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Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout Review

Mediatonic's Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout is a multiplayer experience that has taken the world by storm thanks to its playful visuals, satisfying gameplay and truly winning formula. Is it worth the hype? Let's find out!

Verdict

Fall Guys is an absolute delight. It feels like a natural evolution of the battle royale genre that abandons the expectation of violence and exchanges it for a bright, colourful multiplayer experience that sinks its hooks in and refuses to let go. 

Pros

  • It's such a simple premise executed brilliantly
  • Fun both alone and with a group of friends
  • Sessions are short, sweet and so satisfying to play
  • Progression model has plenty of potential for expansion

Cons

  • Team games are a mixed bag and break up the flow
  • Spectator mode is a little barebones right now

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £15.99
  • Developer: Mediatonic
  • Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • Release Date: Out Now

The core premise of Fall Guys is so simple it’s hard to believe nobody has come up with it before.

It takes the battle royale genre and replaces the art of looting and murder with a number of eccentric party games where you must avoid obstacles and complete objectives to be the last one standing. Mediatonic has executed upon this formula perfectly, resulting in a fiendishly addictive party experience which has rightfully taken the gaming world by storm. 

The best way I can describe Fall Guys is a mixture of Little Big Planet and Takeshi’s Castle, a combination which comes with all the absurd connotations you’d expect. You and 59 other players must compete across an increasingly bizarre range of games which can involve anything from snatching tails from neighbouring teams to scrambling up a jelly-covered hill in the face of deadly fruit hurtling toward you. 

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Fall Guys

It’s wonderfully hectic, and the perfect combination of frustration and hilarity, but the pace of each course is so fast and unpredictable that there’s never time to dwell on your mistakes for too long. Opening rounds normally aim to eliminate a solid percentage of the competition as you race through obstacles towards the finish line. 

You’ll normally need to dodge moving objects, predict the correct path forward or even navigate precarious seesaws which will tilt you into oblivion with the slightest imbalance. I adore how the cute and innocent aesthetic of Fall Guys is hiding a surprisingly deadly competition where anything goes. When playing with friends, they’d wait at the finish line hurling other players off the cliff while we rushed towards the exit. All is fair in love and Fall Guys. 

I felt a little bit terrible, but I’d rather these chumps bit the dust so I could join my comrades in the next round, until we’re inevitably forced to face each other in the most colourful version of Hunger Games in existence. Final rounds are a beautiful disaster, a masterclass in tension as you desperately scramble to either reach the crown nested atop a hill or stay alive as tiles before you crumble, unveiling an abyss awaiting below there’s no coming back from. 

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Fall Guys

After a few adrenaline-fueled minutes, it’s all over. You’re either crowned a victor or thrown back to the main menu to do it all again, and I was more than happy to. All of the aforementioned hijinks were encapsulated in a small play session, and the amount of sheer comedic emotion that stems from Fall Guys is genuinely astounding. 

Not all of the minigames are perfect, with the team games being a particular weak point, but there’s enough fun to be had that such flaws are worth overlooking. Team-based activities normally break up the flow of breakneck eliminations, especially when you’re forced to sit through two of them in a row. Perhaps this can be remedied in the future with bespoke matchmaking playlists or a dedicated teams mode. 

Fall Guys adopts a seasonal mode of progression like the majority of multiplayer experiences nowadays. Each level will have you unlocking new cosmetics, colour schemes and currency for use in customisation or the in-game marketplace. Everything serves to make your virtual avatar look fabulous amongst your peers. Some of the best skins are premium, but you’ll likely see them in midst of most rounds if you can’t pick them up yourself.

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Fall Guys

Future seasons will hopefully introduce new minigames, modes and even mechanics to the world of Fall Guys, since it has so much potential to be expanded upon so long as its simplistic core remains untouched. I’d love for the spectator mode to be improved, since right now it feels woefully underbaked. You can jump into a game with friends, but once you’re eliminated it doesn’t provide a seamless way to spectate or interact with them. You simply have to sit back and watch.

Imagine being able to fling emotes at a friend’s screen, or send them dynamic signs of encouragement as they try valiantly to stay in the game. Such additions wouldn’t dilute the simplistic nature that helps Fall Guys shine so bright, but it could add an extra layer of charm to proceedings when playing with friends. Right now, I’ve either watching them with bated breath or tabbing out to check Twitter if I’m eliminated.

Verdict

Fall Guys is an absolute delight. It feels like a natural evolution of the battle royale genre that abandons the expectation of violence and exchanges it for a bright, colourful multiplayer experience that sinks its hooks in and refuses to let go. Not since Rocket League has something made such an immediate and lasting impression.

The launch experience is already fantastic, but the arrival of future seasons could introduce new features and mechanics that should only make things even better. Drawbacks of a lightweight spectator mode and so-so team games are easy to ignore in the grand scheme of things, especially when the pace of each round is so fast, fun and unpredictable

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