Posted July 27, 2020 by Andrew Cathie in Feature

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout Beta Impressions

Have you ever watched an episode of Wipeout and thought, ‘Hey, that could be a fun game!’? How about finding out that a number of games were made based on the show, but they were all utter trash? What if I told you that someone is finally creating what looks to be a competent game eerily close in them? Now, what if I told you it was also a massive multiplayer game with you competing with up to fifty-nine other players in real-time? Still with me? Well then, let me tell you about my impressions of the Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout beta.

Developed by Mediatonic and published by Devolver Digital, Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout immediately reminds me of a cross between Gang Beasts and Wipeout. Sixty players compete in a number of stages, with players being eliminated each stage until there’s a single winner at the end. It has the design sensibilities of a Gang Beasts, with colourful blobby character models and ragdoll physics, and the manic stages of a Wipeout. Both of these combine into what I would call some good, dumb fun.

Over my time with the Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout beta over the weekend, I tried a number of different stages and progressed through a bunch of rounds in my quest to be the ultimate fall guy (which did not happen). It gave me a good chunk of time and level variety to really get a feel for the game and its systems, albeit with some caveats given the in-game shop was locked and there were occasionally some issues with lag in-game (which is to be expected with a technical beta).

My biggest takeaway from the Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout beta was that the game itself can be utterly hilarious to play at points. Watching sixty players bolting forwards at the same time, jumping and running over the tops of each other to be the first into the obstacles is simply a sight to behold. Add in a whole bunch of them flopping around after falling over or getting absolutely smashed by spinning obstacles and getting flung off the stage; the game is absolutely chaotic and had me cackling regularly. Which is exactly what I want from this type of game.

As far as the stages themselves go, they all seemed well built and fun to play, although there was a fair bit of repetition across my time with the beta (I’m looking at you Whirlygig). Repetition aside, I had plenty of fun learning the intricacies and strategies to each of the different stages I found. This ranged from optimal paths on some stages to strategies on how to progress in some of the more combative stages. No matter which stage I played, however, there were plenty of fun antics to be had. Whether I was dodging spinning poles, trying to smash through doorways (some of which were fake and would bounce me off them) or traversing spinning platforms, everything had a manic sense of fun to it.

Through all of this, the floppy physics to the characters were a sight to behold. The controls are basic consisting of movement, a jump, a dive and a grab, but they combined with the physics to perfection. Mistime a jump to a ledge and your character just bounces off it. Dive into another player and you’ll flop onto the ground. Get hit by a spinning pole and you’ll get absolutely slammed across the stage. It all looks and feels dumb, and that’s exactly what I want from this type of game. It’s not about precision, it’s about having fun.

Coming out the other side of the Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout beta I’m extremely interested in seeing more of what the game has to offer. The beta wasn’t perfect, but it utterly encapsulated the good, dumb fun that has made shows like Wipeout famous. Personally, I can’t wait to put more time into the game when it releases on PC and PlayStation 4 on August 4th.

Andrew Cathie

Rocket Chainsaw's premier Fantasy-loving Editor. I basically play anything and everything that looks like it could be fun or interesting.