Platinum Games is bringing four-player live-service dungeon-crawler Babylon's Fall to PS5 as well as PS4 and PC.
We haven't seen much of Babylon's Fall since its reveal at E3 2018, so it's only fitting that the Square Enix E3 2021 showcase brought us a long-awaited update. Previously, Platinum's next game was broadly positioned as a high fantasy hack-and-slash title, but we now know that Babylon's Fall is a true-blue dungeon-crawler that can be played solo or with up to three friends. The updated pitch is still fairly straightforward though: build a character called a Sentinel, slap on a Gideon Coffin, and customize your fighting style as you ascend the tower of Babylon while looting everything that isn't nailed down.
Babylon's Fall is still without a release date, but Platinum and Square are clearly more comfortable talking about it nowadays, so hopefully we get a timeline soon. For now, you can sign up for the game's first closed beta, which is scheduled to start in late July on Steam, with PS4 and PS5 opportunities to follow. You'll need a free Square Enix account to play online, so you may as well make one now.
Square Enix followed up today's trailer with two videos (one short (opens in new tab) and one long (opens in new tab)) packed with developer commentary, giving us a better understanding of how Babylon's Fall feels moment-to-moment.
"Players can continue to pursue action as they push toward a never-ending goal," explains director Kenji Saito, who also directed Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. "Players follow the story and complete dungeons as they aim for the upper levels while they collect equipment and materials to enhance and customize themselves. Each floor takes place in a different location, with a powerful boss lying in wait."
"One key point is that battle actions become the trigger to activate skills and draw out your strongest powers," adds lead game designer Isao Negishi. You could build around attacks that launch enemies, for example, or focus on perfect evades that open up counterattacks.
In a press release, Square Enix explained that players can equip one weapon in each hand, with two more tied to the Gideon Coffin on the back of each character, allowing for up to four weapons. This Gideon gizmo is key to the story as well as the gameplay, Saito says, since it lets you flesh out your play style and activate a special move called the Gideon Gut. This lets you finish enemies, move around on a zipline, or buff your teammates.
Babylon's Fall will launch with five weapon types: swords, hammers, bows, staffs, and shields, with the implication being that new weapons may arrive after launch. This leads us to the game's live service structure, which was the most surprising part of today's re-reveal. Director Takahisa Sugiyama says "we will be adding more and more new areas" as well as items, equipment, and resources over "the long operating period for the game." Expect a mix of permanent updates, limited-time events, and competitive events that challenge players to climb as high as possible.
Notably, Babylon's Fall will have a battle pass, Sugiyama confirmed, as well as direct-purchase items. The battle pass will include "items that can help with game progression, as well as cosmetics that you can show off to other players." The price of the base game remains to be seen.
The Square Enix showcase opened with a whopper of an announcement: the Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy release date is here, and for a freshly announced (albeit long-rumored) game, it's coming soon.