Developer: Whalebox Studio
Publisher: Octopus Tree
Released For: PC (Windows)
DRM Versions Available
Released On: May 12th, 2016
MSRP: $19.99 Steam Link
Review Copy Received By Developer
In the game Goliath, you’ll play as a pilot who’s trapped after stumbling through a mysterious rift. You’ll spawn on a shard, and travel through different biomes and shards in an attempt to find your way home. You’ll come across ruined buildings from 1930s America, space with wrecked pirate ships and the overgrown remains of spaceships from a far-flung future. There are a bunch of factions you’ll come across, as well as the hordes of monsters and giants that want nothing more than you dead. To remedy this, you can build giants of your own! Search the world for the items you need to craft tools and weapons, including giant robot-like suits of armor that will help you even the odd against the giant monsters and baddies. In the game, you’ll come across dungeons, deserts, swamps, snowy tundras, different factions, large/expansive prairies, and a variety of enemies as you try to find your way home.
You start off as a crashed pilot with nothing but a gun the ability to cloak (odd, but okay), and the ability to craft campsites. You’ll later get robots, get crafting material, get more robots, get more crafting material, get nicer robots, and so on. You’ll explore the different ‘shards’ of the world, fight enemies, craft some robots, beat up enemies, solve some rather boring fetch quests, and that’s about it. You level up, fight baddies, and save the world (sorta).
The biomes look nice, and were fun to wander around. At least, until you realize how little of anything there actually is. There’s no real world building and this leads to the worlds looking really dull if one removed the enemies. They’re sorta pretty to look at, and there’s certainly enough diversity, but not enough to make up for fairly meh lands. The dungeons are also quite meh. Some of them are diverse from each other, but they mostly all blend and don’t do anything different. There was also one dungeon where we could not only see into the black abyss, but could fall through it forever.
As you play through the game, you’ll be able to craft better robots, find better weapons, etc. There’s a few cool features to the robots, one of which being the ability to attach weapons to certain robots, and the other is the fact that different robot or ‘Goliaths’ work better for different biomes. I.E if you have winter-related attachments for your stone Goliath, it’ll take damage in a desert biome. If you use a wooden Goliath and it’s raining or you sit in water, the Goliath will heal, and so on. It’s a neat idea, and actually comes over fairly well, and seems to be one of the few varied levels of detail in the game.
For combat, you have two basic attacks as the robot (which is really the only way you can fight) which include both ranged and melee attacks. The ranged attacks includes things like miniguns, arrows, and fireballs. The melee attacks include things like axes, swords, maces, etc. Besides your physical weapons which you can find around the world or buy from vendors, you also have the three main abilities with your robots, which vary from high defense to meteor attacks from the sky. They all have cool-down timers so you can’t spam them and they’re really fun to use. You also have the equivalency of a ‘rage meter’ which you build up by beating enemies with your basic attack. Once full, Goliaths can ditch out massive amounts of damage for a short time. Cool feature, but we eventually just become so powerful that the idea became rather mute pretty fast. The combat isn’t really diverse, so players will often find themselves just spamming an attack button. This isn’t horrible and is playable enough, but it could use some more diverse ways to play for sure, since anything that’s ranged is borderline useless. Since monsters only really ever have two attacks, it makes combat with stronger enemies just a chore, and it makes fighting weaker enemies just as something in your way. It was fun killing them in the beginning when we needed crafting material, but after that, they really just got in our way. You can also have the Goliaths follow you around. This would be a really neat feature, but it’s utterly useless because they barely do anything to help, don’t use any of their specials (from what we saw) and their attacks are week compared to when we used them.
As for the crafting, you can craft things like weapons, health items, Goliath upgrades, and power ups. You can also upgrade your main transporter circle (which is how you get from biome to biome on each shard). These upgrades are mainly for things like the ability to craft more items or to travel to different shards. Our only problem is that the currency used to travel between biomes and shards is so common and costs so much, we just found ourselves selling all the extra we found. By the second shard, we had over 100,000 gold, and we couldn’t find anything other than repair kits to spend it on. The other problem is the fact that items you use for crafting only stack at 50, and you only ever have 3 chests maximum to put extra stuff in. It was both annoying and aggravating that we couldn’t just craft another crate, and led us to just pick up gold. However, because we could never find enough sellers who were selling things we wanted and ran out of money quickly, we ended up having way too many rare items that we couldn’t just drop. The crafting is basic, but it works well enough, but there really needs to be a way to craft chests of some kind. A type of spam filter would also be beneficial. I.E being able to set what items your Goliath can and can’t pick up, that way you don’t pick up items you don’t want, because it’s near impossible to pick up individual items on their own.
