There’s always something special about games with deceptively weak protagonists. It’s easy to just call them off and go for the burly types, but in my mind, it’s way more fun when intelligence beats brawn with its own medicine. That’s what Alawar Entertainment hopes to bring to the table with Goliath, a game with a lot of slashes when it comes to putting it under a category.
For one, it’s an action RPG with a touch of randomness that comes with procedurally generated isometric worlds, each dotted with its own unique weather patterns, NPCs, and missions to partake. In our demo, we were following the protagonist, a little boy, through a lush forest as he fought a few enemies with the help of a mechanized friend.
That buddy of his is the draw of the game. A giant draw, if you will, due to his massive size and potential power that grows with each new component you add to its design in Goliath. According to the devs demoing the game at E3, there are loads of different possible configurations for your mech which allow it to take on a variety of elemental powers, depending on what kind of trinkets you build upon his frame.
For the demo, we got to see a wood based combination at first, which made short work of weaker enemies but was soon overpowered by fiery types, that not only beat it down, but also set some of the forest stage ablaze. Quickly enough, though, we got to see the creation powers come into play as the mech was upgraded to a fire type by using fallen enemy parts. And then it became a more machine like behemoth, a form taken previously by a foe that got rebuilt into an ally, which simply obliterated everything in its path. Not only do these forms grow in power, they also play in opposition to enemy’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as keep you in check with the environment you’re at — i.e, using a wooden mech under the hot sun of a desert world is likely to cause it to burst into flames.
Gameplay wise, past the continual upgrades you can give your robot friend, which proved to be Goliath’s funnest feature coming out of the demo we got to see, I was also impressed by how well it all fits within a colorful backdrop. It’s simple enough to allow the game to run on less powerful machines, but also on the eventual ports to mobile platforms. The devs on hand and the press materials call them possible platforms, but I’m really hoping that these come to fruition, because the game will really benefit with those devices’ beautiful displays.
It’s also worth pointing out that the procedural nature of its world design is also applied to how quest and missions are brought to you, in the same randomly generated manner, which will probably help the game’s legs if it works well in the final version. There was also talk of factions you are able to ally yourself within the game that play a role in deciding which story ending you can get, for instance. Sadly, we didn’t get to see these systems in motion during our time with Alawar at E3, but they certainly sound promising and very ambitious.
As it stands, the only thing holding back Goliath is its release date that puts it a little far from what I would’ve hoped to be playing it, that is sometime in the beginning of 2016. The little we got to see of it looked and felt solid, though, so it’s definitely worth keeping this one in your release radars.