanics drawing inspiration from Hotline Miami, it can be easy to compare the two. Both have fast-paced breach-and-clear gameplay from a top-down perspective, with only your basic weapon and whatever weapons you manage to scavenge from fallen foes. However, in God's Trigger, there is a strong emphasis on longer levels that incorporate a few minor puzzle mechanics that serve more to slow the progression of the level than provide a challenge, as well as a few timing challenges that just never quite felt as if they meshed with the core mechanics.

Having to repeat long timing sections — or reopen chests and doors due to the fact you were killed by a single wayward bullet — made for a tedious experience. Had the two been more cleanly separated into distinct parts, they may have worked. That much of the level progression is tied to these little challenges (I have a hard time calling them puzzles), it’s hard to say.

The boss fights were by far and away the worst part of the whole experience. Bookended by expositional cutscenes, the fights were never more than either a waiting game or some environmental gimmick, neither of which make good use of the core mechanics. They just end up wasting your time instead of challenging you.

Overall

An average breach-and-clear game, delivering the classic die-and-retry flow quite well, with some noticeable flaws, most noticeably in the extra puzzle and timing elements. The gameplay has a difficult time supporting the threadbare story and the bosses are more of a spectacle than a challenge, but at this price point, if this is your kind of game, it’s hard not to recommend to fans of the genre, as the moment-to-moment gameplay stands up well enough on its own.

5

The Verdict: Fair

While the voice acting, animation, and story leave a lot to be desired, and the boss fights and puzzles felt as if they were shoehorned in, the core gameplay is enough to recommend this title to fans of breach-and-clear style top-down shooters.

See About Us to learn how we score

Coal Fire
Written by
Tuesday, 28 May 2019 05:49
Published in Action

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CoalFire is an enthusiastic gamer who has spent the last few years digging for the hidden gems of indie gaming. A scientist by education, he breaks down the components of games sorting out what works, what doesn't and how it all works to create a cohesive experience. When he's not analyzing them, he's still playing.

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