There’s also the quests and the factions to mention. The factions are okay, but not really memorable at all, and they’re rather boring to be frank. They look really interesting, but they’re boring as factions go. Some of the dialogue is funny, but whatever humor the dialogue has really dies without any sort of voice acting at all. The lack of voice acting is really a bummer, and makes the humor that does work if read out loud almost pointless. The quests are also rather dull, and they’re nothing other than glorified fetch-quests. Oh, and we can’t complete the game, at all. That’s something probably worth mentioning.
There are certain quests that are side quests, and the few (very few) that are required. Almost half the quests in the second shard area were unfinishable for one reason or another (something we’ll show off in our video review for the game to explain what we mean) and we can’t finish the game. This is not only unacceptable, but it leaves us with a bad taste in our mouths. There are quite a few glitches and bugs in the game (like the dungeon bug mentioned earlier) and multiple performance errors, but we were willing to look past them. They were minor, possibly fixable, and were fairly small in a game that could possibly very well take players over 50 hours to complete. Even if it was just a side quest that was broken, we could (possibly) look past it, and players possibly could look past it. However, these aren’t just bugs like texture overlapping, these are bugs that make the game completely unfinishable. All of this would be fine if it was just on our end and we could, say, go back to a previous save.
Oh, hard saving is non-existent. None at all. You can go back to a few (and we mean a few) autosaves the game arbitrarily has, but there is absolutely NO hard saving available. This meant that if those bugs involving those quests were somehow on our end ( which still doesn’t make them excusable) this means we would have to start the game ALL over rather than just restart a few hours, which would overwrite our previous save. If we did this, we would have to replay 14 hours of the game simply to see if the glitch was on our side, and while the game was fun enough, it wasn’t fun enough to replay 14 hours of lost time.
Visually, the game looks fairly typical. Some things work, some things don’t, but the biomes and enemies at least have enough variety to stand out from each other, whereas the dungeons don’t. It looks like an okay world, but everything feels rather unpolished, and could use some refining.
Audio wise, it’s fairly plain and the music seems to either cut in and out randomly, or goes quiet enough that it might as well be doing it. The music when it was there was okay, but nothing to write home about.
Graphically, the settings department is really bland. You have a generic slider for graphical settings, some really basic audio settings, and that’s about it.
Overall, Goliath is rather disappointing, because we enjoyed the game. The simple combat but with robots was somehow ‘fun enough’ to keep us playing, and (despite the shallow quests) we still were having fun and enjoyed the few interesting characters and completing the random quests. It hit the ‘addiction button’ just enough to keep us entertained and to keep playing, even getting us to play for the first day from 9:00PM to 3:20AM. However, we can’t complete the game, and that is inexcusable. If it had some more polish, a lot of bug-fixing, a better variety of music, voice acting, and better performance on our system, we would suggest the game. But as is, we cannot suggest the game in its current state. Besides the suggestions above (mostly for the developers), we suggest to players waiting a month or two to see in what state the game is currently in. Who knows, the game may be amazing after the second shard area, but we wouldn’t know. So our suggestion is to wait it out for a bit and see where the game goes, because we did enjoy it for what our word is worth, and we do see a fair bit of potential with the game.
- The worlds and enemies are both varied enough and unique enough to stand out from each other
- The different robots are pretty interesting, and the added effect with environment is a nice touch
- The game’s combat is a bit simple and bland, but playable and enjoyable regardless
- Besides the environment detail, the robots in terms of combat all play the same
- Lack of chests to store items is annoying
- The actual playing character becomes almost useless after the first three hours of the game
- The glitches, bugs, and the unfinishability of the game makes it bordering unplayable
- The game’s story falls flat as soon as it starts, and really isn’t the main drive to playing
- No hardsave options, at all
- Certain things become (like the money, most of the crafting options, etc) useless after 10 hours into the game