Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout | One Month Later

It would be an understatement to say that Fall Guys has made a huge splash since its release on August 4th, 2020. The game that mixes the nail-biting suspense of the battle royale genre with the slapstick hilarity of game shows like Wipeout, Fall Guys has found a large player base, hundreds of thousands of viewers on Twitch, and has quickly become the most downloaded PlayStation Plus game in the history of the service; no small feat from the team that brought you Murder by Numbers and Gears POP!

In case you’ve somehow missed this game, Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout is a battle-royale platformer developed by Mediatonic, published by Devolver Digital, and is currently available on PC and PS4. The goal of the game is to jump, dive, and climb your way to victory through a gauntlet of a colorful free-for-all and team-based minigames. Last one standing takes the crown.

Out of the gate, Fall Guys received favorable reviews from a number of media outlets with the game’s Metacritic review score currently sitting at 80 on PS4 and 79 on PC. PlayStation players who subscribe to PS Plus were able to get in on the action immediately as the game was announced to be included as one of August’s free game downloads as soon as it launched, eventually moving on to become the most downloaded PS Plus game of all time. And the popularity doesn’t stop there. Fall Guys has been at the top of Twitch.tv viewership, hitting over 500,000 active viewers at various times throughout the month. Full Disclosure: I am a PS Plus subscriber so I was able to download and play the game for “free”. The game is normally priced at $19.99.

After logging a couple hours into the game, I can say that it is very fun and highly replayable. The physics and platforming are as tight as a game with the name “Fall Guys” would allow in the most aggravatingly fun way, the music is catchy and energetic, and there exists a fine line between luck and skill in the stages that the game walks fairly well.

However, the launch of the game was not as smooth as it could have been. During its first week, the game’s online servers were plagued with high traffic which led to a large amount of lag and disconnects for many players (myself included). Not only that, but a number of cheaters had popped up using a variety of speed and jumping hacks to ruin the fun for everyone. Additionally, some players expressed disappointment towards the game only including 24 stages, a relatively small amount of content for the $20 asking price.

In the following weeks, the game has seen a few hotfix updates to address some of these issues. The server stability is noticeably improved; however, the occasional disconnection and lag spike still exist. Mediatonic has also taken steps to improve the reporting and removal of cheaters from the game. Some updates also affected the game on a wider scale, such as changing the minigame rotation so that it would not choose two team-based minigames to be played back to back, something that many players initially found irritating, as well as adding an additional stage into the game.

Beyond the sheer numbers of viewers and players the game has brought in, Fall Guys spread throughout social media has been just as fierce. People sharing clips of last-second victories and crushing defeats as well as hundreds of pieces of fan art, many of which depict the potential for movie and video game themed crossover costumes for players. Fall Guys features a costume shop in which players can customize their “fall guy” with a number of different costume parts that can be purchased with real money or in-game currency.

The game has already had a few official video game crossover costumes, such as a pre-order bonus for the PC version that gave players a Gordon Freeman skin from the Half-Life games, and just recently players had the opportunity to grab a Bullet Kin skin from one of Devolver’s other popular games, Enter the Gungeon. Costume concepts from Batman, Minions, Colonel Sanders, The Witcher and many more have fans excited about what sort of customization options and crossover opportunities may be in store down the line.

But Mediatonic isn’t content with Fall Guys being just a popular video game, they have decided they want to use their popularity as a source of positivity and help some good causes at the same time. On August 17th, the Fall Guys Twitter account announced a “Battle of the Brands” charity auction. Companies could “bid” for a chance at having a skin adorned with their brand put into the game, with money bids being donated towards Special Effect, a charity that helps gamers with physical disabilities around the world. This bidding war ultimately concluded with a last-minute $1 million-dollar joint donation from content creators MrBeast and Ninja, as well as G2Esports, and Aim Lab, along with numerous other bidders donating to the charity despite being outbid earlier on.

Mediatonic also wanted to let everyone know what is on the horizon for Fall Guys, showcasing a trailer for content coming to Season 2 of the game during the Gamescom Opening Night Live hosted by Geoff Keighley. The follow-up season is themed around medieval fantasy and features drawbridges, swinging axes, movable blocks, and ramps, as well as a whole suite of fantasy-themed costumes including wizards, witches, knights, and dragons.

While new content is always exciting, there are a number of things the team at Mediatonic can implement in the future to keep Fall Guys at the top of the charts. The biggest request I’ve seen floating around online is for the implementation of “private rooms” much like the system implemented in the Jackbox Party games. This would be a great addition for those Twitch streamers who are looking for a better way to play with members of their audiences rather than leaving it up to synchronized matchmaking. There are also a number of quality of life fixes that could make the game better like when playing with friends having the spectator camera default to watch your friends rather than having to cycle through all the other random players.

And on top of all this, eventually one has to assume there are talks of bringing this game to other platforms like Xbox and Nintendo Switch. This game would likely have another large influx of players if added as a part of Xbox Game Pass and being able to take the game on the go with the Nintendo Switch seems like a no brainer. Fall Guys' first month has mostly been a joy to experience. Have you gotten your hands on the game? What future crossover events would you like to see?

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