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Babylon's Fall - live service "online co-op action RPG", PS4/PC, Platinum Games


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3 hours ago, deerokus said:

This must be the latest of those occasional stinker projects Platinum take on to pay some bills. 


Their ratio of shit/hit is weighing down ever more heavily on the shit at the moment :(

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59 minutes ago, mdn2 said:

That does kinda make sense. 

 

It didn't "suddenly take off" in so much as that Capcom finally started making the (properly evolved) games available on a proper platform. The PSP was nice and all, but it wasn't as ubiquitous here as it was in Japan. Unshackling it from that platform and throwing it towards the RPG-starved masses of Nintendo made a lot more sense. From there Capcom simply moved it back towards PlayStation/PC again with the Nintendo-gen all grown up accordingly. If anything Capcom was years behind on cashing in with Monster Hunter in the West. The potential was always there (at its most basic it is PSO Dino Edition after all).

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21 minutes ago, Cyhwuhx said:

 

It didn't "suddenly take off" in so much as that Capcom finally started making the (properly evolved) games available on a proper platform. The PSP was nice and all, but it wasn't as ubiquitous here as it was in Japan. Unshackling it from that platform and throwing it towards the RPG-starved masses of Nintendo made a lot more sense. From there Capcom simply moved it back towards PlayStation/PC again with the Nintendo-gen all grown up accordingly. If anything Capcom was years behind on cashing in with Monster Hunter in the West. The potential was always there (at its most basic it is PSO Dino Edition after all).

While that's all true, it was more a comment on the direction SE have taken Babylon's Fall in.

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Just now, mdn2 said:

While that's all true, it was more a comment on the direction SE have taken Babylon's Fall in.

 

It makes sense yes, but I was more reacting to Square Enix being "surprised" about it. Which seems ludicrous. It's like these publishers don't keep tab on their competitors at all. (Or their own stuff, considering the success of something like Bravely Default was also surprising.)

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Quote

Greetings, Sentinels! Clem here from the Babylon’s Fall community team. It’s been a while since we showed the game, so I hope you enjoyed the new trailer we just revealed at E3! If you haven’t seen it yet – we’ve got you covered!


Launching on PS5 and PS4, Babylon’s Fall is an online co-op action RPG set in a high fantasy world that lets you fight powerful enemies and bosses while exploring the mysterious Tower of Babylon.  Create your character, defeat gigantic foes, collect loot, and craft equipment to customize your own build and play style! The good news: you’ll be able to team up with friends and fight as a party of up to four Sentinels! The even better news: you will do so in absolute style. That’s right, Babylon’s Fall follows in the steps of the previous PlatinumGames masterpiece NieR: Automata and will let you fight your way through the tower with elegant, frantic, and absolutely devastating non-stop action. Before we dive into some specifics, let’s take a moment to talk about the Gideon Coffin – a key item not only for the story but the gameplay too.

 

Gideon Coffin
This mysterious device implanted in the back of your character will allow you to use the Gideon Gut, a series of spectral tendrils that burst out of the Gideon Coffin enabling a range of different abilities. Not gonna lie, the best of these powers is certainly the Gideon Arms. While you can normally wield two weapons – one per hand – the Gideon Arms let you equip two more! Yup, you read that correctly: you can wield four weapons at all times! Pretty mad, especially when you can mix and match weapons to your liking.

 

When the game releases, five types of weapons will be available: swords, hammers, bows, staffs, and shields. These will allow for a great deal of loadout customization, for you to build your ideal Sentinel! Do you like close combat and heavy weapons? Equip two hammers and two shields! Want to be a balanced fighter with two swords, a bow, and a shield? Go for it. You’re more the careful sorcerer type? Three staffs and a shield, you got it. You really, really, really like bows? Use four bows! Why not – it’s your build after all! With that in mind you can give yourself totally renewed gameplay experiences simply by trying out different builds! What if… we all equipped four hammers and power through the tower, ha ha… joke… Unless?

