Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout is a last man standing battle royale game developed by Mediatonic and published by Devolver Digital. It was released on the 22nd of June 2022 for Xbox platforms as a Free to Play title.
The battle royale genre has been around for many years; however, it is difficult to come into this genre and have a title stand out from the rest. Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout has cemented itself since it’s release on other platforms with its Japanese cult television game show hit Takeshi’s Castle and Wipeout game show inspired game, giving a little breath of fresh air into an almost over saturated market. Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout can be played solo or up to 4 friends online, however there can only be one winner. The games start off with up to 60 players competing in the first round with players being eliminated after each round. Rounds are picked at random from a selection of maps and modes that are either played solo or teamed up by colours for some team-based rounds. Matches consists of 4 to 5 rounds and last around 15 to 20 minutes if you make it to the final round to get that crown.
When the player starts up the game they are met with bright colours and a catchy tune that will get stuck in their head after a few hours playing. The player gets a short but sweet page of tutorial of the games controls which are very minimalistic. Move, jump, dive and grab. The player is then able to customize their jellybean shaped character with a few limited colour options and a few different patterns. The player matchmakes into the lobby, this takes only a few seconds and the match starts. The first round is a race on an obstacle course where a certain number of players need to cross the finish line to avoid being eliminated and move onto the next round. These are some of the most chaotic fun loving games that will have the player in laughter; watching 60 jelly bean shaped characters try and push themselves through a door way all at the same time. It feels like being at a boxing day sale as soon as the doors open.
There are a variety of maps that have different mechanics. The obstacle course races have a variety of hindrances such as spinning plates on the map dizzy heights. Seesaw sees the player running through a series of giant see-saws towards the finish line, one wrong move will see you slide off the see-saw into the pink slime and the player will be respawned at the last checkpoint you went through. Fruit Chute sees the player running up and conveyer belt with giant fruit hurtling down to knock the player off their course, the amount of times I was close to the end for only a giant strawberry or orange to hit my jelly bean head to send me in a rolling mess backwards down the conveyer belt as I laughed hysterically. Falling off the map, being hit by giant fruit, being hit by the many spinning hammers does not necessarily mean the player will be eliminated and they won’t be the only one.
There are also a few team-based maps, these maps will see the player being evenly distributed into teams, be given a colour and have to work as a team. If the player is playing solo these games can be frustrating at times if not all of the team are pulling their weight, and if the player’s team does not make the objective, the whole team will be eliminated. One of these maps is Fall Ball, which sees players put into two teams and on a field with not one but two giant soccer balls and you play soccer, with the team getting the most goals scored winning. Team tag tail has players distributed into four teams, each team has a certain amount of players that already have tails attached and the aim of the game is catch one of the opposing teams tails and the team with the least tails at the end is eliminated. Rock ‘n’ Rock has teams of 3 push a rubber ball through an obstacle course towards the goal at the end, but there’s a catch, the first half of the map the teams are separated into lanes, at just past half way, the lanes end and its anything goes, you can either keep pushing your ball as a team or some of the player’s team mates may run towards the other teams to hinder their progress, but be warned they will probably do the same to the player’s team. In addition to the Solo modes, there are also Duos and Teams which allow the player to compete along side their party to try and get the glory as a team.
What are we competing for? Well, fame. Fame is the XP of the game, the XP you earn goes towards unlocking the battle pass contents. The first pass has 100 levels, and you unlock cosmetic items for the player’s character such as, different colours, patterns, costumes and emotes. Kudos can also be earned, this is the in-game currency that the player can earn just by playing the game. These kudos are used to buy more cosmetic items for your jellybean, such as dressing them up as ninja costumes, changing their colour or patterns. There is also a premium currency called ShowBucks that can be bought and used for cosmetics. This leaves the possibility of cross overs that we see in games like Fortnite. Where players may be able to purchase costumes of other characters from other movies, games or tv shows. For example, an Ezio from Assassins Creed costume is on the current battle pass.
There is no split screen couch co-op which is unfortunate as the mini games remind me of times playing Mario Party. There is no practice mode where you can practice learning the controls, there is no offline mode or custom games.
Written by Jen and edited for Xbox release by Sam Russell.