Bandai Namco were very keen to emphasise that their new game, Godzilla, is very much based on the Japanese Godzilla. I’m sure this is nothing against the possible film of that year Godzilla (2014), but more to distinguish itself from the terrible looking smartphone game based on the film, Godzilla Strike Zone. However, the Godzilla from that film does appear in the game as “Hollywood Godzilla” DLC.
***Godzilla Strike Zone NOT the new Godzilla which looks much, much nicer.***
In a world where the classic “film tie-in” game has now been relegated to somehow being even more subpar than they used to be as phone games, it’s nice to see Godzilla can still maintain some respect and get an original game anyway. There’s been a bunch of Godzilla games in the past and I’ve played a lot of them and had fun, not the least Godzilla for the Game Boy which is… really something.
So how is this new Godzilla shaping up, then? Well, if you wanted, you could go and find the entire game on YouTube or somewhere as it’s been out in Japan since December last year. I’ve only played a demo that they showed me at their Level-Up event, but I can tell you a bit about that.
It threw me right into Chapter 5, but they gave me a little flash card which had the controls on, so, like the pro gamer I am, I did just fine. I’m just joking, it actually seemed to be a slightly different control scheme to that on the card, which was a little confusing. But as a pro gamer I strove on. The game trailer I saw asked me whether I was going to “destroy” or “protect”. In this level there were 3 large generators which seemed to be important to the humans based on the small amount of story context at the beginning of the chapter. Naturally I smashed my way over to them and destroyed before any of the other kaiju could even appear, which, according to one of the pop-up characters’ speech, would take about 30 seconds. The destruction of these was pretty easy, and ended the stage pretty quickly. I think I won, but I’m not sure.
I played the demo again and this time decided to wait around for the other kaiju. It was King Ghidorah, with his three glorious, sensual necks, spitting electricity from his many mouths. Godzilla controls using tank controls. L1 and R1 are used to rotate Godzilla, while simply moving left and right strafes. Godzilla can do a dash attack, a punching attack, a grab (which you can then finish with a few different moves), and, naturally, Godzilla’s laser-beam-esque breath attack. With one of the shoulder buttons Godzilla could do an area attack, the primary function of which seemed to be destroying a load of buildings around him. With both L1 and R1 pressed together Godzilla roars, and from there it can be followed up with a more powerful dash or breath attack than usual. The special moves use up Godzilla’s heat, which builds back up over time.
So, essentially this is a tank-controls Godzilla game with regenerating health. Getting stuck in doesn’t seem to work quite as well as diving in and out, testing the waters and only jumping in when you’ve spotted an opening. When Space Godzilla showed up to help King Ghidorah it seemed that using Godzilla’s breath attack was a much better strategy than getting up close, and it didn’t really seem to have much of a downside. With that said the game isn’t exactly easy. Make a wrong move and the other kaiju will be on you in a flash — making it easy to get overwhelmed.
Even when I repelled both of the other monsters the President still seemed to be disappointed in me. 60% of the area was destroyed, so it’s probably fair enough. Still, fighting other giant monsters while trying to not destroy too much of the city around you could potentially be a bit frustrating, when all I really want to do is smash things.
The graphics aren’t anything to write home about, but the models of the giant monsters are quite nice to look at, boasting the smooth hallmark that accompanies most PS4 games (the version I played). The buildings aren’t very detailed, but with so much to destroy in an area it’s hardly a surprise, sort of like a Katamari game.
But it’s not a Katamari game, it’s a Godzilla game where you smash buildings and also smash monsters. Will we be destroying or protecting in the full game? Probably both. Whatever is nearest, whatever Godzilla can reach. It’s a power trip I can never say no too, though the verdict is still out on how much the full game will satisfy that urge overall. However, it definitely looks much better than Godzilla Strike Zone.
Godzilla comes out July 17th 2015 for PS3 and PS4.
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