February 6, 2023

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What the fuck Platinum Games

6 min read
What the fuck Platinum Games

What the fuck Platinum Games

Everything scared us in this Babylon’s Fall . The handful of videos released and the different beta phases clearly left us perplexed. In reality, we did not understand the direction taken by the Platinum Games studio and its publisher Square Enix. Sold as a service game with questionable artistic direction, we feared it. We felt the failure. And we don’t even mention its release date, just days away from the Elden Ring juggernaut. Everything foresaw a tragic fate. However, a faint glow remained, because the strength of the Osaka studio (NieR Automata, Bayonetta, Astral Chain) lies in its nervous gameplay and its always well-crafted staging. Hope was therefore allowed.

Before getting to the heart of the matter, a question arises: what exactly is a service game? It’s simply a game that will have content monitoring, additions in the form of updates (free or paid) to guarantee a certain continuity over time. It’s time to see if Babylon’s Fall is the anticipated sinking, or if the title manages to convince a minimum of the studio’s strengthsWell, you will have understood from reading the main title, we are more in the first scenario…

Climbing the Tower of Babylon

As its name suggests, Babylon’s Fall uses the mythical biblical tower as a backdrop. This is the last bastion of a humanity at war against the Gallus, sort of protectors of the ziggurat and its many treasures. Secluded in a remote area, the Empire tries to access the hidden knowledge by sending sentries, warriors selected by Gideon’s Chest. It is a strange ceremony during which a dorsal device is installed on the participants. Then follows an excruciating pain that can lead to death the weakest. The survivors will become sentinels, entirely devoted to the Empire and the reconquest of Babylon.

But before accessing the tower and its dangers, you will first have to pass the terrible entrance test. And it’s Square Enix that imposes it on us. Before being able to play, you will have to associate your account, check your validation code, install updates, all this in far from optimized ergonomics. In the absence of swords or magic, it will take patience to overcome (especially on consoles). It should be noted that Babylon’s Fall is played exclusively connected to the internet, to understand here that even if there is a single player mode, you must be connected to play it . A questionable process which already announces the first signs of its failure.

OK, the account is set up. We will be able to begin the ascent of this tower. Oh no, not yet. You have to create your character from three different classes. Yes, it is low. We have the Huysien who are distinguished by their agility, the Agavien, intended for heavy combat, and the more in the distance. OK, created. Can we climb now?

A clue was hidden in the title

Babylon’s Fall is designed entirely as a multiplayer game, starting with the central hub in which we can access quests and merchants, nothing more. We will also meet some players between two missions. Certainly, it brings a little animation, but already, a feeling of emptiness is felt, a feeling that will never go away throughout the adventure. The hub is quite large, but there isn’t really much you can do there: talk to uninteresting NPCs, access a blacksmith who doesn’t forge anything (except after the end of the main storyline), a tavern as empty as a PMU during confinement, everything is just smoke and mirrors. Well, no big deal, maybe elements will unlock over the course of the adventure. We are going to embark on the first mission and drown our sadness in the intensity of the fights made in Platinum Games…

Assignment accepted. We expect up to three other players to take part in the adventure. A few minutes pass and still no other adventurers. Gonna have to play it solo this time. When you think about it, it’s quite unfair to point the finger at the lack of popularity of the game. But it is clear that Babylon’s Fall is sorely lacking in active players, even a few days after its release. Never mind, we don’t need anyone to climb the floors of this damn tower!

We will spare you the details of the main scenario because it is so anecdotal. Everything is an excuse to chain levels that look alike and respond to a single configuration: a corridor with a few objects to glean, an arena with waves of enemies and a mini-boss at the end. Note a few unsuccessful attempts at platforms and boss levels. Nothing more. Well, not too serious if the gameplay turns out to be successful and nervous as on the studio’s previous productions. What candor.

No doubt to have

Here we are, ready to face hordes of enemies. The bottle doesn’t matter, as long as you have the intoxication (of the fights). And the bottle stamped PlatinumGames announces a good vintage. Babylon’s Fall is a dynamic combat action-RPG. Four weapon slots are to be configured, two real weapons (main) and two so-called ghost weapons (secondary) which provide a kind of support and completion in the combos. Between swords, shields, bows, hammers and magic staves, you will have to find your configuration to inflict maximum damage on your opponents (and depending on the class selected). Parries and dodges have a central place in the gameplay. Done well, they provide a considerable attack bonus.

Unfortunately, this is far from enough. The fights are messy, you get bored very quickly, and you’ll just always spam the same attacks without worrying too much about the mechanics. Especially since the difficulty gauge is strange to say the least. The game is disconcertingly easy. With ten life potions and five revives per mission, it’s nearly impossible to fail. This state of affairs does not push us to study all the subtleties offered (if there are any) of gameplay, equipment building and element variations. Babylon’s Fall has no success to its credit? Do we necessarily have to turn to multiplayer to see a glimmer?

The more the merrier, the more we roll on the game

After a few solo levels and the appearance of a bitter taste between the thumbs, we decide to wait longer for partners. But first, head to the store to see what it offers. Last hammer blow in Babylon’s Fall coffin. Everything is done to make you buy with real money. In fact, there are two kinds of currency: the conches that we recover over the missions, and the garaz, which we obtain with euros via the store. It is specified, for the less informed, that this is a full price game, not a freemium which could justify this practice. In all fairness, conches are useless. To equip yourself properly and obtain stylish cosmetic elements, you will necessarily have to go through the checkout. No matter how hard we try to love Babylon’s Fall , to force yourself to find qualities in it, that’s clearly a lot of bullshit.

We finally found allies, two exactly. There are three of us (out of four maximum) to complete the level. We salute the ephemeral team with emotes, and we set off. We hope to touch all the interest of the game. There, we can give him a little good point. Unfortunately, it all happened too quickly. We didn’t understand everything that was happening on the screen. We rolled over the enemies with disconcerting ease. In fact, the difficulty gauge does not adapt to the number of heroes. Therefore, it is enough to have a higher level ally to smash everything. You can even put the controller down, it doesn’t change anything.

What are we left with then? It’s all disappointment? Over the missions, the time spent, we try somehow to find strengths. And apart from an interesting bestiary, some gripping music and stylish cutscenes, we found nothing. We chain the missions (which all look alike in passing) in search of a missed mechanism, a feature that could make the difference. But no. Babylon’s Fall is a bad game like a certain God fall. Despite all our sympathy for Platinum Games and the best will in the world, this is the only conclusion to be drawn.

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