Let’s start the review with an austere personal story. We promise it’s 100% true: we fell asleep playing The fall of Babylon. Several times. Sitting there in an office chair, DualSense in hand, fast asleep. This could almost be the end of the exam, surely? A new game from Platinum of all, patron saints of hardcore gaming – some of the fastest and most demanding combat in the medium. Head of Vanquish and Bayonet for God’s sake! And now he’s released a game that we would sell to insomniacs. And we’re not talking about the Marvels Spider Man and Ratchet & Clank type.
Platinum and Square Enix have stumbled upon the “games as a service” arena here, with the soulless Milton Keynes of gaming already brimming with titles vying for an audience. This, oddly enough, includes Square Enix and People Can Fly. Riders, which operates in a similar space (despite quite different gameplay). So what is the story of Babylon’s Fall? We will try to reconstruct it. We’re still not entirely sure what we played and what we merely dreamed of, as the monotony of the experience caused the Sandman to adorn our eyelids with his dormant career.
The first thing that struck us about Babylon’s Fall was its atrocious visuals. Now, we’re well aware that graphics aren’t everything and that the oft-used and oft-dishonest exclamation of “it looks like a PS3 game” is used rather carelessly, but – in places – Babylon’s Fall does look like a PS3 title. , especially in the quality of its character models, which we found muddy, ill-defined, and shockingly ugly.
In a game that’s about 90% combat by volume, you need visual clarity – and that’s just not present here. In fact, the presentation is rather lacking in general, with generic, confusing menus, and a hub world filled to the brim with distracting icons – yet none of them are actually useful. We received a notice in said hub that told us we had new items in our “inbox”, written in the same green text as a nearby prompt asking us to press “up” on the d -pad for “claim items”. So we dutifully pressed “up” and, no, that took us to the game’s Battle Pass. To access the inbox, we had to climb a flight of stairs and open a treasure chest. A safe is not an inbox, Platinum. It’s just a regular box.
This kind of bizarre failure in clarity characterizes Babylon’s Fall pretty well. You can jump, but not between the small docks in the hub, although it would save you some time. The game doesn’t trust you to chart your own path, forcing you to avoid clear shortcuts simply because they aren’t. The right way.
And that’s before you even enter one of the many almost identical missions that see you walking along a linear path before being locked in a battle arena with various blurry and annoying monsters. Here, you’ll engage in relatively slick Platinum-style combat; the major trick here being your character’s “Gideon Coffin”, a spectral weaponry that allows you to equip up to four weapons at once. This doesn’t amount to much, however, as you simply find the shoulder button or trigger that seems to do the most damage and smash it instead of a square or triangle for your light and heavy attacks. basic. Different builds are certainly possible, but the enemies aren’t unique or menacing enough to make character progression feel like it matters, even in late-game skirmishes.
In fact, the loot aspect of the game is surprisingly uninviting. There’s an initial gacha-esque thrill to the cascade of collectibles you’ll receive from completing a story mission, but that gives way to boredom when the armor looks so poor, and the Weapons basically boil down to an extended game of “the number increases”, without drastically altering your playstyle or allowing for particularly unique and interesting builds. This issue is compounded by the game’s aforementioned weakness in player communication; often you will receive superior loot on paper but in practice it completely disappoints.
And so on, unfortunately. We’ve tried to squeeze all the fun we can out of Babylon’s Fall, and the best we can do is highlight the odd moment of visual promise – some of the sights are admittedly awe-inspiring –ishand the boss fights could be mistaken for something spectacular by a passive observer of the game in progress.
Even bringing friends over doesn’t make things any better – you barely need to interact with them, so you end up wasting four people’s time instead of your own. It also feels pretty glitchy – we found ourselves inexplicably locked outside of battle arenas a few times, having to just watch our teammates kill enemies while we hovered outside without counting. On the plus side, watching the insane battle unfold wasn’t all that different from actually being there and smashing the buttons ourselves.
Ultimately, we just see no reason why you should play Babylon’s Fall when such superior alternatives exist in the likes of recent Destiny 2: The Witch Queen, or even Square Enix’s own Outriders. Sure, they’re not melee-focused, but when the gameplay is this weak, we don’t see that particularly matter. Think of it this way: you wouldn’t play Babylon’s Fall even if it was strictly single-player, because it’s by far Platinum’s worst game. And yes, we include the quite laughable Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan in this equation.
Given the nature of live service titles, it’s possible that Babylon’s Fall could see a phoenix-style resurrection with some rebalancing, but somehow we doubt it. Hopefully this absolute misfire doesn’t signal a sea change in direction for Platinum Games; this title had a troubled design and it shows, but rather than repeating things, we’d rather see a return to solo dominance. There’s nothing in Babylon’s Fall that warrants going back to the drawing board. Except for that fantastic boss battle where you race the Batmobile against those pink jort-clad elephants. Oh wait, that was just a dream we had when the game put us to sleep.