Reviewed on PC
Last year Abbey Games, known for games like Reus and Renowned Explorers, released Godhood into early access. Godhood is a strategy simulation about creating your own religion, strengthening your disciples and eventually taking over the world. The game saw its full launch on August 11th.
Initially, there is a lot to get to grips with, but the game does an excellent job at leading you through the first stages of creating your religion in a way that's not too overwhelming. You pick the name of religion as well as what your followers will call you, and what your followers are called, and choose what your religion will strive for; things like peace, war, generosity, or greed are all options. You will get your first disciples, and introduced to the little village that grows as your religion does. Lastly, they walk you through the class and combat system before you’re ready to go.
Having direct control of your disciples is not the point of this game, rather it’s a game about the way you form your religion to influence the culture of your followers, and the classes you choose for your disciples. The combat in the game, known as sacraments where the objective is to win new followers, is all done automatically with the abilities and powers your disciples have dependent on the class you picked for them. This can be frustrating, but makes you pay better attention to the way you're influencing them when you do have the chance to.
Outside of the sacraments, there’s plenty to do. You can build and upgrade buildings in your village, your disciples perform rituals that will improve their stats, and you can pick the tenets and traditions of your religion. This is the most rewarding aspect of the game, as it’s what personalises your experience the most and shows off the game’s sense of humour. My first shot at the game involved creating a pacifist religion that enjoyed sermons and debates, but quickly descended into a chaotic, tree-hugging cult who shunned clothing. The thing drawing me back to the game is the curiosity of what other monstrosities I could create.
Although there is a lot of variation in how your game can pan out, with lots of choices about the direction your religion takes and which places you visit to spread the word, the game starts to feel repetitive quickly. After figuring out all the things you need to manage between sacraments, it feels a bit like you’re just clicking away until something happens. Disciples level up, age up, you take their souls and find new disciples, bless them to keep their faith up, make sure the buildings and rituals are influencing their development in the most efficient way. There’s a lot to keep track of and it feels like it should be engaging, but I found more often than not I was just clicking through turns mindlessly, with no real consequence.
If there is some kind of deity watching over us, I imagine it is a monotonous, frustrating existence, but games are supposed to be fun (or at least emotionally rewarding in some way). Even though choices like making the combat automatic make perfect sense, the game does feel a little flat. The little events that happen in your village dependent on the tenets and traditions you pick makes the game feel like it has some kind of story to it, and this is what the game needs more of; moments that make feel attached to your disciples to actually make you care about the game.
As it stands the game isn’t bad by any means, but there is something about it that just feels bland. Although there were little moments that made me chuckle, overall I felt like I was endlessly clicking in the hopes that something new would occur. If you don’t care about story too much in games and are more interested in mechanics, I imagine there’s enough here for you to enjoy, but otherwise Godhood feels like a bit more work to make it a truly engaging experience.