TAG24's Take: Babylon's Fall? More like Babylon's Fail

Osaka, Japan - What a way to whiff the landing: Babylon's Fall is a pricey game that was stale on arrival, but we bit into it anyway to give you TAG24's Take.

It don't mean a thing if that bling ain't got swing.
It don't mean a thing if that bling ain't got swing.  © Square Enix/PlatinumGames

The hack-and-slash game Babylon's Fall comes from developer PlatinumGames, which is most famous for its buttery-smooth combat and masterfully-crafted dystopian narratives.

Backed by Final Fantasy publisher Square Enix, fans had high hopes for another amazing storyline full of epic battle.

The game puts you in the shoes of a prisoner, conscripted into clearing out a massive tower to save the very people who took his freedom. And that should be an excellent story to flesh out.

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Instead, this steaming pile of repetitive nonsense delivers bland combat and a story that is as disappointing and forgettable as a dry piece of toast.

The basic gameplay loop is not the problem. You unleash your character's attacks and abilities on dungeons full of baddies, then gather any coins and loot from your vanquished foes. That is how the hack-and-slash games work, and PlatinumGames has made delightful games based on this loop.

However, Babylon's Fall only gives you a few limited types of moves that are rarely exciting to use. Sure, hitting enemies while shooting out visual effects can be fun, but not if those effects get in the way, resulting in a confusing, colorful mess. What's worse, enemies are built to last, with health bars you slowly crunch through, making the main attraction of Babylon's Fall a slog-fest.

Unfortunately, no amount of visual effects can save this game from looking like it came out at the beginning of last decade.

You're trapped in a world with blurry watercolor visuals, and cutscenes that are either still frames, or confine you to a single table in a tavern with obnoxious music, while you quickly forget whatever the poorly-voiced characters are trying to get you to care about.

Copy and paste

Babylon's Fall is rarely this uncluttered, or this cool-looking.
Babylon's Fall is rarely this uncluttered, or this cool-looking.  © Square Enix/PlatinumGames

PlatinumGames forces you to fight through corridors, battle in arenas, and repeat that loop until you uninstall the game in disgust.

The trailers promised single-player questing, epic combos, time-slowing abilities, and even wielding bosses' weapons against them, but the game delivers on exactly none of those promises.

Instead, this game basically punishes you for playing alone, since enemy health bars are always set for co-op play.

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If you think Babylon's Fall would be more fun with friends than alone, then you'd be right – but only because you'd then have someone to share the torture with. Co-op still doesn't make the actual game any more fun to play, and the avalanche of visual clutter on-screen makes the dull combat even harder to make sense of.

And if you decide you don't want to replay a specific quest, too bad, the matchmaking options will often throw you into a level you've already completed.

Finally, this is a full-priced $60 game, but it has a permanent HUD element telling you what your unrewarding Battle Pass progress is, enticing you to pay real money for in-game items that still wouldn't make the game any better to play.

Bottom line, Babylon's Fall is a monotonous grind, with no redeeming qualities that can outweigh the pile of uninspired gameplay elements. And with a peak of under 700 concurrent players on release day, it looks like most people didn't even get the memo that this gaming fail even released.

If you could only choose one game that came out this year, pick up Elden Ring, which has one of the best open worlds of all time, or go back to God of War, which finally came out on PC. Just don't waste your time or your money on Babylon's Fall.

Cover photo: Square Enix/PlatinumGames

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