We like to talk about video games from all over the world, from countries you probably don’t even realise have developers mulling away on their dream game. Back in 2012, a group of likeminded individuals came together to work on just such a dream and, a few days ago, everything came together for its official launch on Steam.
That group of friends formed Whalebox Studios out of Siberia, and since 2014 they’ve been hard at work on their first release, Goliath. A sandbox action-adventure, where your survival within a procedurally generated world of giants is determined by the creation of a robot giant of your own, Goliath is an ambitious combination of customisation, storytelling and MMO style resource gathering and combat.
The setting, too, is all-consuming. A combination of a hundred dead civilizations (past, present and future), your main character discovers that the only way to survive this crazy land is to become the very thing that’s now destroying everything. To do that, you’ll have to explore and scavenge for materials to build, customise and outfit your Goliath creation to suit the task at hand.
So it’s sort of RPG, sort of action game, maybe even a mix of World of Warcraft while you’re at it. There’s also the element of survival, something that’s becoming more and more popular these days, where you’ll need to craft tools, buildings and healing potions in order to stay alive. Changing weather effects and a day/night cycle also play their part, changing how your own Goliath performs as well as the discoveries and monsters you might meet.
The world is also populated by various factions who fight for control over resources and land segments. Siding with a particular faction can bring with it unique rewards, plans and parts, and if by chance you decide to wage war against another faction (such as the demonic entities known as the Daemonari), you might just be able to rally them to your cause. You’d better choose wisely though, you wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of a powerful group of beings.
All that would be a fairly solid experience on its own right, but it’s the giant mechs that will no doubt steal the show. There’s the opportunity to create some fairly cool creations, but it will be interesting to see how deep that customisation actually goes. There’s an opportunity there to create future DLC or expansions to increase those options too. Let’s be honest though, creating a giant robot out of wood kinda makes me chuckle with delight, especially considering I’m a Futurama fan.
You’ll be able to share the experience with a friend in a fully supported co-op campaign, or use your robotic creations to fight against each other in arena style combat events. I definitely like the idea of playing together with someone else, if it means creating an advantage over the enemy, possibly sharing resources, etc. It’s not entirely a hack ‘n slash, but given I’m a Diablo fan this looks like it will scratch that itch. Of course, that does depend on how well the game controls, but the good news is there’s gamepad support as well as your traditional keyboard/mouse, so there should be plenty of options to make it fit your style of play.
‘Ambitious’ is definitely one way of explaining Goliath, given the amount of content seemingly on offer for a debut title. Credit to Whalebox for sticking to their guns, especially having survived a Kickstarter campaign which sadly missed its goal. Hopefully it pays off for them as the game makes a name for itself now that it has finally hit the big time.
You can try Goliath for yourself on Steam right now, at a reduced price for launch week. Who knows, I might just see you on there and ask for your aid.
Mark Isaacson is a freelance journalist and editor of PN2, who has always wanted his own Iron Giant … how much would it cost to get Vin Diesel to do the voice?