Square Enix and PlatinumGames’ new title, Babylon’s Fall hit the shelves on the 3rd of March. To call its launch underwhelming would be an understatement. Concerns regarding its poor beta and lack of any updates from the developers had fans wondering about the final state of the game.
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We here at VeryAli Gaming played through Babylon’s Fall and here is our review of the game. Despite its many issues, Babylon’s Fall does have a few pros and we really hope PlatinumGames stick to the game and end up fixing it through major updates and hotfixes.
Recapturing Babylonia’s Ziggurat
Babylon’s Fall is a live service RPG that has a real-world inspired setting. It is set in the ancient city of Babylon after its fall and the main focus of the plot is centered around the Ziggurat of Babylon. In Babylon’s Fall, the player characters alongside other banished citizens go through this test where if they came out alive they gain superhuman powers and become the Sentinels of Babylon tasked to reclaim the Ziggurat. Most of the people die following this trial but the Player Character alongside a few others end up alive and with a Gideon Coffin, a device that grants superhuman powers.
The Gideon Coffin allows the sentinels to wield weapons attached to it, these weapons can be used even when the player is unable to use on-hand weapons. Sentinels are tasked to reclaim the Ziggurat of Babylon from the Gallu, an alien race that took over the Ziggurat and is now competing with the humans over the control of the Ziggurat.
Babylon’s Fall stresses online play a lot, evident by its status as a live service game. The game lets you tackle missions in teams. This is encouraged, in fact, for even when playing solo you are always accompanied by other sentinels in your team, they never show up in-game though, only in dialogue. The online play of Babylon’s Fall is stable, you can play together with friends or have random people join you during the matchmaking session that precedes every mission.
Another strong point of Babylon’s Fall is its combat, which should come as no surprise since it is a PlatinumGame’s game. While not the greatest, it is good enough that it can be enjoyed. The combat of Babylon’s Fall is similar to that of Tales of Arise, with an emphasis on combos and perfect dodging. Unlike Tales, however, the combos are nowhere near as varied and do not carry the special moves seen in Tales. The Gideon Coffin weapons in conjunction with your on hand weapons still lead to some good combos.
Going hand in hand with combat is the weapon variety of Babylon’s Fall. Again, nothing out of the ordinary but still good. Babylon’s Fall offers a lot of weapons, from swords to magic staffs to hammers to bows. Every weapon has its own heavy and light attacks with some having special charge attacks and buffs. While the lack of combos can lead to redundancy, using multiple weapons together can still lead to fun gameplay. Just within the first few hours, I was stocked with a lot of weapons to choose from. While the weapon variety may lead to the special feeling you get from acquiring a great weapon, it still keeps the game engaging and fun.
Babylon’s Fall also offers a lot of customization. While the character customization is not the greatest, the number of armor pieces you get in the game can lead to some cool-looking sentinels. On top of this, there are pieces that are purely for aesthetics which can lead to a lot of creativity and customizations. If you are into weapon/armor collection in games, you will not be disappointed here.
Lastly, despite poor level design and mission layouts, there is also a lot of variety when it comes to mission selection. Babylon’s Fall has a lot of mission types in store for players. From main quests to ongoing events that you may participate in to missions that have you grind areas and enemies for points.
Visually, Babylon’s Fall is a poor game. It looks like a PS3 game at best. While it is up to the player to perceive the art style as they may, the visuals are still very lackluster. PlatinumGames were going for an art style reminiscent of an oil painting, and while there are certain moments this look complements the game, it largely just makes the game look worse and all over the place. Babylon’s Fall is extremely disappointing graphically, no game releasing in the current-gen should look like this, with the textures being worse than what we had 10 years ago. Babylon’s Fall did have a survey asking people for their outlook over the graphics so we have our fingers crossed for a visual overhaul.
Another con is the amount of involuntary grind Babylon’s Fall makes the player go through. It has extremely poor mission design (despite the multiple mission types), with little to no variety. The player enters a mission area, walks through a few rooms and corridors, encounters their first wave of enemies, and then does this again until the mission concludes or a boss encounter happens. While this may be a little fun with friends, it is still grinding without purpose and going through the same areas and enemies repeatedly for hours on end. Babylon’s Fall has a decent setting with the city of Babylon but the redundant nature of the level design never delivers.
The story of Babylon’s Fall, while unique, also falls short. While it is interesting in theory, barely getting any story during a tedious mission just does’nt do it justice. On top of this, the characters are largely uninteresting and have cheesy dialogue alongside poor acting during the cutscenes. All this ultimately leads to a very underwhelming experience. Despite what it could have been, given the current state of Babylon’s Fall the story is just disappointing and uninteresting. This is just the first season, however, so we hope PlatinumGames improve upon the plot over time.
The enemy types are very poor. The fun combat of Babylon’s Fall could have been something when coupled with good enemy design. As of season 1, however, the enemy design system is very poor. Most enemies are slow choreographed attacks with long pauses in between. Most enemies also have massive health bars which can be tedious if you are a solo player (which is more than likely given the very small player base currently). Rather than having interesting combos or moves, enemies are usually slow and have the same attacks that can be dodged easily. The same can be said about bosses, most bosses are just a long hack and slash grind. You wait for their simple attacks, dodge and then hack away for a while and then repeat. Some later bosses, however, are fun, especially when playing co-op with friends.
Another gripe we have with Babylon’s Fall is the server lock condition the game has and the square enix login you have to do. To boot Babylon’s Fall, you have to either create a Square Enix account or login to an existing one. As if this was not unwelcoming enough, this is followed by a region assigned to you once you are done creating an account. Players from a certain region can only play with others from the same region. Babylon’s Fall already has a very small player base, this region locking makes it unlikely for players to find other players online for co-op unless they have friends with them who are also in the same region.
Unfortunately, given the current situation of Babylon’s Fall, the cons far outweigh the pros. And the little pros the game does have are not groundbreaking, only minor things that can be enjoyable. From the graphics to the redundant level design to the poor design, Babylon’s Fall lacks everywhere.
The future of this game is hopefully not all grim though. Seeing how Square Enix is asking players about their opinion of the game through surveys and how it being a live service means it will keep getting updates over time, we hope to see Babylon’s Fall improve and become a game that lives up to the PlatinumGames name!
Reader Rating0 Votes
Fun, versatile combat
Seamless co-op, Babylon's Fall is more enjoyable with friends
Decent weapon variety
Plently of mission types to choose from
A lot of character customization
Extremely poor visuals, bad even for a PS3 game
Poor character/npc designs
Tedious, redundant mission design
Uninteresting enemy design
Uninteresting lore coupled with cheesy dialogue and poor cutscenes