Tonight saw the reveal of the first official announced title for the PlayStation 5: Counterplay and Gearbox’s Godfall. Of course, a brief teaser trailer wasn’t enough to sate us and we needed to find out more about the looter-slasher, a game focusing on skilled melee combat and a world of arcane magics. And of course, lots of really sweet loot. We caught up with Keith Lee, Creative Director on Godfall and CEO of Counterplay Games, to see if he could tell us more about Godfall.
Lee told us about working with Sony to bring Godfall to the PS5 launch, how the game will utilize the unique PS5 technology and controller, and also gave us a glimpse into the mystical world. For example, Monster Hunter was an inspiration behind some of the diverse weapons class playstyles, which can range from quick and brutal combos to a more deliberate style.
Learn more about Godfall in our full interview below:
PSLS: With this teaser trailer for Godfall, are we looking at something pre-rendered or in-engine?
Keith Lee: This was rendered real-time in-engine. Those are playable characters, lootable weapons, and actual in-game environments.
PSLS: What were some of the inspirations behind Godfall’s looter-slasher gameplay? On paper it seems like a mix of Diablo, Borderlands, Destiny, Darksiders, and perhaps a few others thrown in the mix for good measure.
Keith Lee: Brandon Sanderson’s ongoing The Stormlight Archive series, Joe Abercrombie’s The First Law trilogy and Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series sets the tone and texture of our fantasy world. The long-running Monster Hunter series with their diverse weapon class playstyles ranging from fast combos to more deliberate play has always drawn us together as a team.
PSLS: From the trailer it looks like there are three protagonists? Can you tell us anything more about our gallant heroes? Are they trying to start the apocalypse, prevent it, or just benefit off it by getting sweet loot?
Keith Lee: The trailer sets the context at the beginning of the game when you’re about to select your initial playable character. As an avatar, you play as one of the last remnants of an exalted Knight’s Order intent on stopping the apocalypse and preserving the last vestiges of their world. You will be able to play all three of the heroes you see by acquiring and donning their armor sets, known as Valorplates. Besides these three, you will uncover and equip additional ancient Valorplates lost in time in your journey, each with their own characteristics and historical lineage.
PSLS: Can you tell us anything more about the arcane fantasy setting of Godfall and that multi-headed creature coming down from the storm above the obelisk? (And what’s with that obelisk?)
Keith Lee: Godfall is a brand-new IP set in a bright high fantasy universe filled with heroic knights, arcane magic, and forbidden realms. The world is split up into the realms of Earth, Water, Air, Fire and Spirit. In the trailer, the player is gazing up from the Earth realm towards the Water realm, which is the swirling maelstrom ocean sky above. The obelisk is known as the Skybreaker Monolith, which you will learn more about at the start of the game.
PSLS: Godfall’s focus is largely on melee combat. Are there any options for builds that involve ranged attacks, or is this all up close and personal?
Keith Lee: All players have ranged attacks at their disposal, but limited by cooldowns or charges. Godfall’s focus is about tightening up the combat circle for melee combat. Players will always have two primary melee weapons to switch between during a mission, none of which are exclusively long-range in design.
PSLS: You’ve mentioned wanting loot to feel like it matters to the overall character build. Can you give us an example of how some of that loot will work? What kinds of things will gear do that can change your playstyle?
Keith Lee: Godfall offers flexible classes for players to easily swap roles in the middle of combat or in a mission. We have a wide spectrum of weapon classes ranging from small and nimble to heavy and powerful. Players collect powerful ancient armor sets called Valorplates, which contain myriad slots for players to insert powerful Augments that influence your playstyle. For example, you might add an Augment into your Valorplate that heals you and your allies whenever you hit an enemy’s weak point for survivability, or you might insert a different Augment that summons deadly magical missiles that targets nearby enemies for soft AoE damage whenever you hit a weak point.
PSLS: Godfall can be played in up to three-player co-op. Will the player count be reflected within the gameplay? Are there unique things you can do while playing with other people that you couldn’t solo?
Keith Lee: Godfall is designed from the ground up for co-op, and we’ve ensured that you can play with friends with mixed levels, in addition to being able to ‘hot-join’ without needing to queue up and wait. We want to make sure that content is accessible to all players (solo or co-op) while taking a different approach to ensure players of mixed levels can have fun together and contribute in a more balanced way.
PSLS: What unique benefits are you getting by developing Godfall on next-generation hardware? Why make it a PS5 exclusive rather than a cross-gen release with PS4?
Keith Lee: The exceptionally powerful SSD on the PlayStation 5 offers a new level of detail for each individual object as well as seamless loading of our expansiveness world. Our combat is kinesthetic in nature, so the new controller’s “adaptive triggers” and haptic feedback will make moment-to-moment combat feel exhilarating and visceral.
PSLS: Are you working with Sony specifically to ensure that Godfall is a highlight of the PS5 launch window? What support have they offered in development of the game?
Keith Lee: We’re excited and honored to be selected by Sony to be a PS5 launch title. We plan to be alongside PlayStation every step of the way next year.
PSLS: Is Godfall something you plan to support long-term with updates and DLC post-launch?
Keith Lee: We haven’t planned our post-launch plans at this moment, as we’re still in development. We’ll have more to say later next year.
PSLS: The teaser seemed deliberately short and “teasery.” When can we expect to see more of Godfall?
Keith Lee: You can expect to see and hear more about Godfall next Spring!