Review – Godstrike

I’m kind of fond for games centered solely around fighting a series of bosses, or, as the kids like to call, “boss rushes”. From the ever fantastic Furi to Titan Souls, as well as Sekiro‘s separate boss rush mode, there’s something about the thrill of taking on challenging boss after challenging boss with very little filler in between these sections that truly amuse me. Freedom Games’ Godstrike is the latest game in the genre to grace the Switch. Let’s see if this one is worth your time.

There’s not much of a story here: you play as Talaal, someone considered the “Last Herald”, who must battle her siblings before they kill and absorb her powers. There’s a rather lengthy intro that explains it all, but to be honest, it’s just nonsense that shows up just to give you some context as to how and why you’re supposed to kill all of these bosses. It’s not even worth paying attention to, and can be almost entirely skipped by jumping straight into the game’s separate arcade mode, which not only skips all cutscenes from the getgo, but also unlocks all the abilities from the start.

I’m expecting evil laughter.

Godstrike is a really tough game, as to be expected. In here, your health doubles also as a time meter, with each hit you take depleting the amount of time you have left to defeat a boss. It’s absolutely critical to avoid damage as much as possible. Once the timer hits zero, you will be given an additional “last chance”. The next time you get hit, it’s game over. It’s an interesting design decision that makes it stand out against over boss rush games. It’s made even more interesting when you realize the special attacks in your loadout also take off a few seconds from your total amount, making you consider when to attack, and which attacks to use.

For the most part the bosses are about avoiding an onslaught of bullets whilst keeping a constant stream of damage on the boss itself. I’m not going to lie, Godstrike absolutely kicked my a***. A lot. Each of the game’s bosses are unique from one another, with mechanics and gimmicks you’ll need to figure out the hard way. Each boss also has a number of phases that completely change the fight and strategies you need to use. Die at all in whichever phase you’re currently at and it’s right back to the start, no checkpoints, no second chances.

While I’m always up for a good challenge, the gameplay needs to feel fair and be fun, and this is where Godstrike truly fails. The controls don’t feel as precise as they should be, and the boss battles just aren’t very fun to play, often being overly long tests of patience against bullet sponges that are more annoying than entertaining. Granted, there are a few boss battles that are the complete opposite, being both fun and innovative in design, but that’s not the majority of what Godstrike offers.

Godstrike Boss

What a boss battle in Godstrike typically looks like.

The graphics are good enough for the most part. Everything is clear, you’ll always be able to see what’s happening, even when the enemy throws literal hundreds of bullets at you at once. With that being said, clear doesn’t mean pretty. It’s just an average game in terms of its art design. The sound design is also passable, but very unremarkable, with a pretty forgettable soundtrack.

Godstrike is a passable attempt at a boss rush game. It is certainly a brutal challenge that will take dozens of attempts to get through, but it’s just not a very fun experience. There’s some potential here with the time mechanic not only being your health but also a resource that you need to manage. The problem lies on the lacklustre boss battles, which comprise the entirety of the game’s runtime, however.

Graphics: 6.0

The visuals won’t blow you away, but also very rarely get in the way of the action.

Gameplay: 7.0

The time-based mechanic does just enough to make this painfully basic twin-stick shooter stand out a little bit more.

Sound: 6.0

The sound design is far from remarkable, but it does get the job done at the very least.

Fun Factor: 5.5

I love a good challenge when it’s fun. Godstrike rarely manages to be truly fun. None of the game’s bosses really stood out.

Final Verdict: 6.0

Godstrike is available now on Switch and PC.

Reviewed on Switch.

A copy of Godstrike was provided by the publisher.