Babylon's Fall, we tried the beta of the long-awaited PlatinumGames title

Babylon's Fall, we tried the beta of the long-awaited PlatinumGames title

Babylon's Fall

In a competitive world like that of video games, years of occasional communication and dropping out easily give rise to unpleasant rumors about the situation of your development house, especially if it is a renowned software house. The PlatinumGames have often been immune to this type of rumor thanks to the results achieved over the years: some of the best actions around are their work and, despite limited resources, they have almost always proved to be up to the tasks entrusted to them. So there was never really a need to worry about their approval.

After the departure of President Minami, however, something in the Japanese team has clearly changed. A more marked push towards absolute independence (understood as the possibility of publishing games on their own) led Platinum to focus on many projects at the same time, the cancellation of Scalebound caused many internal landslides and, finally, the termination of the working relationship with Cygames - linked to Granblue Re-link - managed to add additional concerns that certainly didn't need to. What was considered by many to be one of the most capable Japanese teams ever in creating titles with superfine gameplay now seems in chaos, due to too many projects under its belt, years of almost total silence (Bayonetta 3 has reappeared only recently), and a general strategy that seems too close to what Level 5 did before it collapsed.

Among the main "dark points" that have led even the historical fans to have some doubts about the house is Babylon's Fall: an action initially unveiled with a promising trailer and then transformed - apparently at the behest of the publisher Square Enix - in a live service title quite different from the initial concept. The game has been discussed for a long time, but until now there has been no way to try it and, despite the doubts, we were convinced that "pad in hand" Platinum would once again be able to demonstrate its skill in creating. action of value.

Unfortunately, however, the Babylon's Fall beta test made available to us has not only not changed our initial impressions, but has even aggravated them. Let's see why.

Structure: little and already seen

Babylon's Fall: this screen makes the fighting look like an epic duel. Not so The first impact with the beta of Babylon's Fall was not exactly the best, mostly because the contents were nothing short of thin. For heaven's sake, it is rare that such experiences are full of things to do, however here we are talking literally about an almost empty hub with a single list of basic missions that can be tackled, all belonging to the first floor of the "Ziggurat": the dungeon where the entire Babylon's Fall campaign takes place. The beta even lacks a tutorial arena where you can test the maneuvers, the blacksmith is not active and, apart from small rewards for some daily objectives and the bulletin board of the aforementioned missions, there are only negligible dialogues.

For heaven's sake, there is little to protest in this field (it is still a beta at the end), but while playing we have unfortunately noticed a couple of things that are far from pleasant related to the quests that can be faced: if you activate them you have a limited time for the other connected players to decide to participate, after which the mission starts automatically. If that wasn't enough, quick matchmaking (which should be the best way to find activated missions) doesn't work, always closing with a sharp error. These issues have forced us to tackle some levels in single and, considering how this title is handled, we assure you that it is not a particularly pleasant experience.

The quests themselves have proved to be very little striking from the point Variety View: Babylon is basically structured like a classic action, so it offers corridor maps in which clashes with enemies are referred to as "chapters" and the unique elements are just a few trivial traps, short detours with chests and easy platforming stages. It's not a particularly elaborate level design and underlines the developers' focus on combat. Too bad that combat is the element that works the least.

Gameplay: is this a Platinum game? Seriously?

Babylon's Fall: here the concept of "class" is very relative As can already be understood, the most serious flaw of Babylon's Fall is precisely the combat system, which is absurd in a title created by a team considered among the masters of this aspect. Even more strange is the fact that the basic concept is anything but trivial: one's alter ego is in effect a warrior capable of using four weapons at the same time thanks to a mysterious artifact called Gideon Coffin connected to his back. Each weapon that can be equipped has different functionalities, so combining them allows you to fill various roles and perform multiple attacks with discrete naturalness.

To be clear, this is not a completely new idea: already Devil May Cry 3: SE with Vergil had experimented with the issue of contemporary attacks using blades of light, Bayonetta offers a relatively similar idea by allowing weapons to be equipped both in the legs and in the arms and in Devil May Cry 5 the Dante (the sword of the same name, not the protagonist, of course ) allows you to use "energy clones" of the blade to perform elaborate combos. Babylon's Fall limits itself to increasing the number of weapons and diversifying them, yet for some unfathomable reason chooses not to do the same with the maneuvers.

Babylon's Fall: the ziggurat, the dungeon where the game takes place In a nutshell : each weapon, depending on the position in which it is equipped, can use a single attack or loaded, that's all. Those linked to Gideon Coffin, however, consume energy, which recharges slowly and therefore does not allow to abuse the additional attacks. All this boils down to a handful of more shots in addition to the basic ones, where the strategy all lies in the player's willingness to attack with a minimum of protection (and therefore use a shield in one of the slots), hit from distance (aiming on magic sticks and bows), or offer a limited amount of support with some skills. And so far it might work as well, especially in a cooperative game like this where four users could indulge in mixing classes and making the most of their skills. Babylon's Fall, however, collapses precisely on the fundamental constituent elements of its combat system, resulting tedious and poorly calculated.

Don't believe it? Perfect, then keep in mind that in the game the enemies do not have the slightest reactivity to hits: they are damage sponges with simplistic patterns, which can only be stunned by long charged attacks or by the blows that throw them into the air (executable with ease after a jump). This already makes the abuse of such maneuvers the preferred choice in almost any situation (some enemies, fortunately, are immune to throwing), yet it all gets worse when you consider that the best moves use large amounts of energy - the recharge of which it is, as already specified, very slow (unless you have equipment focused on its regeneration) - and that this is consumed in a sensitive way even by the simple dodge, the only defensive maneuver of the title. To understand, in a game where enemies do not react to hits, the only mechanics that offer mobility and variation from the basic combos consume the primary resource and must therefore be used with the lantern. The result is a rather bland and repetitive rhythm of the battles.

Babylon's Fall: if nothing else, the look of the game is not bad It is surprising to see Platinum Games create a similar combat system, especially considering that in the first trailer of presentation the game looked enormously faster and more scenic. It almost seems that it was deliberately simplified and slowed down because the new live service structure did not allow to support a more fluid and complex system, or the team was afraid of creating a too confusing title in co-op.

The Babylon's test Fall left us with a bad taste in our mouth. The PlatinumGames game still seems to be in an embryonic state and, most unexpected of all, it has a simplistic combat system, which in no way manages to enhance a slow and scarcely spectacular gameplay far from the productions to which the Japanese house has accustomed us. . We have no idea what manufacturing problems led to this, but one thing is certain: this game must transform completely before launch, or it really risks a short life. For our part we can only hope for a future revolution.


The basic concept is quite brilliant DOUBTS Slow and boring combat system The beta has few basic and rather repetitive contents Problems of matchmaking and online stability Have you noticed any errors?

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