PlatinumGames has been on a roll this past few years, with hits like NieR: Automata and Astral Chain, and Bayonetta 3 coming soon. However, they also have a few things that didn’t get as much hype compared to their other projects. Babylon’s Fall is one of them. Today, we’ll talk more about Babylon’s Fall, and what players can expect from this game when it is released.
What Is Babylon’s Fall?
Babylon’s Fall is a hack-and-slash action role-playing game (RPG) published by Square Enix and created by PlatinumGames. It’s set to release in March 2022 on PC, PS4, and PS5. Those that purchase the Deluxe Edition can get the game on February 28.
Babylon’s Fall Game Preview
Here’s everything we know about Babylon’s Fall ahead of its release.
The story of Babylon’s Fall revolves around the titular tower of Babylon, which has stood for over a thousand years. When the game starts, the player is just thrown into the Sentinel Force HQ after getting the Gideon Coffin strapped on their back. After this, they’re tasked with ascending to the heights of the tower Babylon.
Other than this, there’s not much known about the story of Babylon’s Fall. Hopefully, all will be made clear when the game’s released.
If you’ve played a PlatinumGames title before, then you probably have some expectations on what to expect on Babylon’s Fall. However, you best temper your expectations.
This is because there are a lot of differences between the usual PlatinumGames gameplay and that of Babylon’s Fall. We’ll talk more about the game’s combat and controls in the relevant section. However, if you’re expecting the usual PlatinumGames flair of flashy attacks and over-the-top action, don’t. The game is very methodical, slow compared to their usual games, and overall has a lot of emphasis on multiplayer and co-op.
When players start the game, they’re dropped into a hub area called the Sentinel Force HQ. This is the game’s lobby where they can mingle with other players, upgrade and forge new gear, take quests, et cetera.
In terms of quests, the game allows players to play the quests solo, or through 4-player co-op. If this is looking a bit familiar, you’re not wrong—the game’s general gameplay loop is looking more and more like Monster Hunter. This isn’t a bad thing, but there are a lot of things that the game seemed to have copied from the series, particularly in combat.
There’s also a loot system in Babylon’s Fall that gives players the ability to grow stronger. This allows players to tackle more difficult enemies. Some of the gear that players can get is stated to also give special buffs to players to boost their characters as well. Players get gear and other items after they finish quests and levels. Other than this, the game is remarkably similar to Monster Hunter in terms of gameplay with the sole exception of no giant monsters.
Combat and Controls
Combat-wise, Babylon’s Fall couldn’t be more opposite to the usual PlatinumGames fare. Why? Because it’s slow and a bit cumbersome. Babylon’s Fall has five different weapon types for players to tinker with. These are the usual Sword, Bows, Hammers, Shields, and Rods.
Players can equip four different weapons on their character. Two of these would be bound on Light or Heavy attacks, and the other two would be Spectral Weapons. Spectral Weapons can be used even when the player is stunned or in the middle of attacks, which add variety to the game. However, Spectral Weapons cost SP to use, but players can recover SP by using Light and Heavy attacks.
Light and Heavy attacks can be charged to gain additional effects that can be beneficial to players in combat. Lastly, when in the middle of a light attack combo, players can use a heavy attack to do a powerful combo finisher.
However, these attacks tend to be pretty slow and have a lot of windup time. In addition to this, the knockback that occurs when attacking enemies with powerful attacks is a bit on the strong side.
This is where the problem comes in: PlatinumGames’s trademark is fast, flashy, and over-the-top action, and Babylon’s Fall is anything but. The game feels slow, and each weapon type has some pretty basic combos in use, at least during the game’s Beta. The game does have interesting customization options when it comes to combat that is unlocked in the game’s story. Hopefully, it’ll spice up how the combat feels when it’s released.
Going back to the Beta for a bit, there are quite a lot of things in the combat system that players weren’t able to access:
Players can gain access to three attack modes in Babylon’s Fall: Standard, Power, and Technical. These three modes each have their advantages and disadvantages, and players can attach these attack modes to all four weapons they have equipped.
Standard Mode is the first one players get and will be the ones players need to get used to first. This has the typical combos, and its moves don’t cost much SP when the weapon is set to a Spectral Weapon. In addition to this, Standard Mode is best when the player’s main focus is SP recovery. This will allow players to leave SP recovery to their standard weapons, while their Spectral Weapons deal powerful attacks to enemies.
Next to this is Power Mode, which prioritizes damage over speed. In Power Mode, a weapon’s attacks will deal more damage, and charged attacks will have one additional charge before they launch. However, as we’ve already discussed, Power Mode weapons are slow, and if they’re bound to a Spectral Weapon Slot, will cost a lot of SP to use.
Last but not least is Technical Mode, which puts a priority on combo strings. Each of the weapons has additional combo strings that when performed perfectly, can unleash a powerful spectral finisher.
Gutwork is a system that was conspicuously absent during Babylon’s Fall’s Beta test. At least, some of its combat capabilities are missing. Gutwork allows players to do several actions during traversal and combat. For example, players can use Gutwork to tether specific areas for traversal of pitfalls and other environmental hazards. They can also use this to improve specific actions, like Spectral Attacks.
