Babylon’s Fall Review – How The Mighty Has Fallen
Built on the foundation of Nier Automata’s combat system, Babylon’s Fall is Platinum Games’ first foray into the realm of a shared world multiplayer looter-slasher. As the title suggests, the Action RPG is based around the biblical tale of the Tower of Babel. Only the chosen few who can survive the Gideon’s Coffin – a device equipped by all recruits – can become a Sentinel. Players assume the role of one such Sentinel, who embarks on the journey to scale a massive tower known as Ziggurat and unravel its mysteries.
You’ll be greeted with a basic character creator that gives you the option to pick one of three classes i.e. Hyusein, Agavien, and Geleilion, for your character. The Hyusein are seafarers from the east and are characterized by their agility and aggressiveness. The Agavien are noble soldiers from the mountains, who excel in the use of heavy weaponry. Lastly, the Geleilion are skilled hunters from the western isles, who are proficient with the use of ranged weapons and poisons. As is typically the case with such games, one class serves as the ‘tank’ specialist, another as the long-range specialist, while the third one balances out the other two in skillset.
You begin your journey in a hub area known as Sentinel Force HQ, not too different from Destiny’s tower. It’s here that you’ll be able to gain access to new quests as well as visit shops or blacksmiths to purchase new equipment. You’ll also have the opportunity to interact with other players, and party up to take on quests together. While cooperative multiplayer is the main focus, all quests can be taken on solo. A total of three other players can tag along with you on your quests, each of which usually allows you to ascend three to four floors of the Ziggurat. You’ll also find higher-level loot and boost your character’s stats along the way.
It’s all very generic, and, in a market saturated with loot-centric multiplayer games, there’s nothing Babylon’s Fall is doing to stand out. The combat, too, feels fairly basic and clunky. You can perform either a light or a heavy attack and can extend them into a basic combo or two using different combinations. In addition, you have access to two spectral weapons, which can be used in conjunction with your standard attacks. They have a cooldown period associated with them, however, and can’t be used all the time. There’s also the ability to dodge incoming attacks, and, much like in the studio’s previous games, you can momentarily slow down enemies upon performing a perfect dodge.
There’s some variety in terms of weapon types – there’s a sword, a hammer, a bow, a rod, and a shield. Depending on your class and weapon type, you’ll either engage in ranged or close-range combat. Enemies are come in the form of both grounded and aerial creatures, though they’re lacking in terms of variety. The combat never feels as fluid as in games like Bayonetta, Nier Automata, and Astral Chain, partly due to the animations being extremely clunky-looking. Combat encounters often take too long, ultimately becoming a war of attrition instead of requiring skill or technique. On top of that, the quests, the levels, and combat encounters are highly repetitive and strung together by a forgettable narrative that doesn’t serve as much encouragement to press on in a game that’s already struggling to offer any entertainment.
There are moments of fun to be had, but only when Babylon’s Fall is played cooperatively with a group of online players who know what they’re doing. Unfortunately, the troublesome economy system doesn’t paint a reassuring picture of the game’s online lifespan. Regardless, in the here and now, it’s quite apparent that the only way to have anything close to resembling a half-decent experience here is by playing in coop with players who are familiar with loot-centric games. Though, even diehard fans of loot-centric games will be hard-pressed to invest the time needed to reach the endgame content, which is when the game starts to get a little more interesting.
Much like in other areas, Babylon’s Fall is severely lacking in the graphical department. It aims for a painterly aesthetic, but the result is a game that looks like it’s two console generations old. The animations lack fluidity and polish, and production values remain subpar. On the plus side, some of the music is decent and gels well with the game’s setting.
To put it mildly, Platinum Games’ very first live service outing falls short in just about every area. The combat, level design, and narrative are all monotonous and shallow. While solo players will struggle to press on, those who play the game in coop multiplayer will find their moments of fun in an otherwise generic experience.
Babylon’s Fall Game Information
- Price: $59.99
- Publisher: Square Enix
- Developer: Platinum Games
- Platform: PS5 (Reviewed)
- Disclaimer: A review code was given by the publisher