Even though I love Godzilla I’ve never watched any of the Japanese films. I’ve read up on lore and other Kaiju and really enjoy some of the past Godzilla games like Godzilla: Destroy all Monsters Melee and Godzilla: Save the Earth. When I first started playing I thought the game was shallow. It can be repetitive, the environments are bland, the gameplay can feel slow, but the more I played and the more content I unlocked the more I began to appreciate what the game had to offer. Bandai Namco really nailed that campy feel utilizing an awesome roster of classic Kaiju.
The game has three main game modes. God of Destruction is what you would call the story mode. You play as Godzilla working your way through stages along a branching path. Choosing the upper paths are “easy” and the lower paths are “normal” or “hard”. In each area you must destroy the G-Energy Generators. After you destroy the generator the area is completed and you move on to the next. In most areas you will have to fight another Kaiju as well. On the harder areas you may be timed and failure to destroy the generators before the timer expires will result in failure. As you stomp through the city and destroy everything, Godzilla will grow. Destroying objects in succession will increase a multiplier causing Godzilla to grow faster. The areas have secondary objectives but they’re not too challenging. Most require you to destroy a set number of military vehicles or aircraft. The monsters are slow so stomping around to destroy everything can take time if you want to decimate the area completely. Each area has four data collection points which are just camera angles for you to find requiring you simply walk around and find the area, hold down L3 and a picture of Godzilla will be taken. You need to find all four in at least half of stages to unlock the later stages and Godzilla must be a size of 100m or larger to fight the final boss. Fighting the other monsters is my favorite part about this game. They’re huge and somewhat clunky but watching Godzilla tail whip another Kaiju into a bunch of buildings causing sparks to fly and the buildings to crumble into rubble is really cool. You have three or four attacks and a roar which acts as a block of sorts. You can also grab other Kaiju and throw them around. Defeating other monsters will grant you evolution cells which can be used to upgrade your monsters. This is a cool concept but requires you to constantly repeat the areas over and over again and the monsters don’t have a lot of attacks to upgrade. Most of Godzilla’s upgrades are for his atomic breath. The other game mode is titled King of the Kaiju. In this mode you must fight six monsters in succession you will be scored based on the time it takes to defeat all six. You can obtain evolution cells this way as well. Once you understand the basics of combat you will find that this mode is not that difficult and, unfortunately, there’s no difficulty modes to choose from but at least you fight tougher monsters as you progress. Then there’s “Versus”, the third game mode allowing you to battle others online. I encountered no issues in most of the online matches I played minus one with significant lag.
Playing through God of Destruction mode is the way to unlock all of the content including figures and objects for the game’s Diorama Mode which allows you to set up different scenarios and take pictures. For example if you can destroy an area 100% you will unlock a “base” for Diorama Mode. Evolution cells can also be spent in Evolution Mode to unlock figures. It’s neat but I didn’t play around with it much. Decimating the area is easy enough but it’s that final ten percent that can cause frustration. The monsters move slow and sometimes and you will have to trek around the area and find any structures still standing. For me, it was always small bridges I could barely see. Obviously the military are always trying to take the monsters down but as far as I can tell all of their efforts are useless. Helicopters, tanks, and jets will fire at you and can hurt your Kaiju but they never seem to become a real threat until the disaster level is high.
This was originally a PlayStation 3 game and it shows. The monsters look good but not great. The environments look bland but the explosions look cool. There is a handful of environments to battle in but they get old quickly. They feel more like small arenas with buildings to destroy. The buildings look dull and there’s nothing that really makes the environments feel alive. There are no pedestrians to speak of which is sad because it would be cool to see them running and screaming through the streets. The animations are kind of stiff but one can say it adds to that campy feel. The sound effects are actually really well done. Godzilla’s roar sounds threatening and the other monsters sound the way they should. The booming sound of them stomping through the environment is awesome and really helps in making the Kaiju feel huge.
Each Kaiju stores their own evolution cells which means to evolve them all requires a lot of grinding and that is the game’s biggest weakness. You must play through God of Destruction mode with each Kaiju numerous times to level them up fully. So unless you’re a huge Godzilla fan most players will beat the game maybe once or twice and not even bother experimenting with the other Kaiju. This is sad because the more I played the more I saw the potential of the combat. Each monster is unique and to master them in combat can be a rewarding experience. Mashing buttons will certainly lead to defeat so knowing when to attack and when to roar (block) will lead to victory. Not everything about the combat is great though. Playing as a flying Kaiju like Battra (imago), for example, can be frustrating. Especially when fighting smaller Kaiju like Mothra (larva) in God of Destruction mode, Battra can’t fly down low enough. I found that Battra’s beam attack was the only effective method of even making contact with Mothra unless she decides to perform a jumping attack and you time it right. So because of this the battle will last much longer than it should due to the fact you need to wait for the beam attack to regenerate.
Overall Godzilla: The Game on PS4 is decent but it’s not for everybody. The combat has potential but could be improved, visually the game is lacking, and the constant grinding is the game’s biggest weakness. Considering there’s not a lot of environments (nor do they look that great), I don’t know how long the multiplayer will last, and only two single-player gameplay modes, unless you’re a huge Godzilla fan, I don’t see a reason for many players to keep coming back. Godzilla fans will find a lot to love here. There’s plenty of lore and a large roster of Kaiju to play and mess around with. It’s the kind of game that grew on me the more I played. If you can take the time to learn the mechanics you will find a decent brawler with tons of potential. Hopefully, if there is a sequel, many of the issues will be ironed out and improvements will be implemented.