Back in the day of pre-online gaming, setting up a bunch of bots and duking it out against the AI was a staple feature of every FPS game. It was something you looked forward to messing around with alongside a few friends when the single player was all dried up. Come the advent of PlayStation Network and Xbox Live, it took Gears of War's Horde Mode to reignite real interest in fighting hordes of bots with friends, and though playing against humans online is still the dominant form of multiplayer entertainment, there's something to be said about surviving against some fairly ridiculous odds against a swarm of foes.
God Mode tries to reignite that spark at a discounted price, offering legions of armed undead with all manner of ancient and modern weapon ready and willing to run you into a corner. Action, violence and a bit of repetition are all but guaranteed, but what matters is how well the very small package comes together.
The gameplay in God Mode is incredibly simple and straightforward. Players are given a shotgun and a sub machine gun and are tossed into an arena where they must survive waves of various undead and demonic hordes armed with medieval weaponry. A third person camera and dodge roll make evading enemies easy enough and weapon upgrades provide a small degree of customization for players with a weapon of choice. Again, it's straight and to the point, allowing you to be tossed right into the action.
A lot of the time you'll be attempting to kite the AI in a circle while occasionally dodge rolling away from the enemies that get too close. Being a Horde style game set in an arena this is inevitable, the mechanics and level design are just too shallow to provide for anything else, so where God Mode tries to circumvent this is by throwing in Tests of Faith which dramatically alter the flow of each fight by buffing or harming players and NPCs at random. Players load up on health and ammo, enter a test, complete it and move onto the next round until they've completed a level.
Giant heads, one-hit kills, invincibility, super speed, extra health, a slow killing poison, huge enemies, unlimited ammo, bonus enemies, safe zones that must be fought in, the list goes on. Each Test of Faith adds a new element to the gameplay, keeping it fresh where the overall simplicity may bore most.
Sometimes the game becomes a relative challenge, sometimes it becomes a little too easy, but it's generally a surprise and that's what makes God Mode a fun experience when it could easily become stale. Throw in a bit of multiplayer and you've got a decent amount of entertainment for a fairly low price.
The AI isn't the best you'll ever have the pleasure of squaring off against, but it doesn't really need to be. Why? Because most most fights revolve around your ability to manipulate the NPCs into a single path, so it's more about understand how to use things to your advantage than anything else. With only a dodge mechanic to fall back on and no real choke points, players will find themselves (most of the time) in a far more hectic situation than similar horde modes in Gears of War or Halo.
Gold and experience are guaranteed as players progress, which means that even if you happen to encounter a particularly difficult Test, it's not as though you're stuck forever. There's always a bonus for those who lack the natural harpy avoidance skills to make it through the next level.
In fact the same reasons that God Mode falls short are likely the same reasons for its limited success. Perhaps in the future added Tests and some expanded levels or monsters will make the game feel like a much deeper purchase and although nothing about the gameplay, graphics or sound will blow you away, it's the exact kind of time sink that's sure to satisfy for a few hours of entertainment. Throw in a few friends and a bit of competitive spirit and you've got a something that may last a day or so, which for God Mode is mission accomplished.
In short, God Mode is a game that has some good concepts. The whole introduction of Tests of Faith is pretty neat. However, it's also much more basic than perhaps it needs to be. Still, if you're looking for a bit of fun, then God Mode is more than capable of entertaining during that period of time.
|Test of Faiths are rather novel.|
|Very over the time, in a good way.|
|It has just the right amount of fun.|
|Can get a bit stale.|
|AI is pretty simple.|
|Could do with some expanded levels.|