Gods was one of my favourite games back in the day. I would sit at Amiga 500+ which was connected to a 32 inch TV with a curved glass screen and play for hours. I have to admit that at the time, copying games and swapping them with mates was the way you got new games.
So my first copy of Gods was actually given to me by Alan Powell at a company called Swan Glenn where we made headboards together.
The game was brutally difficult and became so hard that by level 2 it was almost impossible to play. The rumour was that it was copy protection and only original games worked after level 2. I succumbed and headed to Electronics Boutique in the centre of Bristol and came home with my newly purchased product. It was cold and wet and on the way home I read the manual. It was quite thick considering the game was a platformer but either way, it made my excitement grow.
To this day I still love going out in the cold or wet and getting something new to come home with the memory of that joyous time is still strong strong. Suffice to say, I spent many hours playing Gods trying to beat the game and then meeting with mates to brag about my score or a secret you found that no one else knew.
When I was sent the key for Gods Remastered I was just as excited and I installed it immediately. In truth, a part of me was dreading what might be a terrible game that I used to love. I have had bad experiences with remakes of old games or even getting old games to work now through emulators and realising they are not as great as I remember.
What Robot Riot have done with this version of Gods is remarkable and disappointing but not for the reasons you might expect. I was disappointed with my own expectations. Where was the music I still sing to my children in the car, why does it look like this, it’s all wrong I thought until I started to play.
It feels just like the old version, it’s truly very good and I almost forgot about the disappointment of not having the old music. They had to update something I said to myself but then I clicked the right thumbstick and the graphics switched to the ones I remember, the music was still gone but the game looked and felt right.
I was amazed that I still had the muscle memory and was pulling levers and opening up secret doors as if I had never been away.
In fact, I had been playing Bitmap Brothers games from the start. In 1988 they released Xenon and then in the same year a game called Speedball which was OK but the time stealer was 1990s Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe, the best game of that year for sure. Gods released in 1991 but I didn’t buy it until the following year, by then it had already scored 93% by One and this was printed on the enormous box.
Bitmap Brothers created some incredibly memorable games when I was growing up. The Chaos Engine was the first non-sports multiplayer game that both my sister and I liked.
I would like to thank Robot Riot for bringing this game back to me, Gods is a fantastic game and the remake is certainly not a disappointment for anyone who wants a little wander down memory lane, but what about those who would be new the title.
The game is a 2D platformer where you play the role of Hercules and all you want to do is gain immortality. The Gods of old can grant ever lasting life is you solve a little problem for them. The problem, as it turns out isnt that little, in fact, four guardians have invaded and taken over their Citadel. Your mission then is to enter the Citadel, battle through hoards of underlings, level up your weapons, kill the guardians, take back the Citadel and become immortal. Simple.
Well sort of. Gods is old school, its about learning a game, playing it again and again, working out exactly where to jump, when to pull a lever or more importantly when not to. If you are a completionist then Gods will make you very happy. You can play each level a hundred times and still find a way to do something better or more efficiently. Getting the gems you can see just above your head is great, getting the gems you can’t see because you need to pull the levers in a certain order or within a time limit is better.
The AI in Gods whilst once lauded is pretty basic by today’s standards but it was nice to see I still got help bonuses at just the right time when I was doing badly. The weapons can be upgraded and there are indeed 20 different weapons for you to work with although you can only have one type of thrown weapon, a dagger, mace, spear etc, firebombs and bouncy axes equipped at once but you will be the ultimate death dealer with things like familiars or seekers and you can even use potions to help you throughout the game, they range from health to jump, a skull that kills all enemies on screen and even a shield that will grant you temporary invincibility. The best though is the freeze potion, you can lock your enemies in place and allow yourself a little time to kill them without danger.
The levels feature traps, trap doors and secrets which will take you forever if you want to find them all, Gods Remastered will take you many hours to complete and for the price, even by today’s standards, there is a lot of game for your money.
I was able to play using my muscle memory but there are also new levels which left me feeling lost and I remember how I felt when I first played. Any new player will surely feel this when they first pick up the game as it is as challenging as games get.
You will be amazed at what a time sink this game can be even in today’s marketplace and I think once you get past the graphics, which are not on par with a triple-A title of today, there are no photorealistic backgrounds or flare to distract you. This game is from an age where gameplay was the only consideration when buying it.
I am about as happy as I could be that I can play Gods again and I hope that Robot Riot goes to work on other titles like Speedball 2, The Chaos Engine and Xenon 2.
Gods is a near perfect remake of a fantastic classic. It may not be as fancy as a modern title and the AI may not really be intelligent but I challenge any new gamer not to enjoy this game. I don’t think I need to appeal to the greyer gamer, we all know you have already bought this and have probably been playing for an hour or 4!
- Gameplay - 93%93%
- Graphics - 71%71%
- Sound - 68%68%
- Longevity - 93%93%
- Value - 96%96%
This game should be in your library whether you are an old gamer or new. Games like this are timeless and I am having a blast.