GODUS is the new title from Peter Molyneux and his new development studio 22 Cans, where you take the role of a god, you have tiny “Followers” which inhabit your picturesque cube-like landscape and you have complete freedom to sculpt the land around you. Currently I’ve racked up 10 hours of gameplay on GODUS and it’s safe to say I’m addicted, but I don’t know why.
From the off I’d like to make note that this is in no way a review. The game has recently gone into early access on Steam allowing players who purchase the game full access to the current version. So far it’s only 41% complete with a handful of bugs and other things that need ironing out. Reviewing the game at this point would be futile as it’s constantly changing each time it updates so think of this as a tale of a guy and his journey to becoming god.
GODUS is one of those games that pretty much has no rules. Unlike other time management/civilisation games you’re not told what to do or where to go, it would be a false claim to say that it’s a sandbox game because there are objectives to complete which help your Followers progress in age but they don’t need to be focused on. I really had no idea what I was doing when I loaded up the game, I just know that I wanted to play it. It’s only now, 10 hours in, that I have some basic understanding of the game.
You begin with a small plot and a few followers, these followers will build their small dwellings and multiply. During this time some worshipping takes place and you’re rewarded with Belief. Belief is basically your currency that allows you to do things such as remove and generate land, throw down totems for your Followers to run to, as well as various other things that I’ll touch upon later.
So, I had my small chunk of land which happened to be a long stretch of beach coming off of the main world, at the time I couldn’t really expand any further because the rest of the world was greyed out – for now – I wasn’t too sure how to continue from here and then a few of the houses started to fly flags so, as anyone would in my situation, I clicked on the houses which caused my little followers started to walk around their little dwellings as well as wandering over to unoccupied plots of land to build another abode.
So now I’ve filled up my current available land and I have a bustling little village, I’m collecting a steady stream of Belief from my Followers and my population is starting to rise, that is until my Followers begin to die. They began to drop like flies. My population began to drop too. That was because it’s only really necessary to being Followers out of their homes to build empty plots, or mine gems, or explore, otherwise they just perish and die.
Learning from my mistakes I start to stockpile Belief so I can generate some land to build some more plots. By this time I’d reached 250 Followers which earned a sort of level up that unlocked a card. In GODUS, advances, powers, and resources are represented by cards; God Cards, Resource Cards, and Advance Cards these can be collected and added to your scrapbook. Each time your population advances through the ages you’ll be rewarded a new card which will allow your Followers to advance, providing you have the resources.
Resources can be acquired several different ways. You can scour the land in search of hidden chests, these chests will either be obvious or buried amongst hills or below ground, or you could enter in a multiplayer battle. At the moment multiplayer battles are limited to a computer AI and there’s not too much of a challenge. It does give an example of the type of multiplayer modes we’ll be able to play when the game releases in full.
By now I’ve gathered enough resources and my Followers and their humble abodes are advancing nicely, the only issue I have now is that I’m spending around ten minutes clicking on each individual house in order to collect Belief. This is where settlements come in. Settlements stockpile all of the Belief into one place. At the same time the settlement beautifies the houses by placing pathways and paving between each house.
Belief can also be spent on God-like commands such as placing Settlements, placing various Statues which give special powers to your Followers such as Speed and Exploration. Belief can also be spent on more destructive things like the “Hand of God” which allows you to poke and kill followers or destroy houses. I found this particularly useful in the multiplayer battles. You can also command meteor showers to come raining down on your towns if you feel inclined.
10 hours in I’ve expanded from the little stretch of beach I began with, to fields rich with greenery and mountains which hold hidden surprises if you have the time to go digging. As time management games go, GODUS doesn’t drag out like some do, and the further you progress doesn’t mean resources are impossible to come by.
From what I’ve played so far GODUS is definitely a promising concept and I’ve barely touched the surface as to what this game offers. It has what I like to call the Minecraft Addiction, you just waste away hours upon hours shaping your land to build something which in hindsight is ultimately pointless, but it’s fun all the same. Right now you can purchase GODUS and play this very early build of the game on Steam for £11.99.