 

Stylish co-op action
Depending on what weapons are mounted on your Gideon Coffin, different combos and actions will be available, which will in turn activate unique skills – and that’s when PlatinumGames’ mastery of fast-paced, stylish action comes into play.

 

For instance, dodging an enemy’s attack at the last moment will allow you to sneak in your own counterstrike. You can patiently wait to bait the enemy, then evade and counter it like a boss while your friends are getting ready to unleash their attacks as soon as the enemy is knocked out. Or, if you’re more of an acrobatics enthusiast, you can launch the enemy in the air with your sword so that your friend who really likes bows can shower them with deadly arrows like there’s no tomorrow.

 

We have plenty more of Babylon’s Fall to show you later this year–sorry to make you wait a little longer! See you soon in the tower, Sentinels!

 

PS Blog

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Have some more info (YMMV):

 

Quote

Babylon's Fall: Interview with PlatinumGames


6/26/21 - Game Watch interviewed PlatinumGames about the live service game Babylon's Fall (PS5, PS4) from Square Enix. The most important statements at a glance:

  • The game is a purely online title for up to 4 players.
  • Offline play is not possible.
  • There is no PvP (player versus player).
  • Matchmaking aims to bring together players of similar strength and rank. It will also be possible that a new player can play with a friend who is much farther and stronger. There is a lobby for this, where you can meet up with friends (such as in Monster Hunter).
  • Babylon's Fall will be sold regularly (no free-to-play), after which game modes will be released that can be played for free. There is no monthly fee to play. However, you can purchase in-game items via microtransactions.
  • PlayStation Plus is required to play.
  • A Battle Pass is planned that will be valid for one season (approx. Three months).
  • The Battle Pass should not give you any playful advantage (e.g. stronger weapons, better equipment, etc.). Cosmetic items make more sense for PlatinumGames.
  • In-game events are planned for Halloween, Christmas, etc. Players can then earn points by completing missions and exchange them for time-limited rewards.
  • Babylon's case is not aimed at hardcore action gamers. The game is balanced so that even users with little experience with action can play well.
  • There is no skill tree. The skills depend solely on the equipment: the higher the level, the stronger the equipment. There are also various skills associated with the equipment.
  • Five types of weapons are currently available: sword, hammer, bow, staff and shield. Of all weapons, the sword is the easiest to use. The hammer is a pure power weapon - charging the hammer can do more damage. The bow is a good medium to long range weapon. However, the hit damage is low and the DPS (Damage per Second) value does not increase if one does not use an extraordinary additional property. Staffs can fire magic. They do a lot of damage when hit. They need a lot of energy for this, so you have to think carefully about when to use them. The shield itself has no offensive capabilities. If you equip him, the defensive strength of the player increases. Equipping a shield and fighting to protect other players gives other players the opportunity to attack. If you equip more than one shield, you can defend a larger area.
  • The saved data is linked to the PlayStation Network account, so that you can, for example, start on the PS4 and then continue playing on the PS5 at the same point.
  • If Babylon's case goes down well with the players and is successful, PlatinumGames would like to publish the game on additional hardware.
  • Release: TBA (Europe)


(GameWatch: "「 BABYLON'S FALL (バ ビ ロ ン ズ フ ォ ー ル) 」」 発 陣 陣 イ ン タ ビ ュ ー ")
https://game.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/interview/1332352.html

 

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3 minutes ago, Benny said:

Yeesh, I'm out.

 

Ditto.

 

jJmiG2h.gif

 

 

 

Platinum's become such a let-down recently. World of Demons being pretty mediocre and mobile only. The big 4 announcements having almost been nothing but trolling. No news on Bayonetta 3 for years. And now this nonsense. Platinum can clearly lose its luster.

 

 

 

Quote

Babylon's case is not aimed at hardcore action gamers. The game is balanced so that even users with little experience with action can play well.

 

Yup exactly what people expect from a company that's brought us Vanquish and Bayonetta.

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47 minutes ago, Keyboard Koala said:

Yup exactly what people expect from a company that's brought us Vanquish and Bayonetta.

