Well, it’s been a week and I still can’t get enough of Fall Guys. What can I say? I absolutely love this game! I don’t love everything about it *cough* Fall Ball *cough*, but the game as a whole is still feeling like something special. I honestly don’t know if Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout is a good game in the same way that something like Ghost of Tsushima is, but it’s fun so I suppose it doesn’t matter. Even so, I’m still trying to figure out why this is.
I already went over things like aesthetics and structure in my previous post, so this time I think I want to focus on things that are just a little less tangible. So to start, let’s take a look at it’s nature as a battle royale game. See, I’ve never really been a fan of battle royale. I played Fortnite for a short time a couple of years ago, but it didn’t really have the same impact. I enjoyed playing it with friends, but I never really wanted to play it alone. There are probably several reasons for this, but the primary one I think was one of investment.
Fortnite matches can last a long time if you’re halfway decent at the game, so eventually losing always hits hard. It always had me questioning whether or not I was wasting my time while playing alone too. Sure it was fun getting the occasional win, but it never really felt worth it. It also didn’t help that Fortnite requires a lot of skill to win; you can’t really just sit back and enjoy it. This isn’t the case with Fall Guys.
Win or lose, an episode of Fall Guys lasts 10 minutes at the most, meaning one doesn’t have to invest all kinds of time in the hopes of getting a win every once and awhile. Losing still retains its sting of course, but it’s not disheartening in the way that it was in Fortnite. Instead of feeling salty that I just lost 20 to 30 minutes of my life, I feel psyched to get back in there and try again. Losing early is no big deal, and losing late is just a case of “we’ll get ’em next time.” You’re still losing, but it doesn’t feel like a big deal. Of course, winning still feels awesome too.
I also need to say that there’s something refreshing about the wholesomeness inherent to Fall Guys. We’re not in a fight to the death, and we’re not hurting our fellow jelly beans as we do our best to outlast them. The obstacles are just that: obstacles, and none of it is even real in the context of the game’s universe. Every round is part of an episode of some Wipeout!-esque game show. We’re not killing each other to survive, we’re simply trying to outplay each other for fame and fabulous prizes. Now, I definitely don’t mind traditional death match multiplayer; I actually quite enjoy it. Still, I can’t help but enjoy this low-stakes kind of competition.
Playing everything off as goofy slapstick helps too, especially when the dude it’s happening to is dressed up like some sort of baseball mascot. Truly, I absolutely love the costumes in Fall Guys. They make no difference whatsoever in terms of gameplay, but they make all the difference to the experience itself. I dunno, there’s just something inherently entertaining about being able to say thinks like “I just got bonked-off the spinner by the stupid hot dog!” It all just makes it hard not to smile the whole time I’m playing.
I don’t know if Fall Guys has the legs to compete with all the big games coming out this fall, but for now I’m thoroughly enjoying it. It’s overall wholesomeness, low-stakes and low-time investment make it the ideal kind of multiplayer I think. The baked-in silliness of the actual fall guys helps too. Here’s hoping Mediatonic can keep the game going for a long time to come!
Are you enjoying Fall Guys? What’s your favorite costume so far?
Lede image from Fall Guys Steam page