Please the Gods.
In 1991 developers The Bitmap Brothers released GODS on the Amiga and Atari ST before bringing it to a whole host of other platforms of the time. The game is a fairly standard platformer from that period, the player takes on the role of a nameless hulking hero on a quest for immortality. Thanks to the dedicated team over at Robot Riot the masses can now replay the cult classic on current-gen systems along with a new 3D lick of paint and a remastered soundtrack.
The gameplay takes place through four crushing worlds.
Which accumulate in an epic face-off with the so-called Great Guardians who have taken the homeland of the gods. Our protagonist must travel around each level defeating the enemies and collecting key items in order to progress to the next stage. It’s a tried and tested formula that The Bitmap Brothers were so adept at pulling off. Each of the worlds is broken up with a boss fight in order to progress, most can be defeated after a couple of attempts.
Updated, reworked and remastered.
For this remastered release, Robot Riot have taken the original game apart and rebuilt it with updated visuals and a reworked soundtrack. The fresh lick of paint works well in giving GODS a clean, modern look while staying true to its ’90s heritage. There are some other tweaks included such as improved controls, framerate and some much welcomed save points.
Bouns points given for the ability to switch back to the classic pixel artwork on the fly if you want that true retro playthrough. It’s at this point when you realise just how much effort has gone into this project, every addition, tweak or slight improvement has been given a lot of love and it shows. It also goes a long way to making the complete package appeal in an age of AAA titles that are edging closer and closer to the release of a true next-generation offering.
GODS Remastered is not without its fair share of problems.
The biggest being the same issues that can be found with the original release. Everything is extremely slow going, ridged and also damn hard. Our protagonist lumbers around the play area like a T-800 Arnold Schwarzenegger plodding through quicksand, far too often you will find yourself having to reload from the last checkpoint after being slaughtered by the barrage of oncoming fireballs and enemy attacks as they respawn at will. Even jumping from platform to platform can be an infuriating prospect.
All of the niceties that we have become so accustomed too are stripped back to the bare bones, although that could be a problem with hand holding in modern titles. Simple hit the switch or unlock the door with a key style puzzle elements add some variety in the slog to immortality. Then there are the collectable items to find and work out what they actually are used for, even with the pop-up at the bottom of the screen giving a tidbit of information but all being said these points are only minor grips for an otherwise fun trip down memory lane.
GODS Remasted is a great example of how to take a cult classic and add just enough to make it appealing in today’s climate. The game can be punishing at times but the improvements to controls add to the overall enjoyment had. The updated visuals and sound are equally welcomed, all for a more than reasonable price point. Frustrations aside, fans of The Bitmap Brothers should jump at the chance to add this to their collection, I for one hope to see more of the same in the future.
Review code provided
Platform: PC, Xbox, PlayStation, Switch
Release Date: 29/03/2019
No. of Players: 1
Category: Action, Platformer, Arcade
Developer: The Bitmap Brothers
Publisher: Robot Riot
Download link: eShop