Tuesday, 30 July 2019 07:00

Godhood Early Access Review

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Edited by: Jade Swann

Published and developed by Abbey Games, Godhood promises us everything we’ve ever wanted in life — to be god. Well… not quite. It does, however, let us be the god of a new religion. You get to inspire and/or terrify your disciples and worshippers into building monuments in your honor and to convert infidels you come across — truly, any gamer’s dream… in theory anyway.

How to become a god

The first step is to set up the basics of your religion. It’s every narcissist’s dream — you get to decide your appearance, even how your followers address you, and more! After choosing a virtue for your religion — and make no mistake, war and lust can totally be virtues here — you are off to start your religion with a single follower.

After a few short tutorial steps, you are let loose on the continent with a single mission: to convert non-believers, conquer villages, and increase your influence. Starting out with a team of three initiates that can take one of several classes, the player sets out to conquer their first village, gaining followers (which serve as experience points) as they go.

Maya help you?

Godhood is, in its entirety, designed with a distinctly Mayan or Aztec look. The default names given to initiates also fit this theme quite well. Despite the relatively simple graphics of it all, the “blocky” charm of it is undeniable. There aren’t any high resolution or realistic character models, but the vivid color and creative customization options make for a visually appealing experience anyway.

The bright and happy style of the game actually initially sugarcoats some of the more challenging aspects Godhood has to offer. Most of what you actually do happens in your village, where you can inspire your initiates to perform certain tasks — be it rituals or miracles, resource gathering, or even the odd human sacrifice. You really only leave your village to attack others.

Losing your religion

One of the least well-made aspects of this title is combat. While the player gets to choose which three of their initiates fight (assuming there are more than three to choose from), and also selects occasional passive bonuses and abilities, there is no way to participate in the actual fight… and worse yet, no way to skip it either.

Targets are chosen automatically, and not always to the player’s advantage — for example, if an enemy proves immune to a charm attempt from a lust priest, rather than targeting a different enemy next round, the priest will just try again! With no ability to skip the sometimes minutes-long fights, the player has to sit and wait for it to be over before they can continue playing.

The setup for the combat — choosing classes and strategies — is great, but without even the ability to choose a target or which attack to use next, it feels like an important part of the game just isn’t there.

The one true… cult?

With the exception of combat, Godhood has some pretty solid gameplay mechanics. There are a good variety of stats and character classes, each of which focuses on different stats. Through winning fights, the characters gain the ability to perform miracles, which lets them raise stats chosen by the user. This can only be done so often, though, and as the characters get on in age (forty-two, if you’re wondering what this game considers “old”) you need to replace them with new, younger initiates, which can only be done every few (in-game) years. This means a lot of strategy is needed if you want to avoid grinding until you can get better initiates.

That isn’t to say that the game is grindy — that’s not the case at all, however, if you plan badly and don’t have the right characters for a certain fight, you’ll be stuck until you can get new ones or at least level up the ones you have by performing miracles.

Learning the rites

Godhood has a bit of a steep learning curve. While, technically speaking, the basics are explained and you learn how to perform, say, rituals, you don’t get an explanation on what they do or why you need to do them. That is learned either via trial and error or via the admittedly very helpful tooltips.

New mechanics get added relatively quickly, often without warning. This is less of an issue on the second or third game, but can be disorienting for first-time players. Speaking of multiple attempts, Godhood has huge replay value based on the fact that you select virtues for your religion at the beginning. Each virtue has different text and events, and even the little comments from the initiates vary greatly. While a peace-focused zealot may start a battle with “Peace be upon us,” a lust-focused enforcer may say “My eyes are up here.” War and chastity each have their own text as well, and each set of lines and unique events make it feel like an entirely different game.


The Verdict: Great

Godhood isn’t perfect — the complete lack of interactive combat is quite annoying, but the strategy and planning elements are superb. It’s just the right amount of challenge mixed with a good helping of humor. In addition to cute and appealing visuals, it also has a lot more replay value than it may appear at first glance. Conquering the world one initiate at a time has never been so much fun!

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Mel Hawthorne

Mel is a London-based copywriter that has been writing about video games for a few years now. After growing up in Vienna, Austria she followed her dreams and moved to London. Said dreams took her through a few different jobs (which included working as a web developer, shopkeeper and translator) before she settled on what she really wanted to do – periodically anger video game fans by expressing her opinions on games through various online publications. When she’s not writing about video games, she’s probably playing them... or walking her dog in a park. Since that depends largely on the English weather, Mel has plenty of time to indulge in her favourite games. These include but are not limited to Ark: Survival Evolved, Skyrim, GTA V, and oddly enough, Amnesia: Memories. She loves Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. She thinks Star Trek is way better than Star Wars and isn’t afraid to admit it – Live long and prosper!