Babylon's Fall - it's kind of OK?

For anyone out of the loop, generic sounding name aside, this is the latest game from Platinum, published by Square Enix.

It’s an action, hack and slash thing that at some point in development was built into a live-service-always-online-game. The internet has been incredibly harsh to it, and thus, as with Balan Wonderworld, I grew more and more interested as each deep dive popped up on YouTube raging at different parts of its design.

I’m very early into this thing, but: I think it's fine.

It’s doesn’t look great. Many, wrongfully, have said it looked like a PS2 game, but as is always the case, if you're someone who actually regularly plays older games, you know that's not going to be true. It’s perhaps more accurate to say that the modelling and texture work are a little PS3 in quality, though obviously displayed at a much higher resolution and at a much higher framerate than machines of that era could manage. I saw someone say Platinum’s skills basically capped out during that generation, and I’d say that’s pretty accurate given that a lot of their recent successes have come via the Switch and its lower spec. Either way though, the visuals are not the meat and potatoes of this thing, even if it tries (and fails) to implement some sort of painterly filter.

The game itself is a stage based, co-op hack and slash, loot driven affair.

I’m not an expert on this sort of design but it feels pretty good to me. It looks flashy, combat is readable and enjoyable, and even at the early stage I’m at, weapon and gear selection makes encounters feel different.

The gimmick of this game is that you always hold four weapons, two in your hands, and two that are controlled by some weird ethereal backpack you carry around. It means that combos can be expressive, and gear is fun to organise between skirmishes. At the moment I have 2 quick swords for my light and heavy hand attacks, and then two big spectral hammers mapped to the shoulder buttons and therefore the backpack thing, so that I can finish off a flurry with a double hammer blow from distance.

Gameplay then is fine, but a genuine failing is Babylon's matchmaking and online. Given that you can’t play Babylon’s Fall at all without being connected to its servers, it’s a shame that player counts are as low as they are, and its frustrating that matchmaking hasn’t been streamlined and organised to account for this. Searching for a quick match is basically impossible as it relies on someone in the same region and the same server, having set up up a game on a stage that you must have already unlocked in the campaign, within a few seconds of you starting your search. The requirements and the timings of this whole process means that I’ve yet to play with another soul.

Friendlists are needlessly complicated too - the game demands a Square Enix account, and managing other players is a case of using their SE name not their PSN handle, for some weird reason. It's cross play between PS4, PS5 and PC, but still, there must have been a more elegant way to put this together.

Maybe the online is great, maybe its shit, but at the moment I’m having to resort to just soloing stages, but still having a decent time.

It most puts me in mind of something like Phantasy Star Online. I'm not talking PSO in its prime, but rather a modern fan-server version of Blue Burst, or the DC or GC release with their obviously reduced numbers and tighter communities. Babylon's Fall has a hub area to buy and sell and equip your character between stages. There’s a loose story that runs through each stage. And there’s repetitive, but engaging enough combat to keep you ticking along, just as PSO was never really that layered a combat experience.

I’m not saying Babylon’s Fall is a 10/10 must-play or anything like that, but for what my opinion is worth, it’s also not the 1/10 ‘worst game of the year’ that the open jawed YouTube thumbnails would have you believe. Maybe it’s going to die a death within a few months; maybe Platinum will make enough changes to keep things rolling. I just really hope that they're savvy enough to have a rethink on their big bold statement last year that they’d be focusing almost exclusively on live service games like this, because in the here and now, I don’t think they’re quite up the task.

Anyone else playing? Anyone else played? Anyone else *thinking* of playing?

i thought all the preview promo stuff looked really interesting, my kind of thing, then when it became evident that it was a kind of live-service game, launching at roughly the same time as more interesting games (elden ring, horizon 2, stranger of paradise), i thought i'd perhaps get around to it later.

if it drops in price significantly, i'll probably pick it up but until then, i'd probably have as much fun replaying one of the platinum niers

I thought these video impressions, once past the clickbait thumbnail, were actually pretty interesting and helped me understand what Platinum was going for. The quad weapons system sounds pretty interesting and reminds me a bit of what Genshin is going for (which is funny considering how much MiHoYo has taken inspiration from PG in their games).

For me, the easy comparison is everything that Warframe currently offers to new players for free. If you launch a new "brawler as a service" nowadays, this is the competition you have to contend with, and positioning yourself as premium-based unfortunately removes any excuse for lacking contents at launch in the eyes of these consumers.

Personally, I am not a big fan of loot-based crawlers, online multiplayer-driven games or even really Platinum Games’ output (although I have mucho respect for their work) so I am clearly not the target audience for this game and not very interested to give it a shot, but I have to say I am a bit fascinated by what someone / some team would do if they were tasked to save a project like this.

