In his current gen debut, Godzilla comes roaring to Playstation 4 in this new game from Bandai Namco. While it is a bit rough around the edges, fans of the Godzilla franchise will be able to appreciate this title somewhat for what this game has to offer if they are prepared to put up with the games rather clunky controls, slow gameplay and shallow combat system. If you aren’t already Godzilla fan with no prior interest in the series this will probably not make you a fan, but those who are should be able to get some enjoyment out of it.
Featuring a couple of single player and multiplayer modes, most of your time will be spent In ‘God of Destruction’ which is where you go around and destroy G-Generators, tanks, buildings etc. for G-energy to make Godzilla grow in height and make his attacks/defence more powerful in preparation for battles with other monsters. Size can easily be a factor on who as the upper hand in battle, however, in doing so you raise up a gauge called the Disaster Level gauge; destroying things will fill the gauge up, which can mean trouble to you as it affects how much Godzilla will take from G-Force attacks. You’ll likely spend a while grinding and doing missions in this mode and while you get slight variations like timed missions, most of the time it’s more or less doing the same kind of thing over and over, which gets tedious really fast.
In Godzilla, the controls are fairly simple with a few different attack types, dodge, block, roar at your disposal, along with your monsters signature move once you have filled the temperature gauge. This constantly refills when used and fairly quickly so you are not left waiting for too long in between attacks to blast your opponent again. If you’re familiar with the characters in the roster, you’ll probably get a nice feeling of nostalgia as their roars are perfectly recreated from the films.I thought the controls were okay at first when I was being taught the how to play, until I realised one of Godzilla’s major flaws in that it has tank controls for movement, meaning you can’t just turn with the analog stick but instead have to press L1 or R1 to rotate and face a different angle.This made me feel as if I was fighting with the games control scheme at times which can be a headache since it becomes difficult to manage doing this whilst turning the camera, on top of the game just being generally slow and clunky, feeling like as if you are playing underwater .
Another mode is called “King of Kaiju mode” where you have six stages, each one consisting of an AI controlled enemy monster to defeat. Essentially this is a time trial mode where you must beat all six in the fastest time, which is good for those who’d rather just get right into the brawling the main monsters rather than having to deal with destroying generators, buildings and other things first.
You can unlock other monsters to play as by beating them in the God of Destruction mode and being rewarded with their materials. The roster of monsters you are able to unlock is fairly large at 32 different playable monsters and characters, each with their own unique style of gameplay. The in-game Kaiju guide which details all the playable casts first appearances and a brief history on them all is great if you haven’t heard of some of the more obscure monsters such as Biollante and a Diorama feature that allows you to recreate your favourite battles by unlocking figures that you can get by evolving your monster and getting different backdrops which can provide fans with that little extra to do.
As for the materials you collect, you can use them in “Evolution mode”, which is essentially your upgrade area for your monster of choice. You’ll find that you will have to grind certain battles with a certain monster X amount of times to receive the right drops from them to upgrade the charge speed or damage of a breath attack and so on, but once you’ve acquired the right materials, you can powered up your chosen monsters to use in the offline single player modes. With the characters you’ve unlocked, you can go and invade the city with another monster if the original Godzilla does not suit your play style in “Invade” mode. Another alternate mode, “Defend”, allows you to become an ally monster and fight for humanity fighting off enemy monsters to protect the humans instead of attacking them and their surroundings.
Once you decide that you want to play Godzilla with other people, you have two multiplayer modes to choose from; either fighting an online opponent in a one on one battle or a 3 way brawl against two other online players. It’s nice that some multiplayer options were included but it’s sorely lacking any offline multiplayer modes, which makes no sense to me why they wouldn’t want to give players the chance to play some local brawler action against friends in the same room.
The graphics are not a high point of the game as you can tell this was a PS3 game ported to the PS4 with minimal improvements, however, it is cleaner and better looking than the PS3 version which originally came out in Japan late last year. The maps you stomp around on are rather bland and lifeless, but I do like the models of the various monsters you can choose from as they really did capture the characters and their movements perfectly; I feel they were able to look back on how each monster looked from their first appearances in their respective film and use that to accurately represent them in this game. That was really charming touch, which is another way the game appeals to fans of Godzilla since it does stay true to the movies.