Just another god game

GODUS: So, I finally got around to try out Peter Molyneux’ newest baby. It’s still suprisingly addictive to sculpt land and sacrifice little computer people, but in the long run it’s not as fun as it could have been.

Molyneux has always been the name associated with the god game genre. Perhaps because his takes on the genre often has taken the name quite literally. Populous, Powermonger and Black & White are all games where you as a player take on the role as an increasingly powerful deity leading your people to prosperity.

This guy loves to brag about his newest thing.
This guy loves to brag about his newest thing.

It worked back then, and it’s still a very powerful formula. Godus plays much like a classic strategy game, with a few touches.

After quitting Lionhead and forming a new studio, 22cans, Molyneux has been working closely with feedback from players through the whole design and development process. Godus is a god game done by the book, and works as a spiritual successor to the designer’s breakthrough title: Populous.

And it does so very well. Godus is as addictive and fun as Populous ever was.

After a few more or less successful takes on the RPG genre back at Lionhead, Peter Molyneux is now back doing what he does best. The charm is there, the crude British sense of humour, the addictive gameplay.

At this point, Godus is still an unfinished product. Features are being tweaked, removed and added while the team constantly work with players for feedback.

I’ve always liked Molyneux, even when he was so big headed about his design choices that turned out as failures. There’s something real about a game designer who has the guts to try something crazy and fail at it.

Molyneyx does have a more subtle approach to the media now. He also has a more subtle approach to his design choices. That may be Godus’ great weakness.

Your promised land can be paradise on earth, if you play your cards well.
Your promised land can be paradise on earth, if you play your cards well.

There is little here that brings something new to the genre. Something new to the idea of the god game that Peter and his teams haven’t done before. Godus is simply too by the book.

The pacing is also way to slow. Waiting around to collect belief (the game’s primary resource) is what you do most during your first ten five or ten hours of gameplay.

It would also be nice to see some more building, and less tedious sculpting of land. Advancing the city building aspect of the game, like they did with Black & White 2, would make Godus much more interesting in the long run.

Sometimes it almost feels like Molyneux really wanted to make a Facebook game, only without microtransactions.

If you’re into god games, Godus is pretty much exactly what you think it is. You won’t be in for many surprises. Peter Molyneux set out to reinvent the god game. As far as I can see, Godus is an utter failure in that regard. Remaking old ideas is not the same as reinventing a genre.

Molyneux’ newest baby is a decent god game, with many addictive features, but not much more than that. It puts together old ideas, and does none of them particularly well.

Playing Godus is like visiting an old friend and realizing that he hasn’t changed at all the past twenty years.

Rating: 6Game: Godus | Developer: 22cans | Released: September 2013

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