Goliath tries to melt both the best aspects of the survival games and action RPGs, Develop by Whalebox Studios and published by Octopus tree, set to be released on Steam on May 12, for PC, Mac and Linux. At an standard price of $19.99.
Surviving and living
The Goliath is a sandbox game so it’s up to you how you play the game. But as usually you must get resources and make yourself stronger. And here it’s not you who is getting stronger but your robots :-).
Gathering materials could have being a really tedious task, since the pilot takes it time for harvesting all the materials. However once you are on the robot you can collect resources in one hit, making the whole process easy and less tedious, but the giant robot cannot collect all the resources that the pilot can, which I find a pretty neat logical choice.
As the playable character, a not so humble pilot with a mechanical arm, you don't have much defensive capabilities, only a pistol that stun your enemies and a temporal invisibility device, however since the main ability of the pilot is to craft, you can always craft few things in the wilderness by mounting a camp, but once you reach a safe spots, you'll be able to build traps, chemicals and of course the titular giant robots.
The Safe spots are always located in the same places, and it works as your main base, is here where you will repair and develop your giant robots, also there are teleporters that take you to another planets, but let´s address that later. The thing is once you find it the first time, there´s no need to look for it anymore, even if you loose in the game, they never tell you “You die” or is remarked that your character died. It just passed away and somehow wakes up on the safe spot.
As a Giant robot or Goliath your offensive capabilities will greatly improve, also the Goliaths comes in a great variety of forms and materials, which by leveling up they’ll gain new abilities that will affect the flow of the combat. Normally each Goliath have a normal and a strong attack, which they can be peppered by adding them weapons to improve damage or effectiveness, and there are also are range weapons for those who are afraid to get closer to enemies.
Weapons are unique to some Goliath, since they are made from different materials, and also the change the Goliath´s attack pattern and in case of the range ones they make the game combat feel completely different, also they can break and at the moment I haven´t found any way to repair them, but there´s a better chance of your Goliath breaking first, however repair in it is easy, you just need the right materials, there´s a limit of how many you can carry, and you must build a garage if you want more than three. Each kind of Goliath will unlock every few levels, as each Goliath will unlock new abilities in the same way, this abilities mixed with the somewhat different enemy attack pattern, makes each combat feels unique and different.
You can swap between three Goliaths and the pilot anytime in combat, also you can use your Goliath in an autopilot way where you can issue him some order such as follow and guard, this feels great but I haven´t found any use for it at the moment, since the AI is somewhat unreliable, meaning that having two Goliaths on the field sounds better than it actually is, hopefully by the release of the final game this will be fixed and having a robot partner would be a reliable thing.
Besides combat differences each Goliath got defensive capabilities, some can dodge and some can block, that also means that some Goliath are less mobile than others which actually makes the difference in combat and travelling through the map, also they each have elemental weaknesses or advantage, like the wooden Goliath that can heal himself whenever you find water but gets burned on the extreme heat of the desert planet.
Speaking of which, you must travel through different planets, that they have with their own ecosystem and also they are procedurally generated so no two sessions are the same, these planets besides having their own plants and wild animals, they have their own set of NPCs which they each have factions and relations with the player character, however at the moment I didn't find any long lasting consequences for the decisions I took.
As for the story of the game, at the moment it haven´t caught my attention. However I must speak well of everything else, since Goliath is a compelling game. How this steampunk title filled with interdenominational anthropomorphic animals will pay of, I cannot say though. It is too early to guess, but the game lacks production value on this area, however on everything else the game delivers, and if the focus of the game is to make giant robots fight wild animals, this game feels just perfect.
In the end, Goliath is looking fun. It really make a great combo by combining the best elements of each genre, even though it could use a better control scheme for mouse and keyboard users, not saying the default controls are bad, but years after playing Diablo clones is hard to reprogram my brain to work in a different fashion, it would be neat if the developers add the option to play this like Diablo, but at the moment they stick to this control scheme that it fits better control users.
However this seems to be a fun time if you´re looking for an ARPG experience that have giant robots set in a living world that will test your survival skills and monsters to fight.