Review: Gods vs. Humans (WiiWare)

Nobody wins?

So far, games priced at 1500 Wii Points have either been at the top or at the bottom of the spectrum; none of them have been anywhere in between. The fifth title to receive this price tag, Gods vs. Humans, might be the first game to fill in that empty space.

One of the few strategy games on WiiWare, the title says it all. The humans are building a tower to pierce the heavens, and as the gods, your objective is to strike them down before they can reach your cozy little realm.

The game explains quite a lot in the first few stages, but the basic gameplay is pretty simple. The humans have a tower with a number of workers in it, who will slowly attempt to reach the top with materials, constructing additional floors to get higher and higher. Once they've reached the skies, they'll slowly begin wailing away at your portal, and once it's destroyed, you lose. Optimally, your goal is to prevent them from even building a high enough tower.

As long as the humans can go their merry way without any obvious obstructions, they'll be happy and you'll gain power. This power can then be used to unleash a number of spells on the tower, with offensive spells to attack the supports on each floor or defensive spells to distract all humans on one floor temporarily. Destroying all supports on a floor is the key to victory; getting rid of all floors is one way to win, but not the only one.

The generally easier strategy of procuring victory is causing chain reactions in the tower. Rather than taking it out it from top to bottom, destroying floors in the middle leaves a gap that causes all floors above to come crashing down, dealing considerable damage to floors below including the tower's base. If you can destroy the base, you will win as well.

It's not all that simple, though. The humans don't consist of simple workers only, as they have a number of different units that will hinder or help your progress. If you stay calm for a while, a priest preaching your goodness will appear, making all humans happier and slowing them down considerably.

On the other hand, if you keep hitting people with the spells you launch at the tower supports, people will get angry at you and an evil priest might show up, telling them all just how bad you are. This will result in the opposite: you'll gain power more slowly and the humans will be driven to build the rest of the tower faster. In a few stages you'll also have boss battles in the form of "champions" – they'll attempt to reach the top of the tower, and you have to hammer them with spells to make them retreat before they do.

You'll go through a total of four civilizations in the game, starting with the Egyptians. Each civilization has three different gods, which you'll play five different stages with. The gods are actually all different in practice, and while most of their spells will be the same the order in which they become available to you will be different. Ra, for example, can launch a defensive spell to send a pin-up girl to distract workers with very little happiness, while others might have to wait for the bar to be near the top for this to be a possibility. Some gods might also find certain spells cheaper to use than others.

That said, waiting to use spells, even low ones, is never a bad idea; the more your bar is filled, the more damage your attacks will deal and the wider their range will be. You should only use up all of your power in truly desperate situations.

Aside from the main story, the game also offers three additional modes of play. Free game simply lets you create a scenario to your liking, while the two-player mode sees two towers competing against each other. You'll win either by destroying yours first, or having the other player's humans destroy their portal. There's also a challenge mode where, after going through every few story mode stages, you'll unlock a more difficult challenge you can attempt to beat.

Although it might all sound compelling, there is really surprisingly little to the game. Thoughout most of the game, you can win just by spamming spells at the tower supports the moment they become available, and you can even hit a bunch of humans without any real repercussion.

Graphically, the game looks pretty nice, with an obvious different theme for each of the civilizations and a lot of expression in the humans, but the music is pretty much completely forgettable.

Conclusion

There's nothing badly wrong with Gods vs. Humans, but with 60 levels that are largely the same your interest might start to wane quite fast. Another influence on many people will of course be the game's high price: there's really nothing here that justifies it having the same price as World of Goo. If you've got a bunch of money to blow it's not the worst possible game for this price, but that's hardly a recommendation.

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