Coming from the developers over at Overpowered Team is a new ‘sort of shoot ‘em up but kind of not’ game. I’m sorry I can’t be more specific, but Godstrike is unlike anything I’ve played before, except maybe Eldest Souls. You see, the idea of Godstrike is to take on a variety of bosses in a series of arenas, shoot them into little tiny pieces, and walk away whistling. That is the theory, however, as I’m sure you will realise, the reality is somewhat different.
The story of Godstrike is pretty superfluous, but there is one and I should mention it. There is a mask, you see, called Talaal, and this mask is the last of the seven masks of God. The other six masks appear to have decided that they would rather be out till all hours, having fun, and so it falls to Talaal to stop them. To this end, she has found a bearer, who just so happens to be us, and we now have to defeat the rest of the masks, as the baddies want to absorb Talaal’s power. What this translates into is a series of boss fights, and this is where the “fun” begins.
The developers describe Godstrike as a “3D boss rush bullet hell kind of game, and to be fair to them, they have pretty much nailed the description. Each boss has a number of phases (you didn’t think one health bar would be enough, did you?) and has to be shot many, many times in order to whittle their health pool away. You do this in a twin stick stylee, running about the place with the left stick, and shooting with the right, in whichever direction you press the stick. This does make avoiding the huge amount of bullets that come at you a little easier, and it soon becomes second nature to adjust your aim on the fly as you move. Standing still in this game is pretty much a death sentence.
The big change in Godstrike is that instead of a regular health bar, you have a certain amount of time to kill the bosses, and you spend time like a regular health bar, losing vital seconds every time you get hit, or use certain abilities. Thankfully, there are different loadouts to use or choose from for each run at the bosses, and after a successful attack, you are returned to a kind of hub area to see what you have won, and given time to prepare for the next boss.
There are two types of powers that Talaal can utilise. The ones in the book on the left (it’ll make sense when you see it, trust me) cost time to equip, and these are things like a dodge move, or a big laser that roots you to the spot but does a lot of damage. The other type of power-up is more of a passive one, in that they don’t cost any time to equip. These come in the form of things like a circle of balls, each of which will protect you from one hit, or a single “Spiky Boy” which will block all the hits it intercepts, but will rotate around you to make it hard to predict. There are many more to acquire, as you beat the rest of the bosses, these are just a flavour.
Now onto the difficulty, and boy is there a lot of it. Somebody should take the devs a dictionary, and show them the definition of the word “Easy”: if you die a lot (and I’m not ashamed to admit that I did) then Godstrike will ask you if you want to switch to “Easy Mode” for the duration of a specific fight. I haven’t noticed a difference in the difficulty in easy mode, to be honest, as the exact same bullet patterns that happily kill you in hard mode are still present and correct! This is a game which is very much about learning attack patterns, about movement, and about doing as much damage as quickly as you can. It’s all the better for it, to be honest. Now, an ageing gamer with creaky reflexes is very much not the target market for this game, and just to drive the point home, my 10-year old son sailed through Godstrike. Still, I’ll beat him at Pokemon TCG, so swings and roundabouts!
Graphically the game is perfectly presentable, with a kind of retro vibe that reminds me of the old skool Smash TV. The sounds are all working fine too, with bullets, gunfire and impacts all present and correct. The same has to be said about the animation found in Godstrike – silky smooth, with controls as precise as you could wish for. And boy do they need to be, as weaving between streams of bullets demands a certain degree of hand-eye coordination. Luckily the way the game controls is up to the task.
There aren’t many negatives to worry about in Godstrike to be honest; it’s very much a ‘does what it says on the tin’ title. The bosses do feel a little bit inconsistent though, for instance I found the second boss to be a lot more troublesome than the fourth, and it is sometimes hard to tell if you are being hit or not, with a lack of danger or weight to the bosses attacks. Other than these little niggles though, Godstrike is full of proper, hardcore shooting action. You could do a lot worse than to give it a try.
You can pick up Godstrike from the Xbox Store