I have to admit, at first I had no plans on playing Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout, seeing it as just another silly looking battle royal trying to cash in on the latest trend. However, a friend of mine practically insisted I download it and said I wouldn’t regret it. Well, he was definitely right. Mediatonic, the developer behind Fall Guys, has created the most interesting battle royale I’ve ever seen; it’s engaging, colorful, family-friendly and a great way to spend a few hours with your friends.
Although it may be in the type of category as games like Fortnite and Warzone, it is the polar opposite of these games. There is no skydiving deploy, no weapon or armor of any kind, no gas slowly pushing players to the imminent final circle, and (more importantly) no overly aggressive competition. The last characteristic listed is the biggest factor that makes it so unlike a traditional battle royale, as you’re typically having too much fun to be absorbed with wanting to win.
The game is extremely simple from the start. It doesn’t take long to open, get readied up and be playing a match within a few minutes (assuming you’re not having issues with the server). The button layout is just as simple, with only three functions outside of running and moving the camera: jumping, diving and grabbing. For most of the game’s modes, jump and dive are the more important of the three.
A majority of these modes are for individual qualification, so elimination is really based on how well you perform. However, there are a handful that require a team effort to push to the next round. These team based modes are just as simple and fun, but there’s always the possibility of subpar players ending a good run. This can be a bit frustrating, as no matter how hard I played some teams were just not good enough to make it to the next level.
This game is actually far more entertaining when you have someone else with you. If I didn’t qualify, I got to watch whatever crazy antics were about to take place while I spectated my pal. From just that alone, I’ve laughed more times playing this game than any other game I’ve ever played. It’s also a breath of fresh air to cheer on a friend for a win, even if I was eliminated rounds previous.
There can be up to six rounds, with players having to qualify in order to make it to the final round and for a chance to take a victory. Rounds can rotate between 20 different levels, with four of those specifically tailored for the final round. For the most part, the last round can be guessed by just how many players are heading to the final round.
There have been several instances where a team based round called Fall Ball (push balls into opponent goals) came up with an odd number of players. Obviously, this separates the teams unevenly, making it difficult to push balls to the opponents goal and guard our own goal. Needless to say, I was on the short end of the stick on several occasions and lost because of it.
The characters share the same simplistic style as everything else, and their bean-shaped bodies have no defining markers besides their eyes. They’re actually adorable in appearance because of this. There are plenty of ways to customize these little guys. They can be solid colors, have layered colors with patterns or be dressed in different outfits. An outfit has a matching top and bottom, like the Pigeon costume that’s currently available through the free tiers within the game.
Of course, there is no rule that says the outfit needs to match. I’ve seen rather odd combonations, like a pineapple top with pigeon bottoms. Some the outfit pieces have color variants, which can be found randomly in the in-game shop. New items rotate everyday in the shop, several of which can be bought with the Kudos currency you make while playing the game or purchasing them with real money. Crowns, the premium currency, can’t be bought and are only given out in the tiers or earned for winning the final round (one for each victory).
There is one gripe I have with Fall Guys, and it’s kind of a ridiculous one: other players. While an overwhelming amount of people play fair, there are some who will try to sabotage others’ good time. The grab mechanic is intended to be used in certain game modes, but players will use it to grab another person stopping them from crossing the finish line or making them fall off into the pit of slime (and ultimately, elimination).
For me, after playing Call of Duty for a several hours a day, it can get a bit tiring. This could be applied to any game that has a stress factor, like Warzone, Fortnite, Apex Legends and several other rather popular online multiplayer titles. Fall Guys removes the stress that other games have, instead replacing it with a fare more pleasant version of battle royale. I also really enjoy the level design. Mediatonic did an amazing job creating the layouts for these levels and I don’t find myself getting tired of them. The colors they chose to fill the world of Fall Guys, while bright, are not overwhelming.