For many years now, the battle royale genre has been defined by a particular style. Players board a plane (or a flying school bus), drop into a particular location, gather loot and weapons, and then go all guns blazing on their enemies. But then came in Fall Guys which completely changed the way people look at BR games.
Developed by Mediatonic and published by Devolver, Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout is the latest addition to the BR genre. However, it is nothing like a staple BR game and has no weapons or violence, unless pushing beans can be counted as violence.
The game looks like a cross between Takeshi’s Castle and Wipeout, which makes it even more interesting. The objective is simple; make it through the knockout rounds and survive longer than anyone else. This might all sound very straightforward, but once players actually play the game, they’ll see that it is anything but easy.
This game has the innate ability to induce rage in players simply because things can go sideways at any point. Players can expect to be held, have their paths blocked, and be pushed aside by other players. Looks can be highly deceptive, and the seemingly simple-looking levels appear to have been created by the devil himself.
The game has everything a good BR game requires: great game levels, competitive environment, simple yet fun mechanics, and cute, cuddly characters. What more could one want? While other games in the BR genre focus on gunfights, advanced combat mechanics, and other violent experiences, Fall Guys does something else entirely. Mediatonic has created something that looks and works like a children’s game but appeals to players of all ages.
Developers always focus on adding more and more complex features to the game to make it realistic. But Mediatonic took the simpler approach, and the result was still spectacular.
Fall Guys has been at the number one spot on the Steam bestseller list for the past three weeks now. So far, there’s been no one to challenge its dominance. In fact, even other developers are now acknowledging its success. Cyberpunk 2077 recently won the ‘Best RPG Game Of the Year’ award at Gamescom 2020. While accepting the award, Level Designer Miles Tost said, “Why isn’t it Fall Guys?”
Fall Guys responded to this and the conversation that followed was delightful.
Even though Fall Guys wouldn’t fall under the RPG category, the message is quite clear. Even AAA developers like CD Projekt Red acknowledge that Mediatonic has pulled off something amazing, and this definitely puts things into perspective for everyone. Simplicity may often be overlooked, but it is still one of the most important aspects of a game.
The rise of Fall Guys will surely give hope to other small and medium-sized game developers since it preaches that simple can be successful.