 

To be fair, those games had easy auto mode. But then again, that was just one of several options... ;) 

 

On the one hand I can't complain about the direction of the game because I already waste my life with Destiny 2 :P  On the other hand, I don't know if I could commit to two games like that, and if the PvE loop is weak then the game will be DOA.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Unlisted Steam page for the beta: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1585520/BABYLONS_FALL_Beta_Version/

 

I haven't had a response to my application, so I'm not holding my breath. What's more interesting is that the page above has specs for the beta.

 

Quote

MINIMUM:
Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
OS: Windows 10 64bits
Processor: Intel® Core™ i5-7600K
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA® Geforce® GTX1650
DirectX: Version 11
Network: Broadband Internet connection
Storage: 50 GB available space

 

RECOMMENDED:
Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
OS: Windows 10 64bits
Processor: Intel® Core™ i7-11700
Memory: 16 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA® Geforce® RTX 3060
DirectX: Version 11
Network: Broadband Internet connection
Storage: 50 GB available space

 

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On 27/06/2021 at 12:15, Keyboard Koala said:

 

Ditto.

 

jJmiG2h.gif

 

Platinum's become such a let-down recently. World of Demons being pretty mediocre and mobile only. The big 4 announcements having almost been nothing but trolling. No news on Bayonetta 3 for years. And now this nonsense. Platinum can clearly lose its luster.

 

Yup exactly what people expect from a company that's brought us Vanquish and Bayonetta.


Not a post I’d probably have made if we still had negs, but sometimes I wonder if I’m the only person in the world who has found all of Platinum’s games flawed in some way, including Vanquish and Bayonetta. I stopped listening to the hype after being baffled and frustrated by Revengance. 

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Beta timings for anyone who needs them...

 

Quote

On Sunday, Platinum announced the dates for the first phase of Babylon’s Fall’s closed beta. This initial phase takes place on separate days for Japan, North America, and Europe.

Japan is up first, with the beta kicking off Thursday, July 29 from 2am to 6am PT. North America‘s test goes live the following week, Thursday, August 5 from 6pm to 10pm PT, 9pm to 1am (August 6) ET. Lastly, the European closed beta test is scheduled for the following Thursday, August 12 between 6pm to 10pm UK, 7pm to 11pm CEST.

Those who signed up for the closed beta will receive invites to the various tests based on the region specified in their Square Enix accounts.

 

https://www.vg247.com/2021/07/26/babylons-fall-closed-beta-phase-one-test-details-steam/

 

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  • 1 month later...

Balance changes and feedback from the beta that nobody was invited to:

https://hanging-garden.babylonsfall.com/news/pages/60ed37f633c8c909875594

 

More notable news:

 

Quote

When will new information about BABYLON’S FALL be announced?

As we will be focusing on development, we will not be presenting the game at events such as TOKYO GAME SHOW 2021 anytime soon. We plan to release new information around November when Phase 3 will take place. We would like to say sorry to everyone who was looking forward to more information, but please wait a little bit longer for details about the content of the game and new BABYLON’S FALL videos.

 

I've also used some of the notes from @Cyhwuhx's post to update my OP a little. :) 

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  • Qazimod changed the title to Babylon's Fall - live service "online co-op action RPG", PS4/PC, Platinum Games
  • 3 weeks later...

They're taking sign-ups for closed beta 3:

 

https://hanging-garden.babylonsfall.com/news/pages/6143167f4b298043174877

 

Application period: "From 04:00 on Wednesday 6th until 03:59 on Thursday 28th October 2021 (BST)"

Beta period: "From 09:00 on Monday 15th until 08:59 on Wednesday 17th November 2021 (GMT)"

 

E: there's also going to be a broadcast on the 23rd - 

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

I've played it. I couldn't find a group of randoms to join at first so I just dived in solo.

 

It's... not the best first impression. Even for someone like me who's open to the idea that this isn't a straight character action game - it was pretty run-of-the-mill. The best comparisons I can make would be that it starts with a "meeting area" akin to a hunting game, with players running about and a quest board to visit, but quests themselves have the "locked arena" style combat you'd get in a 3D Phantasy Star (although my only reference points for that are PSO and PSP2.) Also, I couldn't find a match at first (although this was hour 0 and maybe I just happened to find the mission guy before the others) so I was going in solo.

