Gods is approaching thirty years old, but back in its original release days it was praised for its gameplay and AI. Standing amongst some of the best platformers during those days is no small feat and of course any game that has accomplished that deserves a re-release. This time around we got a full remaster.
The plot is as 90’s as you expect. It’s very barebones and doesn’t have any real in-depth story to tell. You’re in this for the gameplay. The gods need to retake their citadel from for guardians so it’s up to you, the player to defeat these four guardians. Don’t expect an easy time though cause you are going to be punished a lot for your mistakes.
Gods Remastered plays exactly like the original, just with visual and audio improvements. It also comes with the option to swap to the original version that released back in the early 90’s with a press of the right stick. Swapping modes doesn’t affect the gameplay in anyway aside from offering that retro experience some may prefer. The visual differences are huge, with the remaster moving from 2D designs into 2.5D, keeping its original platforming and game mechanics but making all the models and environments 3D. As mentioned before audio has also been improved alongside the visuals.
The gameplay is a mix of platforming, puzzling and basic combat all mixed together in a nice little package. Of course, this is a remaster that still plays identical to the original so there are elements that feel aged. I’m not holding this game to modern standards outside of visuals though, after all this game is approaching 30. There are four levels for four corresponding parts of the citadel, each containing a boss to fight at the end. I just want to get out the way that the bosses are actually probably the easiest part of the gameplay since you’ve usually acquired plenty of gear by the end of a level and since their attack patterns are fairly simple they’re not too hard to take down, especially with checkpoints outside the room. The real struggle comes from the journey to them.
One thing that sets Gods apart from the other platformers in the time period it came out is the AI actually following you to certain platforms instead of being on a static path and the extra puzzling elements and rewards for playing well (or not so well). There are a variety of enemy types that have their unique properties such as stone golems that can come to life and fly at you, a giant snake in a pot that when broken turns into smaller snakes that move along the floor or even just a simple soldier. How you dispatch these enemies is the same, just spam attacks downrange until they drop. Of course there’s no in depth or fluid gameplay her cause of its age so when an attack does come your well it’s usually just avoided by crouching or jumping.
Movement is slow and clunky, your character can only walk forwards or backwards in long strides with delays in other actions. Jumping is less of a jump and more of a leap that has to be accounted for when making jumps to certain platforms and falling from a platform is a quick way to lose a fat chunk of health. The only thing that feels smooth is climbing ladders. If there’s anything about the gameplay I wish was changed slighting it’s the fluidity of the movement. It’s probably the biggest thing that shows the game’s age.
Puzzling in the game is okay but it’s a lot of guesswork when it comes to actually progressing though levels. You’ll have to pull levers in certain orders but since they aren’t marked differently and you have no idea on where to go or what each lever does you can easily get lost on where to go or what to do. Some levers may even throw you into traps as well, rewarding you only with a swift death. Treasure is encountered as you play the levels in the form of gems dropped by enemies, items that can be picked up and converted into money after a level or sometimes you’ll find keys to chests. Other times you may stumble upon one of the many secrets in the game though, and be rewarded with plenty of treasure to increase your score and give money to spend at the shop.
When the shopkeeper comes to you, you can buy various goods and upgrades from him that will help you. Extra or new weapons to increase your attack power, items that put certain status effects on enemies such as freezing them or simple items to give you health. Items that the shopkeeper sells can also be found in the levels of you know where to look however so sometimes saving money and just exploring is rewarded.