Publisher: Freedom Games
Developer: OverPowered Team
Release: April 15, 2021
Reviewed on: Nintendo Switch
Also available on: Microsoft Windows
Over the past year I’ve reviewed a wide variety of games for the site, many of which were a fun and relaxing experience. Godstrike has not been one of those games. Challenging is an understatement when it comes to this twin-stick bullet rush shooter. While the core mechanics of the game work well, the lack of story depth and the brutally difficult boss battles leave me with mixed feelings about my future with this game.
Godstrike tells the story of a civilization that has been given seven masks from their unnamed god. These masks grant powers to those who have them in their possession. Over time, One of the mask owners becomes corrupted by the power of their mask and begins searching for the other masks in an attempt to consume their power. You play as Talaal, the keeper of the 7th mask. In order to save her civilization, Talaal must battle her way in pursuit of banishing the evil mask once and for all. An interesting concept, Godstrike doesn’t provide much detail into Talaal, the civilization, or the masks. Outside of an initial narrative at the opening of the game, most of the details are provided in short snippets during loading screens.
I found myself very impressed with the combat mechanics. Talaal begins with one active and one passive ability, with a new active and passive ability unlocked after defeating each boss. Active abilities are charged by collecting dropped souls during battle and have various costs to activate, ranging from one to four souls. These active abilities unleash unique attacks that are essential to defeating each boss. Passives typically provide additional protection against each boss. The unique mechanic in Godstrike is the lack of health. Rather, time is money and life. Equipping abilities cost time, and taking damage in battle can cost you anywhere from 15 to 30 seconds. Once your time is out, the next hit you take will knock you out. Did I mention there are no checkpoints? Die in the final phase of the boss and you start over from the beginning. Pair this mechanic with bullet sponge bosses that have three phases, and you get a game that took me over three hours to beat the tutorial (a boss named Tutoriaal). It’s unfortunate that additional abilities cost time, and I found myself not equipping the full arsenal (four of each) in order to have a bit of extra time left for battle.
Level design is solely based on boss battles. There are no levels to explore or secrets to uncover. You have a small pre-battle area where you can select your abilities, then launch into an arena to fight. Talaal floats around the map controlled by the left analog stick, while the right analog stick fires a consistent stream of bullets. Active each of your active abilities by using the left and right triggers and bumpers. Each boss offers a unique and challenging fighting experience where it will take several lives just to study the attack mechanics before having even the slightest chance of defeating each boss. This is where Godstrike could use some balancing. It seems that Talaal’s abilities are unmatched for the attacks and health of each boss. Even the most precise movement around the level is no match for some of the attacks, and I quickly found myself with under 30 seconds of time left before beating the first phase of each boss.
Godstrike is a well-made game and has a lot of potential, I just feel that some of the attacks and bosses would benefit from a bit of rebalancing to make it more enjoyable. In its current form, it’s the hardest game I’ve ever played on Switch… to the point that I have no intention of picking it up again. If I hear that they do some rebalancing I’ll reconsider, until this I’ll pass.