 

My experience with 3D Phantasy Star games was that you'd walk forward a few steps, get locked into a battle room where enemies would come at you, you'd defeat them, more of them would come in, you'd defeat them, and this would go on until everyone was down. And this is Babylon's Fall. You have light and heavy attacks, an evasive roll, and magic red stuff that bobs around into enemies (kind of like the magic in Nier 2010.) I found that the magic dealt significantly more damage to most enemies, but it depletes a gauge. The gauge is filled by using your light and heavy attacks, so I guess this is why everyone's such a damage sponge. The idea - I assume - is to wail on them with your light and heavy attacks, then deal the "proper" damage with magic. Enemies give you EXP when defeated, and when the "locked arena" is complete and you can move on, you get a Bayonetta-style results screen on the side (complete with grades for copper, stone etc - so if anything it's trying to be a character action game more than Nier Automata was :P ), scoring you on your clear time and your use of particular moves (launchers, aerial attacks.) So I guess these arenas function like verses in their character action games.

 

I'm editing this in just after the note about magic attacks and the gauge, because I've since noticed that your dodge also eats into the same gauge. So you have to decide whether you want to actually deal damage and eat hits, or avoid getting tagged but be left with your weak weapons. Yay?

 

The path through the mission was fairly linear, and the battle situations were punctuated with a few traps (spikes periodically sticking up from areas in the ground) and loot chests to bust open. I did lose all my health at a few points, but in those situations you're only "downed" and have to wait for a gauge to refill (I imagine if I wasn't solo, others would be able to res me.) Furthermore, the mission didn't end on a spectacular boss encounter; I just defeated another group of enemies and then a timer ticked down to the Quest Complete screen. I imagine things will be a bit more fun when I explore the meeting area a bit more and maybe find other players, but the arena battles had some nice mechanics but no really satisfying setups. I think the thing that really sticks out is not just that there are damage sponge enemies, but that a lot of enemy moves have super armour - that is, their attack animations can't be interrupted. So that makes them even more sponge-like and unsatisfying. If they had damage sponge health bars but no super armour, I might enjoy flinging them around at least. If they had super armour but were dispatched in a few hits, I could enjoy moving forward. But the combination of the two isn't a great feeling. Also, a few of the enemies were kind of dumb at times; they'd get up after a knockdown and then just stand there eating hits for a moment before doing something. It was weird.

 

I don't think it's offensively bad or anything, but other games of this ilk either have better combat loops or more satisfying enemies. I dunno, I'll have another look later today. Maybe I'll try and get some other players in, or take a closer look at the meeting area.

 

EDIT: meeting area notes!

 

So I've walked around the hub for a bit to see what was going on. So far I found a "canteen" run by a character named Pygmalion that has equipment for sale (annoyingly, I don't think there's a way to compare it to what you have equipped, at least not without backing out and opening your character info) and the option to sell stuff in your inventory. There's also a rankings board (which just returns the message "no ranking data to display" at the moment) and a mission vendor, Sophia, that lists daily challenges. So: defeat 100 enemies, send a like to someone at the end of a mission, complete a quest using Quick Match, etc. There's also a chest which looks like storage for post-mission rewards that can't be carried in the inventory, and there's a guy you can speak to if you want to change your appearance (face, hair etc - obviously your clothes are determined by the gear you wear.) Uh, and there's a bunch of NPCs to talk to. I'm kind of curious about how little there is to do in the hub considering the amount of NPCs that are standing around. I imagine it's either all placeholder stuff that will be more active when the game is finished, or maybe there will be some kind of progress thing where you unlock more things to do in the hub as you complete more quests.

 

Unfortunately it doesn't look like you can go around swinging weapons in the hub... but you can press the touch pad to bring up a wheel of emote animations and default chat messages. Weirdly, the emote wheel just shows a bunch of images of emotes (some self-explanatory, others less so) but when you select an emote, a text description is also publicly provided in the chat. Why the text isn't on the emote wheel is baffling, because maybe I don't know if the picture of the guy with his palms out is telling someone to wait or doing jazz hands.

