Oh My Godheads is a brand new “manic couch” multiplayer action game, developed by Titutitech, released as part of the Square Enix Collective initiative for indie games. Aiming to deliver fast paced, hectic styled gameplay the game revolves around special Godheads. Players take control of characters from skeletons to penguins fighting it out over the Godheads, across maps from around the world. Does Oh My Godheads do enough to stand out from the sea of multiplayer games? Let’s find out!
The major gamemode is based on flag claiming gameplay, commonly seen in first person shooters, entertainingly called Capture the Head. Two teams must fight it out to get control of the Godhead, which spawns in the centre of the level, and get it to the goal at the opposite end of the pitch. Players are able to carry and throw the Godheads, working together to do the simple sounding task of getting the object from A to B.
Naturally, the opposing team will not only be being trying to stop the Godhead from reaching their goal, as they can simply kill you to take control. Respawning is extremely quick so advantage gained from killing an opponent isn’t huge. However, slice through an enemy at the right time and the route to the goal will be wide open.
Variety is added, into this gamemode and the others, via the inclusion of different Godheads, maps and useable items. Each Godhead effects the character carrying it in a different way. Some effects include reversing controls (which confuses me every single time), smoking and smouldering to reduce vision and being incredibly heavy slowing the holder to a snail’s pace. As you may guess this alone can make for some hilarious situations and makes carrying the Godheads feel like you’ve painted a target on your forehead.
Oh My Godheads has a great mixture of maps, each offering their own gameplay altering elements, challenges and unique visual appearances. There is a vivid spectrum of colours used from the dangerous orange lava pits to the blue waterfalls of Japan. Each is a visual treat as much as the last and work thematically with the unique elements which make levels feel vastly different to play. For instance, lava is an obvious danger only increased by sinking platforms. There are plenty of different ways the levels to kill players off too, such as being crushed by rolling boulders or impaled by spikes, so each is unique visually and gameplay wise.
The non-lethal objects in levels sound like small and insignificant changes. Can gameplay really be affected by slopes, platforms and places to fall off? Yes, the way levels are designed with these harmless sounding features can completely alter how gamers must play. Something which is shaken up by different Godheads being in play. It changes when the best time is to throw Godheads to your teammate or changes the optimal route to run to challenge the current holder. This variation keeps the game feel fresh from one round to the next.
So the map can kill you, the Godheads could kill you and then the other team will be actively trying to kill you… see the common theme? Each player is equipped with a sword that they can either swing or make a dash attack with. A single landed attack kills an opponent seeing them fly upwards and back to their spawn point, resulting in very little downtime but a small advantage. As well as a sword, players also get an item which is by default an exploding pie.
For balance reasons in a game every player gets both the same item and amount, which stops any budding squabbles of having the best item dead in its tracks. Instead the item can be chosen or randomed from the menu before going into a game. Joining the explosive pies mentioned before are a host of peculiar items from freeze bombs to being able to summon the foot (and hairy leg) of Zeus from the sky to splat what’s beneath. To stop the constant barrage of items and give players a chance to complete objectives player only have a limited number of items. This limit can be removed, but do so at your own peril… Oh My Godheads can be crazy enough with the limitations.
The second gamemode is a free-for-all, throwing team gameplay out of the window, and is a spin on King of the Hill. Instead of scoring points by holding high ground, King of the Head is all about holding onto the Godhead for the most time. It is a chaotic gamemode which almost leaves me begging to go back into teams, yet makes me want to keep playing at the same time. Other than splitting teams up and making it a free-for-all not much is changed though. Other gamemode include Head-hunters and Last Man Standing. Both are kill focused and I feel have been included to bolster the modes included. They are fun but don’t shine like the distinctive Godhead focused modes. Let’s be honest, Godheads are the main attraction and the clue is in the title.
Gamers can play as many different distinct low-poly styled characters, each with their own charm or attraction. The diverse cast of characters makes it easy to notice where your character is instantly at only a quick glance. That is of course if everyone is a different character. Make things really confusing by having four ninja, penguins or skeletons and most players lose track of where they are in the midst of the chaos.
The controls are limited to only a handful of buttons which is perfect for a party game. Whenever new players want to join in within a minute they can have picked up a controller and already be posing some competition. While this isn’t to say that players whom have spent time with the game won’t have picked up some skills and techniques but it isn’t a huge disadvantage. This is what makes Oh My Godheads an excellent local multiplayer game. You can stick a controller in a player’s hands and the enjoyment is instantly apparent. Add in a splash of friendly competition and the banter flows naturally.
Oh My Godheads does have some competent AI to play against. The issue is not so much the ease or difficulty of the AI, more that the sense of accomplishment and victory from beating friends isn’t fully replicated. The game is really designed for 4 players split into teams for 2 vs 2 and the lacklustre feeling against AI compounds this notion. The AI is on the whole solid to play against still I have encountered an odd bug or two, where AI consistently tries to kill you rather than score points… maybe they are just bloodthirsty.
There is a simplicity to Oh My Godheads that works with most of the game revolving around similar objectives. The chaos that can occur when two teams clash and fight it out to carry a Godhead to a goal is what generates the fast-paced excitement the game fully captures. This fun nature is further compounded by the use of a hilarious arsenal of items that mix up the gameplay in different ways. There is a hectic and unique side to the game that could look intimidating yet people will be able pick up and play straight away which is ideal for a sofa/couch based multiplayer game. If you’re looking for something quick and fun to play with family or friends over the holiday season look no further.
[Editor’s Note: Oh My Godheads was provided to us for the review by the developer. The game was reviewed on PC.]