Goliath is a game from Whalebox Studio and is their first commercial game release. The game is about gathering resources, building large robots and exploring beautiful open-worlds. The game was instantly pleasing to the eye but I was interested to see what it had to offer.
When starting the game, I noticed straight away how good it goods, with vibrant colours, beautiful environments and interesting characters. The game is played from a top-down perspective much like Diablo. The world is full of creatures that try to attack you and it soon becomes clear that despite the beauty it’s a dangerous place to be. You must start to gather resources and collect materials you find in the world to build and base and other important items. This gathering and survival element of the game reminded me of Don’t Starve, which is also played from a similar perspective but in 2D.
The opening of the game sees a plane crash-land and you awaken amongst the destruction. A radio guides you to the cockpit of the plane where you find out one other person survived, your co-pilot. It becomes unclear where you are and what is happening in the world around you. The story is actually quite interesting and has a sense of mystery and intrigue throughout. You start to explore the weird world around you and begin to discover that the world is divided into “shards” and “islands.” As you explore the world you meet various groups of people. There are three different types of natives you meet and you have to make some important decisions about who to side with. Through the groups you meet you will begin resource quests and other missions to help out. The game some interesting missions that also see you facing boss encounters. There are also plenty of side objectives, unlockables, upgrades and other interesting gameplay features. The game also has different endings depending on the faction choices you make during the game, giving the game some reason to replay.
Like I said the game is played from a top-down isometric viewpoint and you move about using the WASD keys but you can also use a controller. You also have access to a handgun and have the ability to turn invisible, making you safe from enemies. The gameplay has a heavy focus on collecting materials you find in the world. You gather trees, logs, and other items help you to build camps and after a while your giant robots known as Goliaths. To create and build a Goliath you must first obtain the blueprints as well as gathering all of the materials needed. There are different types of robot Goliaths that require different materials, for example the Stone Goliath needs stone and Silicon.
You also start to gain experience points and Gold by taking on and killing enemies in the world. Completing missions and side quest also contribute to your EXP. Once you start obtaining enough points you will soon be able to increase various stats like health. You also get access to new blueprints and other upgrades. There’s plenty to contend with here and I found myself wanting to get as much XP and Gold as possible to upgrade and become stronger and more efficient. There are other items and resources you can use like potions and oils but I found that I didn’t really use these.
The majority of the world takes place in large wilderness areas but there are also smaller dungeons that can be explored. I actually really enjoyed these moments and it often reminded me of the Zelda games and it offers some nice variety to the experience. The dungeons can get tricky and more challenging though as you can’t really run away and have to face the enemy’s head on. The main missions are the most interesting parts of the game and whilst the side quests do offer more XP and variety I rarely found myself venturing away from the main quest. Looking back now I would have tried more side quests to become more equipped and stocked up in resources. These side quest can feel a little tiresome and trivial compared to the main story and I found I had little patience for them.
The overall presentation of the game is great with a beautifully designed world that’s full of interesting things to see and explore. I would have liked to have seen more story elements or cutscenes as I loved the opening animation very appealing and I loved the style. I loved the RPG nature of the game and the style and appearance of the game lends itself well to the structure and narrative.
unfortunately I did experience a few issues with the game like finding my way through the world and the waypoint system felt awkward at times. I also noticed a few moments where the game stuttered, but nothing game breaking. The sound design is ok but not fantastic. For a game that looks you beautiful, with gorgeous landscapes and interesting creatures the sound feels a little lackluster and if this was slightly better it could have made the experience feel more immersive. The camera can get a little awkward in its positioning at times and I played on mouse and keyboard which felt tricky, so I would probably recommend using a controller.
Overall though Goliath is a game that I enjoyed for the most part, mainly for its wonderful art style and interesting world. The characters and creatures are also very interesting and I liked the different designs of the Goliaths themselves. I would have liked to have seen a bit more variety to the environments despite looking gorgeous. The dungeons do mix things up and the survival aspect of the game is fun and reminded me of other games of that ilk. The game is compact and fun for the most part but I would have like to have seen a bit more focus on story and better controls. I would certainly recommend this game if you like survival games like Don’t Starve or a game that looks beautiful with an interesting world to explore.
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