With each update, Counterplay Games has made improvements to its melee action role-playing game godfall to address the positive and negative feedback from fans and naysayers since its release. With the Primal Update, we were able to unlock new powers and bonuses through levels of advancement and Primal Items. Lightbringer gave us a new game mode and we saw a new realm and a new antagonist added to the story with the Fire & Darkness Extension. And with that challenger edition, We were given the choice to skip the story and jump straight into the endgame action with a level 50 character.
Now, Counterplay is back with the Exalted Update to bring players more build options, an improved story mode, a new game mode, and many quality of life improvements. Along with the free update, Counterplay Games will also release the new one Godfall: Ultimate Edition. This new edition bundles the original version and the Fire & Darkness Extension together for $39.99 and marks the first time godfall will be available on the Xbox console series and via Steam for PC.
improving the fundamentals
For those who don’t know godfall, It was originally released in November 2020 exclusively for the PlayStation 5 and the Epic Games Store for PC. Our original review (like many others) praised it for its enjoyable combat, while the lackluster story and choppy interface were some of our main criticisms. With each major update over the last 17 months, Counterplay Games has worked to fix the original version’s shortcomings, and with the Exalted update they claim to have fulfilled all the key features requested by the community.
Many of the added features revolve around the player’s ability to customize their valorplates, both cosmetically and in playstyle. We still only have 12 Valorplates to choose from, but each set now has multiple skins to collect, for a total of 123 unique skins. There are also new cosmetics for the rest of your gear, with additional skins for weapons, shields, and banners.
In terms of abilities and builds, Counterplay has attempted to create a “a tinkerer’s dream.” With the new Valorplate Shards, each of the 12 Valorplates is assigned an even more unique playstyle. Each plate has four shards to collect, giving players slightly different ways to enhance the primary attributes and unique abilities already burned into each Valorplate.
The user interface has also received its fair share of improvements with the Exalted update. Additional sorting options allow players to more easily filter and find gear based on criteria such as DPS, rarity, mutation, and other key stats. Skill sets will also be Valorplate specific, rather than a global set that needs to be adjusted every time you equip new armor. And with three loadout slots per valorplate, you can quickly and efficiently change your loadout depending on your current needs.
An extended story
As mentioned, one gripe in my original review was the lackluster story campaign. I know that for looter games in general, story is just a means to an end, a way to connect one mission to the next. But that doesn’t make it right. and godfall got the story wrong. There was a lot of lore, but it was told through the collection of codices, not the main story. Most of the time during the missions was spent in silence, with interactions with the Seventh Sanctum providing very little substance.
With the Exalted update, Counterplay has finally made improvements to story passing. The main story remains unchanged. In the opening sequence, you’re still defeated by Macros, and missions still start and end with conversations with the Seventh Sanctuary. With the Exalted update, there is now more dialogue and additional cutscenes to help tell a richer story. This is very subtle at first and involves minor conversations with a few new NPCs. The additional cutscenes serve to give a better overall picture of the war between Orin and Macros and its impact on the other Valorians. As the story progresses, the personal struggle between Orin and Macros will deepen, and players will even have the opportunity to discover lore that tells the story from Macros’ point of view.
However, the additional story elements never become obtrusive. The counterplay still keeps everything tidy and we don’t have to spend hours on unnecessary conversations. What we end up with is a good balance of additional story content that helps immerse the player in the war between good and evil without drastically slowing the pace at which players can return to a new mission.
The Spirit Realm
The biggest change (and my personal favorite) for this update is an adjustment to Spirit Vision and the addition of Spirit Realms. Previously, ghost sight was limited and used for finding nearby treasure and collectibles. When you turned it on, the rest of the world went all dark and shadowy with brilliant beacons of colored lights to alert you to loot. It was of limited use as your vision returned to normal shortly after beginning the movement. Instead of cloaking the screen in darkness, the ghost vision now gives the world a ghostly face, replacing the world’s normally bright colors with a more muted palette. As an additional kicker, ghost vision now lasts indefinitely and no longer reverts to normal vision once you start moving. This simple change means you don’t have to constantly stop to turn on the ghost show and observe your surroundings. Being able to keep moving and even fighting while using Ghost Vision makes exploration a much smoother experience.
Normal vision on the left, mental vision on the right.
The changes to spirit vision are a nice quality of life improvement while playing through the story or gathering resources in one of the endgame modes, but the changes really shine when you enter the new spirit realms being added as part of the Exalted update. Each of the material realms now has its own Spirit Realm experience, which is unlocked in sequence as you defeat each of the material realm bosses (or by going straight to level 50 during character creation). Each spirit realm offers a group of up to six players an expansive playground to explore while working to power up an Elder Gate in order to gain access to the spirit realm’s boss battles.
To unlock the Elder Gate, players begin by doing what they’ve always done – defeating enemies. To add some complexity to the battles, enemies you encounter in this mode can exist in either physical or spiritual form. Players can only attack enemies of one form at a time and must use their spirit vision to switch between levels based on the enemies they are facing. Although a group of players can split up the quests by having individual players focus on a single level, a single player who needs to switch forms will find fighting in the spirit realm only slightly more difficult than regular combat.
As you battle your way through the spirit realm, fallen enemies have a chance to drop souls. Once collected, players can use the souls to activate special events in different locations on the map. There are three types of events, all of which are minor variations on killing multiple enemies. Once players eliminate all of their enemies, they gain an Elder Soul, with more difficult battles rewarding souls with higher power.
It takes three Elder souls to unlock the final fight, and using higher strength souls makes the final fight more difficult. However, with greater risk comes greater rewards, provided players are up to the challenge. And similar to Lightbringer mode, players can quit after the first boss fight or continue for even bigger rewards.
Just like the previous updates and the Fire & Darkness extensionCounterplay Games has once again made some significant changes to godfall with the Exalted Update. There’s now a plethora of endgame modes to plow through, and they’ve even given players the option to play through an expanded story (or jump straight to level 50 if they wish). All of the quality of life improvements and tweaks, from something as simple as additional cosmetic items to new ways to level up and level up your skills, have bolstered the core gameplay. The addition of the Ghost Realm and up to 6 player co-op has not only given you the choice to play with friends, but now you have a real reason to team up for more challenging battles.
For original fans who of course stayed and waited godfall to be everything it could be, well, the Exalted Update has finally made that wish come true. And for the potential new players who can now join the fight on their Xbox or via Steam, well, they’re going to get the same awesome fight that we’ve had since day one, with all the added ingredients that come with that Godfall: Ultimate Edition.
https://www.mmorpg.com/previews/the-rpg-files-godfall-ultimate-edition-preview-2000124748 The RPG Files: Godfall Ultimate Edition Preview