Have you ever wondered what would happen if a battle-royale game had a lovechild with a Japanese gameshow? Neither had we. Yet it turns out that Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout is the most hilarious, fun, and addictive game that we have played in a long time. It's not surprising that 2 million jellybeans agree with us by downloading the game on Steam alone in the first week.
How it Works
Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout combines all of the craziness of Takeshi’s Castle; all the whimsical laughs of a Mario Party minigame marathon; and all of the addictive intensity of Fortnite or CoD Warzone.
Sixty players progress on a series of a hilarious team and solo minigames that include assault course platformer races, last-man-standing knockouts, Rocket-league style football matches, and massive games of ‘tag’. As the rounds progress, more and more players are knocked out until only one victor waddles to glory.
The game is Ninja Warrior meets Overcooked or Ultimate Wipeout meets Minions. Suffice to say, you can expect a level of mayhem so intense that you might forget to breathe. When you see a huge pile of characters all trying and failing to jump over each other with some poor schmucks stuck at the bottom of the pile, you might assume the game requires no strategy or skill. You would be mistaken.
Fall Guys makes you answer all the important questions, like “Do I choose to follow the mass of characters bundling onto an increasingly vertical looking seesaw or do I bide my time?”, “If that lollipop hits me will I be catapulted into the slime or the finish line?”, and “How do I get a pink fluffy owl costume like that?”
Characters and Customization
By making Fall Guys the free PS4 game of the month as soon as it was released was a brave (and we suspect ingenious) move to instantly bring a huge audience to the game. The game is also available on Steam. You have it on record that we at MMOGames predict that our town centres are soon going to be full of knock-off Fall Guy toys and merchandise.
The chubby bean-shaped characters you play as are highly customisable. Basic customisation options include aspects like patterns, colour combos and dances, but with level-ups or in-game purchases, you can turn your character into a full-fledged pigeon, pineapple or hotdog.
As they plod along avoiding slime and swinging mallets, you can’t help but laugh, even when your own character tumbles down slopes to the back of the pack.
Compared to games of a similar ilk, Fall Guys is very generous with loot. Players are rewarded with valuable stars for winning a game, and coins and experience points just for taking part. Assuming you’re not terrible at gaming, you should be able to earn enough of this currency to upgrade your character after just an evening of play.
Don’t expect much in the way of acrobatics from your characters. Despite the vast array of minigames that are available, your Fall Guy will only ever be able to perform three actions: A jump, a dive, and a grab. And yet, it’s really all you need.
After playing for a few hours, myself and one of the other MMO Games writers Ollie found ourselves in stitches of laughter and smiling until our faces hurt. The next evening we were joined by two medical doctors (you know, proper adults) and guess what followed? A child-like level of hysteria, giggling and shouting down our headphones.
Fall Guys is frustrating in all the right ways, and we challenge any of you to play it without laughing.
The Best Levels
ROLL OUT – In this minigame, players must hop between rotating platforms while avoiding ice lollies, holes, and barriers that will knock you into thick pink slime.
HOOPSIE DAISY – Who knew that literally jumping through hoops could be so much fun? In this multi-team game, only the teams who tumble, dive, spin their way through the most hoops will progress to the next round.
WHIRLYGIG – Fall Guys has only been released for a week and already this minigame feels like a classic. Player must avoid spinning blades, dare to venture down dangerous shortcuts, and finally make it through the final deadly windmill.
Any Room for Improvement?
The first few days of Fall Guys have not run 100% smoothly. Some players have reported bugs and cheating, and the game does not escape the MOBA curse of long load-time. While we played, my game crashed twice. Yet a few hiccups on launch week are to be expected for a game with 60 players hopping around at once.
If winning a game is your goal, we highly recommend playing the game as soon as possible while all players are on a relatively equal playing field. With other rumble games, it can take months of honing your skills before you manage to win a game. Whereas victory in Fall Guys is very much achievable…for now.
Image Credit - Devolver Digital/Media Tonic
One worry with this genre of multiplayer game is that some hardcore players will become exceedingly good at memorising routes and strategies making it nigh-on impossible for other players to win. If victory was unattainable, the game may lose some of its charm.
How justified that criticism is, is yet to be seen. Fall Guys promises 60 distinct minigames, and team-elimination games ensure that a single player can never guarantee ultimate victory. Other minigames also rely on unofficial cooperation with your team-mates and others, undeniably require luck – the greatest equalizer of all. Still, Fall Guys may need to continually add more minigames (or at least tweak the ones they have) to stop experienced players gaining too great an advantage.
One thing is for certain, we really, really hope that the game has a long shelf life. It’s the cartoony, bean-themed, chaotic, assault-course rumble that we never realized our lives were missing.
Our Score: 9/10