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+ babylons fall OST: frozen cloister

+ in construction

Layout by: Lovely Designs
Brushes: [1] [2]
Image: Hyung Taekim

i kind of loved babylons fall, no, really. i bought this game when the server announcement happened, while i had wanted to play it beforehand, i wasnt sure about committing to the purchase since it was still around 20 at the time, but the day of the announcement i caved and ever since i've been playing the game every week, sometimes even daily.the game had a ton of potential and i am kind of sad to see it all wasted due to square's refusal to even try a free to play model. the game is flawed, sure, but once you really dug into the mechanics there was a lot there to love even if just as a turn off your brain grind game. i really sunk time into it too, 55 hours in total at the time of writing, with me having beat all story missions across the three campaigns and even platnuming the game and i still intend to go back and play more before the game dies.

first off, the graphics really aren't that bad, it has some ps360 skung to it, but in a good way, the textures look muddy and the character models are low detail, but i think it gives the game a unique look for sure, the painterly aesthetic it goes for isn't the most appealing but it is unique and i think that counts for a lot. even beyond that, comparing a game to a ps3 game is never as much of an own as people think it is, that era has a very appealing aesthetic and i always love seeing its style's and tricks showing up in modern games, it's a look i vibe with. the designs however i will admit are pretty unappealing, it just isn't a style of design that appeals to me, very medivil fantasy in a way thats more dark and realistic(?) looking, less like a JRPG and more like some western rpg styles, i couldn't really ever get my character to look all that good and none of the armour sets ever really appealed to me. the environments are very appealing though, at least in the basegame campaign you get a good variety, cold snowy mountains, dark skeevy towns, castle styled ruins and lava filled volcanoes, later on you even get some sci-fi environments to run through and they all look very nice, some places like the snow areas even have some nice hangoutability, they got good vibes. this leads into one of the games few major flaws for me though, the postgame campaigns do not build on this variety, with both of them mostly using repeated boss, enemy and level themes, and in many cases just being repeated levels with more powerful enemies, it's a massive shame and it makes those campaigns hard to reccomend even playing through.

the story here is shockingly fun too, the cast, for the most part, are pretty fun and likable, they all have their quirks and arcs and it's fun to see them all grow, there's real arcs here and each chapter has its own mini story, sometimes just worldbuilding, such as the cult, or sometimes character focused such as with the goat knights and lycus, it's all very fun to watch, though the cutscenes aren't great, it all pays off super well too, with a hype last hour rush with your little crew to *fight the sun to the death*, it's great and worth at least watching the cutscenes online, even the postgame stuff has some fun scenes, a character from the early game comes back with an MGS style band of medivil terrorists you have to fight and the third campaign is a big road trip to a new tower, it's all super neat. not all characters are great though, some of the introduced characters in the second and third storylines are kind of bland and the goat knights have very little going on, but beyond all that i was pretty invested, it even sets up a lot of other towers to explore, though we will never see those, and going by the one we did see, they wouldn't have much in the way of new content. the voice acting is mostly pretty good as well, even ishum as much as he's became a meme is pretty fun to listen to and it fits him well. the game also has music and it's pretty hit or miss, a lot of tracks aren't super memorable as they try and be too bombastic and end up just feeling too cinematic for me, but the more ambient stuff, as well as the nier'y boss themes all stood out super well and i liked them enough.

the gameplay will make or break it for a lot of people but i really vibed with it. it's pretty simple, there aren't many combos and the variety with individual weapons isn't really there, but the game does give you its own take instead, you have 4 weapon slots that you can use different weapons in, you can go half ranged half physical, all magical, guns or hammers, you have two on your back which have a single attack and a charge attack, and your two normal weapons which give you a basic combo or two, it's not really a character action and is much less deep than you'd want from a platnum game, but the variety is there and its enough to keep you going i think, you even unlock different weapon styles and grapple abilites later on that help give the combat a much faster pace, but i think they come in too late. the levels are pretty basic though, just corridors with some small pockets, but this works for the game and i always like liniarity, it keeps the levels short and easy to run throgh, which is very appreciated as i think the game works best in short bursts so the combat won't get too repetative, you even get some fun gimmicks, lava, spikes, mines, turrets, wind and ratchet style grind rails all keep levels feeling pretty fresh as you'll usually have some kind of gimmick keeping it interesting. you even have a little hub where you can buy items, upgrade things, craft and speak to npcs, it's cozy. the game can be pretty grindy though, you keep a constant stream of leveling even in old levels as all gear will scale to you unless you join someone elses game, but dailies dont give you much and the crafting materials can be ridiculous to obtain, the battlepass almost feels like a scam too with how slow it is to unlock, which brings me to the monitisation, the fact the game makes you have ps plus is super annoying, i had to buy it just for this, and the game has a ton of cosmetics locked behind old battle passes you could never obtain, it all sucks, but at least it wasn't intrusive, and the fact the game was even online only at all makes it almost deserve its fate, though i cant help but feel sad about it as i do think it deserves to be preserved. one other thing is that because of the control scheme relying on the shoulder buttons, grind sessions did leave my hands feeling pain, so that's worth noting.

the games legacy will be a shortlived one, it's going to die soon, mostly forgotten with the exception of mocking jabs, memes and a few people like me that will sing its praises if given the chance, it wasn't a classic, it wasnt even great, but i had a lot of fun with it and i am very sad to see it go, i hope one day we can get a single player release, or maybe even some more stuff in this world, but realistically it's destined to fade into obscurity, mostly forgotten by all and existing as a warning for the failings of multiplayer only games and the GAAS buisness model.

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