Gods Will Be Watching
Top Critic Average
Gods Will Be Watching is one of those rare games that deserves a wholehearted recommendation even though it is definitely not for everyone. It's punishing, occasionally unfair, and relentlessly philosophical, but it's also supremely rewarding and absolutely gripping from start to finish, all for the same reasons. If nothing else, it's a fantastic exercise in how to translate traditionally unplayable scenes into systems of gameplay - and not just token button prompts, but complex, engaging gameplay.
We really wanted to like Gods Will Be Watching. The concept is brilliant, the scenarios are tense and the story is thought-provoking. But the combination of the random trial-and-error gameplay and the horrible bugs made us want to slit our wrists long before the conclusion.
Gods Will Be Watching isn't fun. It's draining, sometimes harrowing and nearly always frustrating. Yet it's worth it. It's the emotional catharsis that makes this game moreish, the cultural counterpoint to the mindless mayhem of GTA that makes it important.
When wrestled away from its uncompromising difficulty Gods Will Be Watching becomes a different and wholly original beast. It is rather unlike any game before it. Scant few dare to explore such dark and dubious moral grounds, and the way it hammers such choices home with such brutal and stylish pixelated visuals is quite shocking.
Gods Will Be Watching is a divisive game. The bleak story and equally dark scenarios are interesting, even if they seem to go one for far too long. The sense of adventure is overwhelmed by the blatantly apparent resource mechanics and lack of character development for everyone, except for Jack and Burden. The random nature of the game mixed in with the lack of checkpoints and high probability of failure due to forces outside of your control would be more frustrating if it weren't for the game's (newly added) multiple difficulty levels. The lack of control over events can lead many to give up on the title far too quickly. The premise is solid, but the game relies too much on chance and trial and error, so it's hard to recommend this title to anyone but masochists and those who are hell-bent on experiencing the story — no matter what.
Gods Will Be Watching shows a lot of thematic and gameplay dynamical promise, but the whole package let down by its lack of polish and consequence.
Gods Will Be Watching is certainly a unique experience, but that doesn't make it an interesting one. It relies too much on random chance and does nothing to compensate for the frustration that will cause. Unless you enjoy punishment you might want to avoid.
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It definitely has a bold sense of tension and impressive style, but there's a lack of consistency to it that makes things more frustrating than difficult.
By pulling off an unforgiving juggling act of resource-management and survival, it nails the atmosphere of despair it aims for. But there's a point where the statement has been made and players need something more - and unlike Sgt. Burden and his crew, the player can simply walk away from Gods Will Be Watching.