Godstrike is a bullet-hell shooter game filled with difficult gameplay and challenging bosses, but poor controls make the game frustrating to play.
Godstrike is a shooter-style, boss fight-centered indie game developed and published by OverPowered Teams. While the game offers players a vibrant 3D art style reminiscent of Hades, that is where similarities between the two games end. Godstrike is a punishingly difficult shooter, and while challenging mechanics can be fulfilling in this genre, the mixture of unusually powerful boss battles and frustrating Nintendo Switch controls makes enjoying Godstrike’s gameplay hard to do.
Players take on the role of the single remaining godly mask Talaal, who has found and possessed a host to challenge and defeat the evils in the world with. This host, called the “bearer,” must use the abilities gifted by Talaal to challenge the numerous boss battles that make up the primary story of Godstrike. The majority of the video game narrative is provided in an animation reel at the start of the game, and little story is given during the endless loop of boss-battles afterward. Because of this, the player doesn’t learn much about the person that has become Talaal’s host, making it difficult to connect with the goals laid out in the story.
Godstrike gameplay is essentially part of the twin-stick shooter genre. In combat, the player must control their character’s movement with the left Joy-Con joystick, and aim and shoot with the right. The left and right bumpers are used to activate one of the many special abilities players can equip before a battle begins. However, the Nintendo Switch controls don’t have good aim, or a way to lock on to an enemy when moving around the battle arena. This can be a struggle during gameplay when the enemy often moves around quickly and can deal wide-range projectile attacks that must be dodged while the player continues to shoot.
One of the most difficult mechanics present in Godstrike is the use of time. A player’s time gauge is used as currency, a health bar, and a time limit for every boss battle encounter. Taking damage during a fight will subtract the time left for the encounter, which can be devastating if the player gets hit by one of the constant barrage-style attacks most Godstrike enemies use. Buying abilities to use during encounters will also cost time, and players will need to weigh whether the boon of the ability outweighs the penalty to their time gauge. With most boss fights boasting multiple heats, this can be antithetical to gameplay, as the timer doesn’t reset at the start of the boss’ next health bar.
While Godstrike stays true to its description of being a hard shooter-style game, occasionally these battles go beyond challenging, becoming punishingly difficult to tackle. This can be seen from the start of Godstrike during the “Tutorial” boss battle, which possesses 3 heats the player must survive with minimal skills and a short time limit. While there is an “easy-mode” unlocked after three defeats, the difficulty level remains high, and could easily turn new players away from wanting to continue. To improve this, it might be good to introduce a true tutorial mode with a single heat, allowing players a chance to learn the controls before being pounded by more difficult encounters. As it stands, Godstrike is easy to bounce off of, even in its earliest moments.
While Godstrike can be frustrating and lacking in the overall narrative, the game is still a good choice for fans of exceedingly difficult combat. However, Godstrike may not be the best selection for those who enjoy the fulfillment of steady progression when building skills and taking on challenges that increase in difficulty levels. Hopefully, a patch will be released in the future to help improve the overall Joy-Con controls for Nintendo Switch, and potentially introduce a lock-on feature to make aiming at enemies easier to do. Right now, however, Godstrike remains tough to recommend to anyone who isn’t a die-hard fan of these niche, immensely difficult titles, and even then, they’d likely do well to avoid the Switch version until its controls are better.
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Godstrike is available now on the PC and Nintendo Switch. A Nintendo Switch code was provided to Screen Rant for the purposes of this review.
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