God Mode released I believe last Friday on Steam without so much of a sound. There was no trailer or title card on the Steam store-front, absolutely nothing, which is a real disappointment because this game is some serious fun.
Kotaku posted an article back in December about the game, saying it was from Atlus and that it was a co-op shooter. That's about all we were shown and I'd totally forgotten about the game up until now. God Mode is a third person arena style shooter that harkens back to old school arcade games by use of power ups and mutations for each round which really mix up the game play from time to time.
Do you like running? How about gunning? What if special abilities are thrown into the mix? Upgradable weapons? Let's say there're dozens of on-screen enemies to unleash this firepower on, and as your reward for dispatching them you get experience and gold to collect that can be used for character customization and new equipment—all the while playing alongside friends in 4-player cooperative play! If you like the sound of all this, then you'll love God Mode
The story provides loose framework, but it's pretty lack luster. The gist of it is that you're a descendant from a powerful bloodline in Olympus, and Zeus sees you as competition, thus banishing you to Hades for you to claw your way out from the pits and claim your rightful throne, but this is just an excuse for you to blast your way through waves of undead warriors and mythological creatures.
There's a generous list of weapons for you to choose from, ranging all the way to shotguns, to grenade launchers and plasma pistols; with two weapon slots you can find a good match for yourself and switch up your game play. Your cadaver, as the game calls it, also has an ability. The first you start with is a basic shield but you can get a healing aura, or even summon down a giant god-like hammer, or even obtain god mode itself and wreak havoc with an unlimited supply of lead or lasers while being untouchable.
Matches take place in one of six maps, in different wave-based scenario battles. You'll be fighting your way up trenches, fighting mages and cyclops alike while trying to break through and siege the walls of Olympus, or fighting your way through Hades itself. With each match lasting about five rounds, and depending on your difficulty and skill, you can round them out to maybe lasting fifteen minutes, with lives varying on how many players you have. Each round gives you a different mutation such as Shroud, which gives the map a fog of war, or Discord, which speeds up the audio track for the current round. There are others such as Feudalism which gives each player an aura that damages when near, forcing you to part ways and do your own business, or Phoenix, where each player explodes upon death. On top of this there are oaths you can undertake, such as the oath of the warrior which removes your ability but gives you a 20% boost in experience and gold for your match. There's about eight of these and they dock you, or harm you in ways that provide a challenge if you want your pay out to be higher. At the end of each match you, and your teammates are transported to a treasure map where you loot as much gold coins as possible, however friendly fire is turned on encouraging you to gun down your friends and steal the loot for yourselves.
Shooting feels a little lack luster in the game, but that's not too bad, this is an arena based game so players should get accompanied with literally running and gunning. Aiming down your sights slows you down and hinders your movement, but zooms in to get you a closer look. Don't do this. It adds no boost to your accuracy, and hip firing is just as good, making kiting a very good strategy in this game. That being said the game can be played with a controller which plays great, but the game feels cheap. When you plug in a controller, your gun magically sprays bullets in the direction of any enemy in front of you, making you super accurate, which can be bad and good, but mostly unrewarding and cheap. but the sheer volume of enemies makes it quite fun to just gun things down.
Visual and audio wise, the game is great in the visual department, with a third person camera you're very specially aware of your surroundings, and when you're not blasting skeletal warriors into bone dust, the environments are actually really nice. You're not going to find superior graphics out of the game, but they're much better than just 'getting the job done.' The game isn't a typical brown hued shooter either, though a lot of colors are dark considering you're in Hades with the exception of the map Basilisk Pit where you're running an assault on some ruins. In terms of audio, the guns sound like nerf guns. I typically use the shotgun and it doesn't give me that satisfying BOOM you get when you pull the trigger, but the music gives you a nice tribal, war-faring sound track to knock heads with. You're also accompanied by a snarky narrator with not very many dialogue lines so he does get old rather fast. You can turn him off though which is a nice option.
There is one thing that needs to be pointed out that is quite bad with the game, and it's that there's no option to mute other players, so you might frequently playing with people who have music playing, or nasty echoes from their mic booming into your ear. There's a patch coming out for this soon.
That being said, the game is genuinely fun. It's a nice mix up from the common shooters now a days, and it's 4-player! If you want a deviation I really recommend this, you'll find yourself wasting a good few hours playing on the weekend, and the level up system while minimal is really fun to tinker with.
God Mode is currently $9.99 on Steam as well as Play Station Network and the Xbox Live Marketplace, and $29.99 for a four-pack deal on Steam exclusively.
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