GODS Remastered – Review (Nintendo Switch)

Developer: Robot Riot UG

Publisher: Robot Riot

Platforms: Xbox One, Steam, Switch (reviewed), PS4

Price: £16.99 // $19.99

GODS Remastered official homepage🔗

If you’re under the age of 25 then it’s highly unlikely that you’ve heard of the classic platformer GODS. Originally released in 1991 for the Amiga, it was created by the Bitmap Brothers who were one of the most renowned game developers in the late 80’s to early 90’s. GODS received critical acclaim with multiple review scores topping 90% and over. Comments such as those below, helped cement the Greek mythological adventure as one of the best platformers of the time.

“Overall, a cracker of a game, and one that carries on the Bitmap’s tradition of excellent product. Go forth and grab this now, or the Gods will not be too happy!”

Computer + Video Games, 114 (May 1991), pp 82-84

Let’s fast forward to 2019. On the one hand, we find ourselves on the verge of a new console era while on the other, the popularity for retro gaming and remasters of older games doesn’t seem to be waning. Robot Riot are one of the latest developers to take a classic game and bring it to the modern age. Not only does it give the chance for a new generation of gamers to experience the game, it’s a great opportunity for older gamers to re-visit GODS and the memories we associated with it.

Gameplay footage

If you’re unfamiliar with GODS let me briefly bring you up to speed. You play as Hercules and your main objective is to defeat the four guardians who have taken over the citadel of the Gods. Your reward for defeating them will be immortality and a place among the Gods themselves. Who wouldn’t want that?

Re-living Fond Memories

GODS is still well-loved by fans to this day and has been ported to other consoles over the years including the Mega Drive/Genesis and Super Nintendo. However what makes this re-release stand out from the rest is that it has been given the ‘remastered’ treatment. Robot Riot claims to have preserved the original gameplay but have revamped the aesthetics, which would appeal to potential newcomers to the game as well as bringing a fresh approach for returning gamers.

The remastered graphics (left) look great and add real depth to the levels compared to the original (right).

There’s a clear visual improvement when comparing screenshots of the original and that of the remastered version. It certainly looks a whole lot better, not that the original looked bad but it certainly brings the game up to the standards we see in other modern platformers.

The levels have been brought to life by the 3D models used compared to the traditional flat 2D visuals. New light effects give the environment more depth and are nice additions to the visual style. What’s great about the two styles is that you can seamlessly switch between the two as you’re playing. I have to admit, there are certain parts where I prefer to play the remastered version because the frame rate has been improved to 60FPS compared to the mere 17FPS of the original.

The soundtrack has also been renewed, although due to licensing issues the original music couldn’t be included. It may not be exactly the same but the developers have tried retain as much as the original atmosphere as possible. A lot of hard work has been invested in making the remaster look and sound the part, but how does it play?

Difficulty Options: Hard or Harder

The enemy AI system, highly praised in the original release as it adapts to the players playing style, has been left intact. Just as you think you’re getting good the game puts you back in your place and reminds you that it’s going to be a challenge to beat. The enemy AI gets increasing difficult the further you get into the game.

There are puzzles to solve in order to progress through the levels. These consist of finding objects within the level and pulling switches to unlock trapdoors and such. However pulling a switch isn’t always guaranteed to produce a positive result and some need to be activated in a specific order. It goes back to the methodology of older platformers of replaying the game until you know it inside out. Knowing what switches do what, where enemies might appear from, timing your jumps, that sort of thing.

The boss battles are tough and are found at the end of each level.

I used to think I was good at this game. Either I was deluded, or I’ve gotten so used to modern games being a lot easier to complete, that replaying GODS is a reminder of how games used to be: really, really hard. At the end of the level you have a final boss to defeat which will definitely test your gaming skill to the max, and your patience!

Preserving What Made GODS A Classic

Despite the graphical overhaul, it still manages to retain the charm of the original classic as everything else has remained intact. The gameplay remains the same as the original, and when you play it definitely feels like an ‘older’ game. The movement can be more on the clunky side and you’ve got to be precise with jumping. A ledge that may appear too far out of your jumping reach, might be possible if you time your jump differently.

GODS starts relatively easy but gets increasingly difficult the further you get into the game thanks to the adaptive AI.

In fact I didn’t realise how clunky GODS was until I replayed it for this review. I didn’t remember it like that but it just shows you how fluid game controls and mechanics have come since 1991. It reminds me of when you re-watch an old film and the special effects haven’t aged as well. I won’t hold it against the game though as it’s a product of its time.

Some might question why some of the gameplay mechanics weren’t tinkered with to bring them up to modern day standards. However, I can understand Robot Riot’s decision to only revamp the aesthetics and to preserve as much of the core game as possible. For me, it reminds me of how games used to be. Of course, older titles play completely differently to what gamers expect from games now. GODS Remastered isn’t supposed to be a ‘new’ game but rather a celebration of one of the most critically acclaimed platformers from yesteryear. Warts and all.

Take a look at the trailer below:

This game was provided by Robot Riot for the purpose of this review.