Godzilla was released during December 2014 in Japan, and finally it has released on to western shores, but will it be worth the wait.  If you’re familiar with the classic Godzilla that first appeared in 1954, then you should already be familiar with its latest videogame counterpart.  The premise is simple; Godzilla appears from the sea to reap havoc among the Japanese streets destroying anything and everything that lies in his path to destroy the nuclear G-Energy Generators.   That my friend is pretty much the story in a nutshell.

The gameplay is as simple and as in-depth as the storyline; Godzilla appears, smashes stuff up and leaves.  The generators you destroy and the further you progress into the main story mode, Godzilla will grow bigger and become slightly more powerful. Yes you do get missions will side-objectives, which often involves smashing some other stuff up and often your party will be gatecrashed by a rival Kaiju (which effectively is a boss battle), but once again, that’s the gameplay in a nutshell.  In my opinion if a non fan attempted to play this game, they’d surely be put off for life, including any forthcoming movie.  Its a bit cliché to say that this is a game for the classic Godzilla fan in mind, but it really is or at least only a Godzilla fan would find any kind of enjoyment with this game, as short-lived as that might be.

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What really bothers me more than anything else in the game however is the inability to rotate Godzilla with the analogue stick.  You can move him forward and backwards with the sticks, but to rotate him left or right, you must use the shoulder buttons.  I don’t know exactly why the developers chose to go this way, whether this had something to do with the camera angles, I’m not too sure, but it’s an odd choice none the less.  You do get use to how it plays after 30 minutes of so, but I still would have preferred to use both analogue sticks to move the king of monsters.

Where Godzilla really wins kudos points is the likeness of each and every Kaiju, they look as every bit like a man in a rubber suit as you might remember, Godzilla’s roar will also win plus points with fans.  Yet, some disappointment is increased when you realise that the game features no humans running away frantically in fear of their life.  All the Kaiju’s you remember (and forgot) are all here and instantly recognisable to fans.  However, then environments look very last gen and I’ve seen better design and texture detail in many PS3 games, and that shouldn’t be said when talking about something that is a PS4 game.

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When I first started the game, I was greeted with his roar, that iconic theme music and with a black & white filter that fulfilled my desire for nostalgia. But I could see that the buildings in which I was smashing up looked very poor.  Though being the optimistic Godzilla fan that I am, I turned to my wife and said “perhaps the buildings look poor because in the original movies, they looked very fake and perhaps this game was paying homage?”  Then after I passed the introductory level and went to a colour filter, I soon realised that this was no homage, the environments genuinely looked that poor regardless, which is a dam shame.  Yes I know that graphics are not the be all and end all, and its more about the gameplay (not that its great here).

I know also that some might argue that this is not an AAA game, but for a title that at the time of writing this review is selling at £40, I expect a better level of quality.  Even the cutscenes are cheap and feel as if the developers have taken a short-cut when trying to tell what little of a story that this game contains (not that I expect an in-depth story with Godzilla, but I certainly expect better presentation).  Rather than having cutscenes to tell a story, you have a still image of a character in the top-right of the screen speaking on the current events.  That is it, which lacks are kind of real effort.

While the main campaign (God of Destruction mode) does offer branching paths as to which mission you choose next, each with its own difficulty level, things will become slightly tiresome after a few hours or so, which is bad considering it should take you no more then 2 hours (at best) to playthrough the campaign.  However, the game attempts to encourage you to playthrough this mode multiple times to unlock its bonus content, but can you really be bothered to do that? (I know I couldn’t).  Once this mode is defeated, you will then be able to select all the Kaiju available in the game, which had me heading straight towards Mechagodzilla and to utilise the Godzilla skin from the 2014 movie.

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Other then the main campaign you also have a wave based mode known as King of the Monsters, Evolution mode which is kind of like a bite-sized version of the main campaign, as well as the online mode which can see as many as three Kaiju battling one another at any one time.  Unfortunately this online mode is exclusive to the PS4 and is not available on PS3, which is disappointing.  Oh and you have the Diorama mode, which is basically a digital play-set.

Godzilla is an odd game to review.  It scores more negatives then it does positives and the game could be so, so much better.  It becomes repetitive after a short span with its level design and fiddly controls, but yet it has a certain charm.  Maybe it’s the fan in me?  Perhaps I’m a little bias as the game triggers some happy childhood memories?  It’s likely a bit of both and I have no problem in admitting that.  But the rational person in my has to score this game objectively and with so many flaws, it’s hard to ignore its issues, even with its cheap Godzilla charm.

I’m gonna go back into cliché territory here once more and say that this is a game for the fans, as I believe it’s unlikely that the non Godzilla legions are likely to find any lasting enjoyment with this game.  But as a cautious fan, do not go into this game expecting anything more than below average experience, only that way will you hopefully avoid huge disappoint and I cannot urge this point enough, either wait for the inevitable price drop or shop around for the best price before picking up this Godzilla title.  You have been warned.



Author

Richard Lee Breslin
Richard Lee Breslin

Gamimg has been my life for 30+ years and will always be my passion. I have a BDes Hons Games Development and Digital Media, and I hope to one day turn my passion for gaming and writing into a living. My favourite gaming series are Resi Evil, Metal Gear Solid, Silent Hill, Assassin's Creed, Uncharted and The Last of Us. I collect gaming merchandise, comics and movies. I love football (namely Aston Villa) and WWE. I can also often be found wondering the outskirts of Raccoon City. Follow me on Twitter @Solidus5nake and you can check out my Patreon here: https://www.patreon.com/solidus5nake