Meet the one person keeping action RPG Babylon’s Fall Alive alive
The fall of Babylon, the struggling live-action RPG from action gaming luminaries Platinum Games, has seemingly hit the survival system. After two months on the market and a mixed reception at launch, Square Enix’s latest effort was whittled down to single-player on PC last week. They revealed themselves on Twitter after VGC reported the shocking number of players via Steam Card Data. Turns out it was Gfinity journalist Dashiell Wood, who said The fall of Babylon is a “flawed but charming” game that it hopes to convince friends to play with him.
The fall of Babylon dropped on March 3 for PC and PlayStation consoles, but was quickly panned by reviewers for its ugly textures, bland hack-and-slash combat, and uninspired gameplay loop. Our own Ethan Gach tagged it PS5’s new worst gameand Steam Players tore him to shreds in many user reviews. The game’s prospects looked so dire that, about two weeks after its release, Square Enix had to issue a statement promising The fall of Babylon wasn’t a dead game even though its concurrent player count continued to drop. But as people gave up on Square’s latest looting RPG, Wood said Kotaku on Twitter DM he finds The fall of Babylon “interesting” despite its flaws.
“There’s this real underdog charm to this whole experience,” Wood said. “It’s a Platinum game of course and I’ve always been a big fan of their work. In The fall of Babylon, you can see many of their characteristics. The combat is actually a lot of fun when you get to grips with it and there’s a lot of depth there by experimenting with different builds. Your character has a fairly standard class but also a unique “Gideon Coffin”, which has slots that act as your moveset. There are virtually limitless combinations of items to insert and each drastically changes the experience, making for interesting gameplay.
Wood said that on the night of May 3, during which The fall of Babylon only saw one concurrent player (him), he had logged in a bit before bed to check things out. Game recently ended his NieR: Automata limited time event, where players could purchase and unlock costumes based on Platinum’s cross-genre and hugely successful action-RPG. So Wood wanted to see what was in the game’s store, only to find that the hub world was barren.
“As far as what it’s like to be one of the few people still playing, you don’t really notice that unless you’re out of missions,” Wood said. “Missions are all in small, self-contained areas, but there’s an undeniable sense of weirdness that runs through the hub world. It’s huge and deserted. merchants or whatever, but most of the time it’s just a ghost town. It can be fun to walk around, but the scale makes the lack of players even more obvious. Imagine Limsa Lomensa from FFXIVbut totally empty.
Wood thinks about why The fall of Babylon is empty is double. One: it has “pretty aggressive” microtransactions that can quickly dry up your wallet. And two: “dirty, blurry, muddy” visuals create an unpleasant experience. There’s also the $60 price tag for what he ultimately called a “disappointing” game. He hopes a cut will entice players to pick it up, especially since it features cross-play and seemingly tons of replayability.
Wood plans to finish The fall of Babylon as he sees it, Balan Wonderworldand left alive as “a beautiful trilogy” of flawed but charming games. He estimates he has about 25 hours left and doesn’t care about work because, as he referred to Tommy Wiseau BedroomWood is fascinated by the horror of the game.
“I am the proud owner of the Balan Wonderworld and left alive Collector’s Editions. (Crossed fingers [Square] release one for The fall of Babylon too…),” Wood said. “You can say what you want about their quality as video games, but there’s something charming about each of them. Obviously, I play a lot of games professionally and a lot of AAA games these days are incredibly polished experiences. It really started to bore me after a while, so it was refreshing to play titles from the other end of the spectrum. On the contrary, their flaws make them much more interesting to play and discuss than what Naughty Dog or Rockstar Games have released. There is so much to dig into and examine here. The fall of Babylon is like its own little puzzle box of catastrophic bullshit.
At the time of this writing, The fall of Babylonit is number of simultaneous players is struggling to maintain double digits, with around 50 people playing in the last 24 hours and only around eight browsing the hub world right now. Of course, this is all tracked on PC, so it’s likely the console playerbase will be bigger.
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