POLYGOD is an FPS, played in a randomly generated 3-D platform maze. Now that in itself has a lot of potential to be fun with friends on multiplayer, but I have no friends so I can’t confirm that.
Players start each game equipped with a single gun, which can be upgraded through different altars throughout levels in exchange for souls, for killing different enemies. Upgrades can range from stronger bullets to life insurance that takes souls when you run out of health.
Gameplay wise is probably where POLYGOD falters. Each floor is uniquely generated, and has five different enemies. The goal of each floor is to reach a portal where players fight the boss of the floor. Though it seems like it would be easier to just skip enemies and run straight to the portal, the game persists by being annoying. At the start of the game, the weapon is so weak. Think “worse than wooden sword status” weak. Think “takes six shots to kill basic enemies” weak. The game basically forces you to farm souls and upgrade. And it’s not as though one upgrade is fine. No. There are different enemies in each level that have significantly more health than the last, forcing players to go through the annoying grind every time.
Usually in a game with grinding, the story more or less makes up for it, leading to a fantastic plot or something along those lines. POLYGOD does not have this. Not only does the grind become really boring, but the annoying attack sound effects that can only be described as the “most irritating pew I’ve ever heard” make it even less bearable. It’s also hard to grind, because it’s not like a brain-dead game where you can spam and the monsters are easy to kill with a large group. No, these monsters are a stupid combination of RNG movement and the other end of bullet hell.
Another obnoxious bit: the lack of a save function, not included to induce a roguelike feel to the game and allow for “thousands of combinations of upgrades.” This is complete bullshit for the ridiculous amount of grinding, but it is understandable, considering how short the game is supposed to be and its roguelike nature.
Dying is also really easy, hence my complain about lack of saves, if you suck at shooters, which I do. But dying is harder to avoid due to the default and static mouse sensitivity and the abundance of multi-shooting monsters that appear in subsequent floors. If you’re like me and really suck at FPS, floor one is kind of challenging but I eventually got pretty below average at it and made it to floor three. From that point on, I just found the game far too difficult for me. Early on, I found myself dying probably every seven minutes or so, so the lack of a save made this game like a spawn of Satan.
Though I’m usually a fan of games that have funkier looking and simple graphics, POLYGOD, just did not cut it for me. Design wise, the style of the art is very simple, combining bright colors with solid shapes; the game has very boring designs, almost MS Paint-like. The lack of complex figures and solid textures in tandem with the overly fluorescent colors just did not mesh well together for my taste in visuals.
The plot of the game also just does not seem too significant. The player controls a “faceless warrior,” and attempts the Trials of Gods, defeating the malignant gods’ champions, the bosses of each floor. Yeah, if I didn’t read the description on Steam, I actually would have no idea what this game is about aside from vague tidbits that NPCs say. I felt almost as if the game tried to avoid setting up a plot at and might even be better as an open map shooter. The basis of the game is pretty explanatory even without the need for “malignant gods,” and most of the enemies could have been subbed out and the difficulty and flow of the game would remain similar, if not the same.
Overall, POLYGOD definitely has room for potential, but its ridiculous difficulty curve and necessity to grinding experience make it more of a bore than a challenge. Because the game is a roguelike, I doubt that the developers will add a save function, and that’s completely fine. But in its current situation as a FPS bullet hell style of game, POLYGOD needs to make improvements to the difficulty curve or graphics or just something to give it an extra oomph, or it’s just not worth the effort.
- High difficulty curve
- Very spammy
- Lots of upgrades
- This game is super hard
- Annoying sound effects
- Minimal graphics
- Really, really, really grindy
- No save
Reviewed on: PC; Publisher: Amplify Games Developer: Amplify Games; Players: Multiplayer; Released: October 13, 2016; ESRB: NA; MSRP: $9.99; Official Site