Coming to PC and PS4 next week, Fall Guys is a battle royale like no other.
60 players battle it out through multiple rounds of madcap mayhem, with each round weeding out the losers. Eventually, just one is crowned a Fall Guys champion. Exactly what those rounds will be is entirely random; perhaps you’ll have to race to the finish line, or maybe you’ll have to balance on a rotating cylinder long enough to outlast your competitors. There are some team-based challenges too, such as a football match and a capture the flag-style event where you need to gather as many eggs for your team as possible, even if that means stealing from other teams.
Your fall guy, a doughy and plump figure that can be customised with all manner of weird and wonderful costumes, will get pushed and shunted around, especially in the early levels. Sixty little doughboys running along a course is an acute recipe for mayhem, but it’s here where the game’s at its most fun. You can jump, roll and grab – so if you want to play dirty, go for it; Fall Guys welcomes it. There’s nothing funnier than seeing the camera pan around once you’ve already made it over the finish line, to see the stragglers trying to destroy each other when only one qualifying spot remains.
The structure of a game differs each time you play, too. We’ve had final rounds with fifteen people in, and final rounds with six. Sometimes the crowds will be narrowed down more than others, and sometimes you may have an extra round before the final. It means a match never feels prescriptive, and you’re never sure what’s going to be up next. Even when you become overly familiar with each of the level types, they are still utterly hilarious to compete on. Besides, familiarity can be your biggest ally, as you’ll know what to expect.
It’s hard not to draw comparisons between Fall Guys and Takeshi’s Castle, if you replace its downtrodden contestants with colourful, squidgy blobs with arms and legs. It’s the same energy; battling it out across obtuse obstacle courses for ultimate glory. Fall Guys is a little more forgiving though – at least on some levels. If you fall off the track on a race, you’ll restart from the last checkpoint, rather than getting an instant fail. Of course, some challenges are all about not falling off, and in those cases, it’s game over.
Perhaps what helps make Fall Guys such a joy to play is just how wonderfully colourful it is. Levels look like big inflatable obstacle courses in the sky, brought to live with bright, clashing colours. Add to that the dozens of hilariously-dressed characters haplessly running around each course, and you’ve got an absolutely joyous experience through and through.
Even if you don’t like multiplayer games, this one is worth a look. Fall Guys is essentially the battle royale game for people who hate battle royales. It’s manic, hilarious and a lot of fun; even when you’re losing you’ll want to jump straight back into another match. We can’t wait to play more of it.