God Mode Review
Get ready to grind.
If you had asked me what God Mode was last month I would have said “what’s God Mode?”, but after looking around I soon found out that it was a new Third-Person Shooter from Old School Games and ATLUS, that looked pretty cool. I figured I would give it a shot and part of me is glad that I did and another part hates me for what I’ve done to it.
There’s no story in God Mode, and the only backstory that you’ll ever see is on one of the quick changing loading screens. It reveals that you are a descendant of the Gods that were cast off of Mount Olympus by Hades and made into mortals. Now you must fight through the Underworld to claim your status as a God. That’s really all you ever know and it’s all you really need to know as well. The story plays no role in the game, so why bother ever really telling us about it I guess. It’s all about shooting massive hordes of enemies as you grind your way through Maze after Maze in search of more EXP and more gold.
The game features five Mazes, which are divided by locked off sections and you’ll have to complete different Tests of Faith in order to unlock the next section, all the way to the end of the Maze. These Tests of Faith are randomly selected each time you play and are one of the reasons that I didn’t just completely give up on God Mode. Tests of Faith mix up the gameplay by making enemies larger or smaller, they can give you unlimited ammo, they can poison you, they can remove your armor, they can grant you extra EXP, they can turn blood into gold coins, they can turn enemies against each other and unfortunately they can even make you die after only one hit. There are over 40 Tests of Faith and there’s a good mix of positive and negative ones, creating a good balance. Don’t get me wrong, some times you’ll hit a few negative ones in a row and it sucks, but you’ll get the good ones just as often.
You’ll start by selecting the difficulty you want to play on (earning more EXP and coins the higher you go) and whether or not you want to turn on any Oaths, which reward you with extra EXP and coins by turning on negative modifiers such as less effective health pickups, less ammo, no armor, no special ability and more. You get three lives during each Maze and once you run out, you’ll have to start all over again, as there are no checkpoints during any of the Mazes. Like I said, it’s a game of grinding and it’s not going to be for everyone.
Your character will start off with an SMG, a Double Barrel Shotgun and the Shield ability, but as you earn EXP for getting kills and for completing Tests of Faith, you’ll unlock new weapons and abilities that you can then upgrade as well. It’s a little deceiving at first, because when you see that the Assault Rifle unlocks at Level 6, you’ll probably think that you’ll get it fairly quickly, but it took me at least five hours of playing before I could use it. You’re going to have to grind through the Mazes, over and over, to earn enough EXP and collect enough gold to unlock the good stuff. This is where you decide whether or not God Mode is a game for you, because there’s no point in starting it if you’re not prepared to do a lot of grinding. If replaying the same levels over and over doesn’t sound like fun, then you should probably just avoid God Mode altogether. On the other hand, I quickly became addicted to wanting to reach the higher levels and unlock weapons like the Minigun and the Grenade Launcher, and accepted that I would have to grind to get them.
Even if the grinding can seem like too much at times, I still had fun mowing down all of the Skeletons, Zombies, Minotaurs, Cyclops and all of the other undead creatures that the game throws at you. The combat is decent enough, with standard Third-Person controls and the ability to use a melee attack, jump and roll away from enemy attacks. Most of the time, due to the intensity of the action, I would forget to use my special ability so I ended up turning on the Warrior Oath which disables the ability permanently. You get 20% extra EXP and Gold so I figured I might as well get something in exchange for the ability I wasn’t using anyway.
The Tests of Faith and variety of enemies are what saved God Mode from being an unbearable, repetitive nightmare, at least for me anyway. I’m also a fan of old school games (had to do it), such as Serious Sam, that test your will to withstand large hordes of enemies, which is what you’ll experience in God Mode, so that doesn’t hurt either. Having said that, I also wouldn’t complain if they increased the speed at which you level up and unlock new gear just a little bit. It also wouldn’t have hurt if there had been a few more Mazes, as the five that are there now can get old pretty quick. Thankfully though, you don’t have to go through it alone.
God Mode doesn’t feature any competitive multiplayer modes, but it does support up to four player cooperative play. Built to be played with some friends, God Mode is definitely at its best when you’re not alone. Not only does it make things easier, but it’s just more fun when you have a few friends by your side. There’s a simple, easy to use lobby system that allows you to quickly see which of your friends are playing and invite them to your game. You can also start a public game and allow random gamers to join as well.
When playing through one of the Mazes cooperatively you’ll share a pool of lives with the rest of your party, which is something that makes you want to do better and not let down your team. There are no continues or checkpoints, so if you use up all of the lives, you’ll have to start the Maze all over again and listen to your friends disappointment of your previous effort. Having a pool of lives and the heavy consequence of dying reminds me of playing Firefight in Halo 3 ODST, and how much fun we had doing it together. I don’t know if I’ll want to play God Mode as long, but I’ve enjoyed it so far.
If you don’t mind games that force you to grind through the same levels over and over and can handle mindlessly shooting what seems like never-ending hordes of enemies, then you should enjoy God Mode; I know I am. If you hate the sound of both of those things then you should just avoid God Mode and forget that it even exists. You may want to check out the demo first (only on consoles), just to be safe as there’s no turning back after you enter this hell of a shooter.