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I've been in a match with other players now. To the beta's credit, there are a number of things you can do in terms of what equipment you have - there are various different weapon types to try (bows, rods, hammers, swords), and armour is reflected on the character. You have four weapon slots and each weapon has an attack mapped to a button (square, triangle and both triggers.) So you can't exactly do "combos" with a particular weapon; instead you kind of look at the strengths of each thing - what hits quickly, what hits hard - and equip things accordingly.

 

When playing a mission* with other people I didn't really see any massively unique dynamics; I just ran to help people if they were taking on a strong enemy by themselves, or whatever. There's probably potential for varied equipment loadouts between players that create interesting team strategies, but right now it's all a bit mashy and everyone is doing the same thing as everyone else. At least the damage sponge enemies went down a little faster. But there's nothing like boss rooms or enemy encounters that have "phases" as such - you kind of see most of your opponents' moves in the first minutes after the door is locked behind you. It's not like a hunting game where you have a bit of a battle and then you follow their tracks to a new location, and it's not really like an MMO where their moveset changes dramatically after a certain threshold. Well, unless I just didn't notice.

 

I've ran the easiest available missions a few times now, but the missions on offer each have a recommended level, and drops seem fairly tight. It feels like the game wants me to run the same mission repeatedly, changing my gear up each time so that the rewards are always slightly better and eventually I'll have gear that will take me to the recommended level of other missions. Not unlike Destiny then, but dragging your average level up by a few numbers seems pretty slow...

 

EDIT: oh it looks like Pygmalion can appraise relics if you tab over to the trading post, and this looks like the equivalent of decrypting engrams in Destiny - i.e. opening loot boxes. The relics I had contained gear that was worse than what I was carrying, but at least I know what to do with them in future.

 

EDIT 2: like an idiot, I ran a mission that showed a recommended level higher than my own just so that I could get some decent drops, and I eventually met the recommended level threshold for the "intended" next mission. You have to level up your gear from 7 to 20 (like Destiny, you just put better gear on until your level average goes up), but I got there eventually. And to be honest, it wasn't much different from the starting mission. Neither was the one I tried whilst underlevelled. The environments were different and I think I like the visual style they're going for, but the structure is always the same: locked arenas, damage sponge enemies, loot gathering.

 

*the available area on the map has six missions but they all have increasing "recommended level" thresholds, so I can only grind away at the early missions for now...

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  • 2 weeks later...

https://hanging-garden.babylonsfall.com/news/pages/619b1a8026e03507589623

 

Quote

 

We would like to address some of the concerns about the visual appearance of gear in BABYLON’S FALL, which were pointed out by participants during Phase 3 of the Closed Beta Test.

 

Now, I’d like to answer a question that’s been making its way around social media --- “Isn’t this gear from FINAL FANTASY XIV?” To get straight to the point: yes, BABYLON’S FALL contains gear and emote data borrowed from FINAL FANTASY XIV.

When I gave my BABYLON’S FALL presentation at a company meeting, FINAL FANTASY XIV Producer & Director Naoki Yoshida was also in attendance and offered his help, to which I replied, “Yes, please!” This is how the plan came to fruition. We then carefully implemented the data while closely coordinating with the FINAL FANTASY XIV team. By borrowing data, we’ve been able to implement a much wider variety of gear and emotes in the game than we’d originally planned.

 

One of the weirdest announcements I've seen.

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I bet it's going to be a vehicle for other Squenix and Eidos IP. Live service daftness with equipment nabbed from games you might not even play.

 

Was FFXIII the one which had Tomb Raider and FFX costumes?

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It could maybe hold appeal as a daft button masher where you spam attacks and the shinies pour out of enemies and you feel good about yourself because endorphins, but the “damage sponge/super armour” combo prevents it from being engaging at that baseline. Maybe they’ll tune it before the actual release…

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