In a world where chaos is commonplace and the Crown rules all, Devolver Digital and Mediatonic’s obstacle-based battle royale Fall Guys brings game show-style antics to the masses. Should players get it on, or is this title too chaotic for its own good?

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout Review

Those weaned on a healthy diet of Wipeout and Takeshi’s Castle will be all too familiar with the set up found in Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout. 60 customizable jelly bean-like creatures enter the ring, competing in five Shows in a mad dash to come out on top and claim the coveted Crown. Of course, victory means elimination for 59 other poor souls.

Nobody likes reruns, however; that’s why the development team has thrown in a number of different Shows to compete in. Chosen at random, players will either work as part of a team, attempt to qualify, or prevent themselves from being eliminated.

The question is: Are these Shows worth tuning in for?

That answer varies greatly. Some levels, like the rolling rings of Roll Out and the keepaway action of Royal Fumble perfectly encapsulate the energy that comes from throwing a bunch of ragdoll creatures together. Put simply, seeing a bunch of creatures bash their way through doors in Door Dash is a sight to behold.

However, there are also a number of duds in the bunch. The moment players fall into the abyss for the nth time in Tip Toe due to fake tiles is the moment players realize just how sadistic these level designers can be. Frustration can quickly set in due to circumstances beyond the player’s control; one’s experience in cooperative battles like Hoarders and Egg Scramble can vary greatly based on who they are matched up with.

Nevertheless, familiarity with each stage and getting to know the general grabbing, jumping, and diving nature of your bean will no doubt aid in the learning curve. One shouldn’t blame their connection for poor play either; whether we were flying solo or playing with a friend via the PlayStation Network, connecting all sixty players together was a breeze and the lag was negligible. Each character also only varies cosmetically too, so while that dino guy might look cool, he’s got the same tools that you do to complete the job.

On that note, the cosmetics serve as a huge drive to come back and compete once more. In addition to the Crowns, players can also earn Fame and Kudos. Fame serves as a leveling system for Season 1 of Fall Guys, with unlockables available up to level 40. Kudos, on the other hand, work more as currency in its shop. Just note that items are randomized, vary based on rarity, and change after a set period of time. This might be a turn off for some people, but its lack of effect on gameplay make these quirks more of an annoyance than a dealbreaker.

Unfortunately, as of right now, not all is cheerful in the brightly colored world of Fall Guys. Problems we came across include error messages that failed to dish out any rewards and transaction errors that prevented us from getting new gear. One can also purchase Kudos and additional costumes outright for real money on the PlayStation Store, which comes across in poor taste.

Much like a goofy game show, the zany antics of Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout will appeal to gamers of all types. Though the first season has some nasty bugs and Show duds, those that bring some patience into this battle royale will enjoy their race to the top.

This review of Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout was done on the PlayStation 4. The title was freely downloaded with a PlayStation Plus subscription.
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