I kinda dig Platinum games generally, and with regards to multiplayer games I always thought that Max Anarchy / Anarchy Reigns would have found a much better audience on PC than it did on console when that was released. To contradict myself slightly though, generally speaking I don‘t think Platinum’s brand of action translates well to multiplayer and my interest in it would have been significantly higher had it been a resolutely single player experience.

I swear I read a couple of weeks ago that at one point Babylon's Fall had just a single concurrent player on Steam - I think Eurogamer ran the piece.

I think I will give Babylon's Fall a whirl eventually once it's discounted, and if the single player experience is solid enough for me to want to invest in. Square Enix have stated that they will support the game in the future, and who knows, maybe we'll see a FFXIV style overhaul that sees it become a more beloved game.

[upl-image-preview url=https://i.imgur.com/Fct9y3T.jpeg]

Hadn‘t heard of this but I’m immediately interested by the name.

Setting aside anyone else‘s opinion or any criticisms of quality.

I’m interested in the story, message, direction, concepts behind this game.

If it‘s always online, then that’s already ironic because the fall of Babylon would make this game unplayable.

I think we need to look past superficial gameplay concerns and see what this game has to say.
On Wikipedia there is no story section, only gameplay and reception.
all videos are the same.

I'm seeing a lot of red flags from the media that they could be missing something.

Very similar to how difficult it was (and still is) to find any information on Dragon Quest 11 because everyone just jumped on the "soundtrack sucks" bandwagon.

My rebellious brain sees everyone doing one thing unquestionably and immediately wants to go the opposite direction.

Thanks for bringing this to my attention.
I watched the release trailer
https://youtu.be/6eR9L_gHeak
Seems like platinum trying to reach the Elden Ring market.
I could summarize every single Souls game's story as "The Fall of Babylon", so maybe that's where they're coming from.

quote from the trailer: "Does the savior of Babylon stand among us" (paraphrased) I'm not interested in saving babylon, so maybe I'm not so interested anymore.

Managed to get in a couple games with one other player earlier - it's a pretty decent time, even if the same experience could be had if they just let you use AI support characters instead.

I'll be playing more, for sure.

@"treefroggy"#p71575 The story is pretty tough to parse - the game uses a mixture of regular cutscenes, still animatic cutscenes (like Bayonetta but with absolutely none of the dynamism of those), and weird sit around a table, static camera conversation cutscenes after most missions. It really struggles to build up enough oomph to actually make me care and not inadvertently zone out during all of these.

@“LeFish”#p71572 it was rock paper shotgun

https://twitter.com/necrosofty/status/1524102700463378432?s=19

Anyway this is looking like a good candidate for [this list](https://forums.insertcredit.com/d/734-im-a-fan-of-so-please-recommend-more-like/200), which maybe I should split into its own thread.

Hope you gave it a shot while you could because Babylon’s Fall - it’s kind of dead.

Just ordered a copy. If an IC forum member says it is kind of ok and they are terminating the service soon, I want to play it.

If anyone else in the UK is after it, The Game Collection is the cheapest https://www.thegamecollection.net/babylons-fall-ps4?sqr=babylon

I played some Babylon‘s Fall. It’s kind of OK!

It looks better than I had been made to believe and it plays fine.

The combat has two main problems that would make it a billion times better if they were changed. The dodge consumes magic meter and you can't dodge cancel out of combos like you can in other Platinum joints.

I think the reason behind this is that it would allow players to run rings around the enemies and completely trivialise them. They want this to be a game of numbers rather than skill since it is about loot and battle passes so they need to make a very low skill ceiling, otherwise a medium skilled player could just break the game over their knee.

The game is fine. The levels are just a series of corridors and rooms. In coop you race through levels. All the loot you get from your first quest is worse than your starting gear which isn't a great onboarding decision. The dialogue is dreadful. The vistas are beautiful. It's very brown. If you remap the buttons you'll have a better time. Your weird tentacles attacking with extra weapons is cool.

Extremely 6/10. Nowhere near as bad as internet game dunkers would have you believe. God, most people that talk about games on twitter are absolute chodes.

I‘m still waiting for my buddy to get me a ps+ pass again, and then I’ll be in there as well!

Is anyone else planning on trying this before it goes away? Maybe an Insert Credit population bump at a set time one day?

The Babylon’s Fall redemption arc has begun. I certainly agree with the first few minutes of the video.

https://youtu.be/8V91Zi2z1Wc

Just gonna reiterate what I said in the GOTY podcast - the music is good:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_8-8A7frkw&t=517s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7HFrEkTHPg

I can't find my favorite tracks which are all like... baroque lute stuff, but I'm getting the OST so I'll have it soon! put the ps5 disc in and hover over it in the menu and you'll see what I mean.