Between 1986 and 1990, Japan ran a knockout-style competitive game show called Takeshi's Castle. This oddball series involved dozens of confused contestants partaking in grueling challenges that were as wildly creative as they were utterly chaotic and nonsensical at times. I bring this up because Takeshi's Castle would go on to inspire a wave of similar popular television shows around the world that we know today - but never a successful video game. This is where Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout comes in, taking the tired battle royale formula and mashing it with Takeshi's Castle's distinct flavour to create one of the most rewarding and entertaining games of 2020.
Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout, from developer Mediatonic, is classified as a "battle royale", but certainly doesn't share any DNA with the likes of PUBG and Fortnite. Instead, it carves its own path by turning the gameplay loop from PvP to PvE. Dozens of players - assuming the identities of colourful jelly beans - are loaded on a variety of obstacle courses with qualifying and elimination goals. With over 20 courses (at least as far as I could count), each with their own objectives, hazards, and limitations, players must duke it out to become the last man standing.
Fall Guys is a knee-jerk response to the market while also being an unique battle royale sugarcoated with the high-energy novelty of a crazy Japanese game show...
Make no mistake, Fall Guys isn't going to be winning any awards or getting Game of the Year, but it's exactly the game the world needed right now...
Most courses (or Mario Party-style mini-games, if you will) are a barrel of fun...
Writer. Enthusiast of all things geek. Legend has it he completed Final Fantasy VII without a memory card.
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4 August 2020
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