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What The Critics Are Saying About Babylon's Fall

While it hasn't gotten as much hype or fanfare as other games that have recently been released — like "Horizon Forbidden West" and "Elden Ring"  — "Babylon's Fall" is finally out for the PC, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5 after a lengthy development cycle. The latest collaboration between developer PlatinumGames and publisher Square Enix, "Babylon's Fall" is a hack-and-slash role-playing game (RPG) in which the player assumes control of a Sentinel, "once conscripted prisoners of the Empire who are granted unrivalled powers," who is given a powerful attachment called the "Gideon Coffin" and along with three other players must reclaim the Tower of Babel according to the game's official website

The release of "Babylon's Fall" comes several months after its beta period, in which the game was criticized for having a illegible visual style marred by blurry textures and character models (via VG247). After this feedback, PlatinumGames promised to improve its visual legibility ahead of the game's worldwide release. But have these improvements been made? And is the game good enough to match past hits — such as "Bayonetta" — that PlatinumGames has developed? Has Square Enix learned from its struggles with "Marvel's Avengers" as it attempts yet another entry into the "games as a service" model?

Here's what the critics are saying about "Babylon's Fall" after its release.

Babylon's Fall's graphics are not very good

As mentioned before, the visual quality of "Babylon's Fall" was heavily criticized during its beta phase in late 2021. The graphics of the game were so maligned, that PlatinumGames even promised that it would prioritize improving them upon the game's release in March. Even after over two months' worth of work, the visual legibility of "Babylon's Fall" is still a huge source of contention among critics.

Rami Tabari of Laptop Mag said that he found the game to be "poorly animated" when it came to cutscenes. In his review uploaded to YouTube, MrMattyPlays said that "Babylon's Fall" failed to impress visually, explaining that the game "is well and truly ugly" while comparing the graphics to that of an early release on PlayStation 3. Salal Awan of Twisted Voxel expressed a similar distaste for the artistic approach taken with "Babylon's Fall" and criticized the visuals in both the PS4 and PS5 versions of the game. He explained, "The bottom line is that no matter which platform you pick here, this is an ugly-looking game that doesn't offer much in terms of visuals."

Some reviewers noticed that the visual style was a conscious choice by PlatinumGames that was poorly executed. "There is a clear intent to make this game look like a painting, and you can perceive invisible brush movements and a canvas-like filter as you move the camera," Santi Leguiza of TheGamer said in his review. "Sadly, it's implemented in such a messy way that it looks like you're getting your head violently shaken while playing the game, meaning any attempt at perceiving details (especially during combat) just fails miserably."

The game is very grindy at the start

One of the issues with the "games as a service" (GaaS) model is that even if a game is engaging and fun, it's likely to also be a huge grind in order to prevent players from progressing too quickly and earning all of the game's goodies too early. This is supposed to keep players on board with a game for the long haul, but it can backfire pretty badly if the game isn't engaging or fun and is more grind-focused than desired. This seems to be a huge problem with "Babylon's Fall", especially as it pertains to early progression.

"The problem with using elemental damage comes with the inability to craft anything at this point in the game," Jamie Russo of ScreenRant said of the game's early progression. Blaine Smith of GamersHeroes also expressed frustration with the early skills and weapons that are at the player's disposal early on. "Each item you find has various stats and a Power Level associated with it, which represents your character's overall power," Smith said. " If you enjoy grinding through combat for the chance of leaping that few extra points of Power Level, Babylon's Fall offers just that."

However, "Babylon's Fall" seems to reward players in terms of abilities and power should they stick with it long enough. "Overall, Babylon's Fall starts out as a seemingly grindy game, but there are some elements that unlock in later sections that could help to break up the repetitiveness," Russo said in his ScreenRant review. Smith of GamersHeroes also said that while he hated the game early on, he "fell in love" with it once he progressed further.

The combat in Babylon's Fall compares unfavorably to that of past PlatinumGames titles

If PlatinumGames knows anything, it's combat. Be it "Bayonetta," "Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance," or "Astral Chain," the Japanese developer has always been good at creating a combat system that feels smooth, fluid, and responsive. Unfortunately, even that standard doesn't seem to be met with "Babylon's Fall." So far, the game has been met with criticism for a combat system that feels clunky and slow as opposed to Platinum's signature kinetic pace.

"[T]his combat has you so glued to the ground, I can scarcely believe that this is [made by] PlatinumGames," MrMattyPlays said in his YouTube review. "This game has weights attached to your ankles. Even the dodge roll looks terrible." Santi Leguiza of TheGamer was also very critical of the game's combat system, calling it "wonky" and "monotonous." "PlatinumGames usually delivers the best combat systems and mechanics in action RPGs," Leguiza said. "This doesn't carry over to Babylon's Fall, sadly, since the combat is average at best and just boring at worst, with several fights being unnecessarily long and quite repetitive."

When it comes to expectations, many would have assumed that the newest PlatinumGames title would've delivered when it came to combat, at the very least. Unfortunately, that category seems to be another miss.