Fall Guys puts a sweet new spin on the battle royale

Articles: Gaming
Aug 08, 2020 Written by:Eric Born

I’m a legend in my own house. When my kids are struggling with a video game, they know who to call. I’m the fixer, the big guns. After all, I get paid to play video games. (Not really, but I’m not going to disabuse an eight-year-old of that notion.) They know I can tackle the toughest Mario bosses and Minecraft mobs. That’s why they laughed so hard, I think, when I was eliminated from a race when a house-sized banana knocked me down a slime-covered slope.


Image source: Gamesplanet

I’ve been playing Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout, a battle royale party game that launched this week for PC and Playstation. This chaotic game is run like an insane episode of American Ninja Warrior. 60 jelly-bean-shaped, player-controlled Fall Guys enter into a series of races and challenges until all but one has been eliminated. Once you’re out of a round, you can stick around and spectate, but in this busy launch week, starting a new round is all but instantaneous, even if you’re playing with a friend.


Image source: Gamesplanet

The opening races are marvels of insanity. Everyone starts at the same time, so it’s a mad rush of jostling and rebounding off of each other as you plow ahead across spinning platforms, dodge fan blades and bouncing fruit, and try to keep your balance on massive seesaws. There are some platforming elements to the game, but nothing too challenging. Your primary opponent is not the map but your fellow Fall Guys, who can knock you around, push you off ledges, and temporarily halt your progress by grappling with you.


Image source: Gamesplanet

After the opening race, rounds proceed into a series of nutty challenges. Here, the game starts to feel like a massively-multiplayer version of Mario Party. You’ll run in circles trying to steal tails from other players, play soccer in teams using 20-foot-wide soccer balls, and all manner of games that essentially boil down to “the floor is lava.”

As you play, you’ll earn points that you can spend to customize the appearance of your Fall Guy. The coolest options go out to those players lucky and skilled enough to be the last man jelly bean standing. The developers truly let their imaginations run wild with these outfits. I’ve seen everything from hot dog costumes to giant dinosaur head masks.


Image source: Gamesplanet

If you’re wondering if your PC has what it takes to jump into Fall Guys, the answer is probably yes. The minimum requirements are modest and accessible. The game has a few goodies for higher-specced systems, like support for high refresh rates, ambient occlusion, and screen-space reflections, but it’s built to bring in a wide range of gamers. The ROG Strix GA35 and ROG Swift PG43UQ on my desk are almost certainly overkill for this game, but that’s part of the joy of being a PC gaming enthusiast. If I’m going to get repeatedly smacked in the jaw and knocked downhill by an endless barrage of supersized fruit, I’d prefer to do so at a 4K resolution and 144Hz refresh rate, thank you very much.

The game is all over Twitch right now, so if you’re still on the fence about Fall Guys, go check out a stream and take a look at what everyone’s talking about. My audience here at home is demanding that I play another round. They might laugh a bit too much at my frequent failures, mistakes, and outrageous accidents, but they also haven’t cheered for me this much since I beat the nightmarish fantasy dragon boss in Super Mario: Odyssey for them. Maybe this time, I’ll take the crown!