The hack-n-slash action RPG Godfall was made available in December on PlayStation Plus, but in the strangest way possible it seems. The version of Godfall that made its debut on PS Plus is a new “Challenger Edition” which omits the main story campaign and includes only endgame content. Though the developers insist Godfall: Challenger Edition is a full game, and not a “demo,” it raises questions as to what “full game” means, and more confusion with the “add on” option to buy the story campaign, which is typically defined as the “main game.” Godfall received lukewarm reviews and including the game on PS Plus gave it an opportunity to redeem itself. Providing an endgame-only version, however, does not put the game’s best put forward and harms its chance of reaching a wider audience.


Many gamers were initially pleased to hear that Godfall was to be the new PS5 title included in PS Plus’ December 2021 lineup, but this quickly soured when the news broke that the PS Plus Godfall does not include the campaign. Challenger Edition begins with cinematic scenes and a tutorial level that introduces a conflict between brothers Macros and Orin, warriors in a high fantasy setting who stand divided due to the former’s pursuit of godhood and destructive power. The story suddenly evaporates, however, as players are abruptly advanced to maximum level and introduced to a variety of online-only endgame modes.

When it launched more than a year ago, Godfall suffered from some marketing issues. Promotional materials suggested a high-speed fantasy RPG answer to the Borderlands-style looter shooter. The actual gameplay leans closer to a dungeon crawler played from an over-the-shoulder perspective, albeit one with occasionally rapid-paced combat, with short-range teleports and blinding fast combos. Omitting the main campaign, which gradually introduces players to mechanics and playstyles, is a strange approach for the PS Plus Godfall. It throws players in the deep end after only a brief tutorial on how to swim, essentially.

Godfall’s PS Plus Version Lacks Story

Some have argued that missing out on the main campaign is not much of a loss, given the game’s straightforward story. Whether simple or complex, a game’s story provides context and meaning to its battles beyond a pure abstraction of resource management and twitch reflexes. Notably, the Godfall: Fire & Darkness DLC’s superior narrative also improved on the original campaign. In terms of hours of playtime, the endgame play Challenger Edition offers is, theoretically, limitless replay value, while the main campaign could be seen as a 10-plus hour “tutorial.” For many players, however, endgame content is only meaningful because they want to extend the enjoyment they felt in the initial campaign, and the skill set they have developed.

Recent games that have attempted to merge strong single-player campaigns with a loot-based perpetual endgame have met with a lukewarm reception. Marvel’s Avengers’ single-player campaign aimed for Batman: Arkham and Marvel’s Spider-Man levels of quality, but the game engine designed around live service endgame play harmed the immersion of the story. Still, the story mode of Marvel’s Avengers has generally been better received than its divisive endgame cycle, and it is vital to investment in the game’s story. Godfall’s main campaign may feature a simple story, but it is still a story, and a series of endless endgame battles, absent any context or investment, is a much harder sell for most players.

For gamers intrigued by Godfall’s stylish combat, who want to experience its story, the PS Plus Challenger Edition offers an add-on option to access the campaign as well as Fire & Darkness for $15.  While this is potentially a good value, it is a bit perplexing. Endgame content is usually sold as an add-on to a game’s main campaign, where adding the story modes to Challenger Edition is the reverse. Further, if Challenger Edition is obtained as a PS Plus title, and not purchased as part of a gamer’s own library, buying access to a single-player mode that is contingent on subscription to an online gaming service presents an odd value proposition. Godfall’s PS Plus launch was its best opportunity to redeem itself, but by including only the endgame instead of the campaign, it has only further harmed its already shaky reputation. The game’s presentation is certainly impressive, and its combat has some depth to it, but providing that style without the substance of the campaign is not enough to sway most gamers into revising their opinion on Godfall.

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