Babylon's Fall - Game Infinite Impressions Review
Babylon’s Fall is a game I’ve had on my most anticipated lists for a while now, and it may surprise many of you to hear that the game is almost upon us. For a AAA fantasy live service from a big publisher and developer, I think it's weird many may have not even heard about this game, or at least, didn’t know it was dropping in just a couple days. This is partially due to its somewhat quiet marketing build up. Its reveal trailer was 2 years ago, and we’ve heard very little about it since with only a couple trailer updates at some events, and next thing we knew we had a March release date.
It might also be that this game is getting massively overshadowed in the gaming community by Elden Ring, Lost Ark, and Horizon Forbidden West. What possessed Square Enix and Platinum to drop a fantasy live service next to these three other massive, critically praised, and popular fantasy games is beyond me. I predict this game is going to get buried hard by the strength of schedule it is competing against.
However, even if the release schedule wasn’t absolutely stacked against it, I’m worried about the gamers who do buy in because it is REALLY bad. It pains me to say that because I am a huge fan of both Square and Platinum.
(I always include the trailer in reviews, but don't even bother. How this compressed YouTube video looks "better" than the "4k" version running on my PS5 is beyond me. This trailer looks bad enough, but the actual game is worse.)
I played the opening section of the pre-release and it is painful on the eyes. I knew something was up, when each trailer seemed to look progressively worse than the last, and now here at release we have something that looks like it has been run through a bad App Store filter app asking you for $19.99 a week. The game is a 3D game, but it has this hazy, blurry, filter that rests flat against the screen, with these little flurry paint strokes. It’s a 2D effect horribly laid over the 3D assets, and it is just ugly. It’s more than ugly, it hurts to look at.
If you look past this awful instagram filter beneath all the weird paint, are these low-res textures, and character models reminiscent of the PS3 era. In fact, I have seen several side by sides in various articles of other reviews claiming that the game is ripe with lazily repainted assets from Final Fantasy XIV. I’ve seen characters side by side that is very clear that the old XIV game has had it’s assets reused for this supposed next-gen title.
(image credit @michaelmaddy on Twitter, found via Techraptor)
Final Fantasy XIV is a TWELVE year old game. Why they're reusing assets from such an old game in the first place makes no sense to me, but that's not even the most shocking part of this. The FFXIV image looks BETTER. FFXIV is old for sure, but it manages to look better than this brand new next-gen title. Not only are they reusing ancient assets, but they're somehow managing to downgrade them. The image on the left (Babylon's Fall), looks odd and worse than the image on the right (FFXIV).
Now, ugly low-res graphics might be forgiven if the characters, narrative, or gameplay compensate for them, but at the end of the day all of those things felt super dated and lazy. I am so glad that I played this early, because if I had paid for this game I would be sorely disappointed. If you were excited about this game because of Square and Platinum’s caliber, don’t let them lure you in with this lazy, rush job, copy and paste garbage.
I have a pretty wide degree of acceptance for games. I can find enjoyment in most games from most genres. I play a lot of games that other reviewers speak negatively about. I even gave games like Avengers and Watchdogs Legion praise for their fun factor and unique elements. It is very rare for me to call a game utter garbage, so when I do, you must know I mean it. Do not play Babylon’s Fall, your eyeballs and wallets will thank you.