Ask any person what the perfect Battle Royale game is, and you would likely find someone describing a first-person shooter not unlike Fortnite. However, since its release on August 4th this year, a new type of Battle Royale game is taking the esports industry by storm. That game is Fall Guys and it was developed by the team at Mediatonic.
In the space of just a few weeks, this little-heralded multiplayer game for up to 60 players has exploded onto the scene and for the week of August 3rd to 9th, a week after the games’ release, it dethroned Fortnite as the most popular Battle Royale game on the Twitch platform. Few games have had such an immediate impact in the history of video gaming.
So what is it about Fall Guys that has made it so appealing both to play and also to watch?
What is Fall Guys?
Fall Guys is a Battle Royale Game that eschews the traditional format of PVP combat, as you get in Fortnite or Call of Duty Warfare, and instead turns the genre into a party-game format. Each Round is comprised of different levels and players have to work their way through the levels and avoid elimination by completing a different task in the game.
The only problem with that is that there are 59 other players trying to do the same and who will think of nothing of stopping you from achieving your aim by any means necessary.
Why is Fall Guys proving such a hit?
Part of the appeal of Fall Guys is its huge cutesy gaming appeal, which brings to mind some of the early Nintendo hits of the late 1980s and 1990s. This combined with cleverly designed and beautifully realised levels and tasks, has captured the imagination of the gaming public.
Players compete as a bean, which can be decorated in a number of ways to look like a number of different objects including hot dogs, a box of fries, and much more. A superlative game engine, that adds a carefully judged degree of chaos and randomness to the game is the final piece of the jigsaw.
With cleverly designed levels and tasks for players to complete, either individually but also as teams, the game has all the hallmarks of a fun party game, a competitive Battle Royale all combined with elements of game shows like Takeshi’s Castle (or if you are from an older generation like myself, Jeux Sans Frontiers, or as it was called in the UK, “It’s a Knockout”.
The net result is gameplay that is engaging to watch as it is to play, and it is this which explains why the game has proven to be a smash hit success on Twitch as it has in the sale chart.
However, there is something more to the game’s success than all this and for many people, it is the simplicity of the game that explains its popularity. While players can learn skills or strategies to help them play, it does not offer them such a massive advantage over someone that is picking up and playing the game for the first time. As such, it is truly a game anyone can pick up and play and have a chance of winning and that is a rarity amongst even the most popular Battle Royale games.
Are there any problems with Fall Guys?
That’s not to say that Mediatronic’s baby is not without its issues. Despite underdoing a lot of rejigging during the early stages of the lockdown prior to release, the game has been beset by problems with hackers since its release.
Hackers have used all kinds of dirty tricks to enhance their character to the point where winning is virtually guaranteed. However, Mediatronic’s development team has been hard at work to come up with a solution, which they say will be available in a future update.
Another criticism voiced by popular streamer Michael “shroud” Grzesiak is that the game is becoming too competitive and losing its party-game roots, and this could be a problem going forward.
“Fall Guys is going to die real quick for sure” stated Grzesiak in a stream on August 24. “After playing it, there is no way it will be any more exciting for any longer unless they add maps quickly.”
“I just wish it was more of a party game than what it already is.” he concluded.
However, Mediatronic have already announced that Fall Guys Season 2 is set to be announced at Gamescom later this year and that this new updated version will feature at least four new game modes, Treasure Hunt, Chicken Chase, 100-Player Door Dash, and Wall Guys.
What is next for Fall Guys?
After the smash-hit success of its initial release, it is now going to be a period of careful consolidation for the team at Mediatronic. We already know the team have an update planned to rid the game of many of the hacking issues that have beset it in recent times, while the Fall Guys Season 2 option will expand the game in many different ways to ensure that there are an increasing number of game modes and tasks to complete.
Other potential moves include the release of a mobile version, which is said to be very much in the pipeline, while there are already mods being made that will allow Fall Guys content in other games, such as Skins and even a mod for the popular adventure game Skyrim.
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There is even an option to make the game a little more skill-based to allow for higher-level play between competitive players, even if some commentators would prefer the game to remain more focused on its party-themed roots.
After such a promising start in the Battle Royale genre, the next steps for Fall Guys will be crucial to determine whether this is a flash-in-the-pan game that will burn twice as bright but for half as long, or whether this is a Battle Royale game that will remain full of beans for a good time yet.
Featured Image Credits: @FallGuysGame / Mediatonic