Godus Wars Review

Screenshot from Godus Wars
Godus Wars adds some combat to the Godus formula

  • Reviewed by: Mark Goninon
  • Developer: 22cans
  • Publisher: 22cans
  • Release Date: 3 Feb 2016 (Early Access)
  • Time played: 1.4 hours (INCOMPLETE)

What is it

Before Godus Wars, there was Godus, a god game that was developed by Peter Molyneux and his team called 22cans using funds from a Kickstarter campaign in 2012. As mentioned in my previous review, Godus was scheduled for release in 2013 and as of this review is still in Early Access and is unlikely to ever be finished. The game is also disliked by many on Steam scoring a "Mostly Negative" due to 27% of the 5,418 reviews being positive. Why do they hate it? It mainly boils down to the fact that backers didn't get the next Populous but a freemium mobile game instead that relies on microtransactions to alleviate the grind. The game is also still buggy and it appears that the developers abandoned the game in 2016. It was also earlier that same year that Godus Wars was released as an Early Access title on Steam.

I'm not sure why 22cans decided to release Godus Wars, maybe as a way to appease its many angry backers by releasing a game more similar to Populous perhaps; Godus Wars takes the land levelling aspect of Godus in order to create huts (which provide faith) and then tacked on a very basic Real-Time Strategy game on top where you can convert huts into citadels which you can use to train soldiers. The goal of the game is to simply defeat the enemy god by defeating his/her forces and capturing their "belief vault" (which looks like a giant, pink Tiberium Silo from Command & Conquer). If you can increase the population, you can upgrade your citadel to train more troops. Also, troops can gain veterancy by winning battles against the enemy.

Anyway, despite giving the backers a free game and marketing Godus Wars as the game with value (not the original Godus which was bundled for free for newcomers as well), this plan backfired for 22cans spectacularly as not only did it score poorly on Steam, it scored worse than the original Godus: it currently holds a "Very Negative" rating due to only 18% of 385 user reviews being positive.

How I got it

Kickstarter backers for Godus received a copy of Godus Wars absolutely free.

Screenshot from Godus Wars
Godus Wars allows you to pick from one of four gods and you will duke it out against other gods

What I like:

Fighting against other gods again

Yay, it feels almost like you're playing Populous again thanks to the addition of some RTS elements to the formula. Now the game feels less casual than the base game (Godus) although that's probably not saying much.

AI gets challenging (eventually)

At first, I thought the AI was really dumb but I only found out later that was intentionally so. They do actually lift their game after you've played a few levels to the point where after some reckless offensives, I actually lost to the AI.

Screenshot from Godus Wars
Why do you need keys to unlock new territories???

What I dislike:

Require keys to unlock new territories

I don't get why you need keys to unlock new territories to attack. You don't think they'd try to encourage players on mobile to purchase keys in order to speed up their progress now, would you? Naaaaaaahhhh…. that would just be cynical.

Veterancy is OP

It seems that veterancy really does help so the key to winning any battle is amassing a huge army at your spawn and then trying your best not to get them killed as doing so will make your opponent even harder to defeat. While this isn't a problem in itself, it seems that there really is only one winning strategy in this game due to how overpowered veterancy truly is. Although, if there were more unit types in this game, it might not be a problem, which brings me to my next point…

Lack of unit types

There are claims that you're able to use a catapult at some point (although I've never proceeded far enough into the game to have actually done so) but even with the catapult unit, that gives us a grand total of two units you can use in this game: archers and catapults.

Fiddly controls

Moving units seems to be very fiddly in this game. Sometimes I've ordered units to move and they just don't without any feedback indicating they've failed to execute the order and there's no obvious reason why it doesn't work at times. For the times I actually do end up moving my troops, sometimes belaying an order falters which usually results in all my troops getting annihilated as they walk straight past the enemy without retaliating (i.e. moving in Godus Wars are like "force moves" in traditional RTSs – they won't stop to fight if they are attacked).

Not supported anymore

Just like the original game, Godus, it doesn't matter whether you like this game or not: it seems that the game is no longer supported since it hasn't received any substantial updates in a couple of years now. The game is also no longer being sold on the Steam store, so it seems very unlikely there will be any future updates to the game.

Score – 4/10 (Mediocre)

Godus Wars is more like Populous than the original base game Godus but it seems to be a matter of too little, too late as development appears to be abandoned. So, as it stands, the game is very limited when compared to other RTSs thanks to a tiny number of unit types, fiddly and archaic controls, and a veterancy system that encourages turtling.

Is the game worth $??? USD?: The game doesn't appear to be available for sale any more.

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[ LINK: Official 22cans Website ]