What wasn’t shown in the Beta, however, is pretty telling. When the game launches, there are a few things that players can do with Gutwork that are pretty gnarly. For one, they can continue combo attacks mid-air using Gutwork, tethering to enemies, and juggling them in the air ala Devil May Cry’s Devil Bringer.
Next, players can tether Gutwork into an enemy, allowing them to leech SP and HP, as well as tether Gutwork to party members to share buffs. Lastly, they can tether Gutwork on specific environmental things like loose boulders and rocks and throw them at enemies.
In terms of character customization, Babylon’s Fall does have a pretty extensive list. We’ll start with customizing character appearance first. The game has a lot of versions when it comes to the player character’s looks in the game, from versions of haircuts and colors to eye colors, eye size, et cetera. Players can be male/female, and a whole lot more. There seems to be additional cosmetics as well, but there’s no indication of their existence yet.
Other than this, the game doesn’t have any available armor and weapon cosmetics on the Beta. However, the developers did state that they’ll be available on the game’s release and players can buy them outright without loot boxes.
However, the main avenue of customization seems to be in the gameplay portion. We’ve already talked about the five weapon types, four weapon slots, and attack modes. But the gist of this is: each weapon type has its movesets depending on its role and slot, and attack mode. For example, you can have a Bow Light Attack and Technical attack mode, and it’ll have a unique moveset.
In total, there are 45 different movesets in the game. These movesets are according to the weapon types, weapon slot, and attack mode.
In terms of the online features of Babylon’s Fall, there are only a few things that players need to remember: the game is similar to Monster Hunter. That’s the general overview of the Online Features.
For those not yet understanding, here’s the cinch. Players have a hub world where they can interact and do stuff with each other. These can range from teaming up for quests, forging new weapons and armor, improving their gear, et cetera. In addition to this, the game has a co-op for up to four players as well as crossplay. However, there’s currently no reliable way to do co-op parties or solos in Babylon’s Fall yet. At least, during the game’s Beta. Hopefully, the developers will fix this.
In addition to this, players cannot choose which Server they’re playing on in Babylon’s Fall, at least when the game releases. Players will be placed on either the EU, US, or Japanese servers based on the region that the player chose for their Square Enix account. This means that if the player has friends on different servers, they can’t play with them when the game releases. Hopefully, this will change in the future.
Graphics-wise, the game has its usual PlatinumGames flair. The game looks incredibly anime and very cool, as per usual. However, the floating weaponry can present a bit of a problem as they cover part of the screen. This can be an annoyance to players as they can cover where the enemies currently are and they can sneak in an attack or two.
In addition to this conundrum, the damage numbers also present this problem, especially critical strike damage. However, the game does present a few graphics options for players to adjust so that their gameplay wouldn’t be hampered.
Babylon’s Fall does sound pretty good in terms of sound design. The weapon attacks sound great, there’s a lot of variety in the enemy sounds, and the environment has a lot of noise in it indicating its danger and current state, et cetera.
Other than this, we don’t know much about the game’s sound design. Hopefully, we’ll hear more of it when the game gets out.
As of right now, the Beta version of Babylon’s Fall only showed players three areas of the game. These areas do look great in how destroyed they look and overall have a post-apocalyptic vibe to them. However, this is just a small taste of the game’s environment, and hopefully, we’ll see more before the game’s released.
The hub area, Sentinel Force HQ, looks like a cool-looking hub area fit for the game’s environment. It’s grungy, tarps are used to cover stores and some buildings, and planks of wood are everywhere to provide the living space. It looks and feels like a forward outpost hastily made so that they’ll have a good place to launch scouting raids on.
Babylon’s Fall vs Similar Games
Now that we’ve talked a bit about Babylon’s Fall, let’s talk about other games like it.
Monster Hunter Series
The Monster Hunter series has stayed as a staple of gaming ever since it was released. After all, nothing gets a man’s blood pumping than killing giant monsters with your oversized weapon. The series has also improved a lot over the years, with better net code for co-op being the most obvious.
Combine this with a solid gameplay loop of killing monsters, using monster parts to make better gear, and killing bigger monsters — well, you have a game that can peak to almost 300 thousand players on Steam at one point.
Next on the list is Code Vein, which might confuse some people. However, Code Vein gets on this list due to its customization options when it comes to combat and gameplay. There are a lot of things that players can do on Code Vein to spice up how they want to defeat its myriad of challenges. They can go full melee, melee/ranged mixed, caster build, et cetera.
The game has a lot of possibilities when it comes to both characters and builds customization. The anime aesthetic doesn’t hurt either.
Nioh 1 and 2
Last on the list is Nioh, which also made the list due to how good the customization is in the game, at least in terms of build variety. Not that much in terms of character customization until the game’s sequel, Nioh 2. In that game, players can now create their own character’s looks and customize various additional accessories to them. However, the first Nioh did allow players to play as other characters shown in the game as skins.
Still, the main draw of both games is their stories, gameplay, and bosses. In those three categories, the Nioh games are pretty top tier.
Should You Be Hyped for Babylon’s Fall?
If you’re someone that wants to have a co-op experience like Monster Hunter but a bit faster, then Babylon’s Fall might be a good buy. Do note that the game is a bit different compared to other games that PlatinumGames has made, so some adjustments in terms of playstyle need to be made.