Godzilla is a difficult game to talk about objectively, and pretty difficult to review. I’ve been a fan of Godzilla since I was a kid. I first saw the Hanna Barbara Godzilla Power Hour cartoon, but my interest really took off after seeing the 1998 movie (which admittedly is still a guilty pleasure movie for me). I’ve seen all the movies, watched the cartoons, and heck, I still even have a Godzilla ’98 lunchbox that I got in the first grade. Although my interest in giant monsters waned a bit as I got older, the 2014 film reignited my passion for the big G and his foes, and I now own every film on DVD/Blu-Ray.
So why am I telling you about this? Because how passionate about Godzilla you are really determines how much enjoyment you will get out of this game. This is not Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters, a game even non-Godzilla fans can just pick up and enjoy. I will tell you right now, if you aren’t huge into Godzilla, if you’re not the type who appreciates the awful b-movie dialogue, or the way the character models actually move and look like rubber suits stomping around in miniature cities, this is not the game for you.
Godzilla’s main mode, “God of Destruction Mode” is an arcade style game, where your goal is to destroy as many buildings as possible, as well as G-Energy generators, in order to absorb their G-energy and grow Godzilla (or any of the other kaiju you’ve unlocked) to the largest size you can. The more buildings you destroy within a certain time raises your multiplier, earning you more G-Energy and growth for every building destroyed. The campaign has a mission structure similar to Star Fox, with multiple branching paths varying in difficulty. The more difficult paths have generators that must be destroyed within a certain time limit, and often throw more, and larger, monsters at you. This mode takes about one hour to beat on one playthrough, but will take longer if you want to replay to play every level and find all four “research points” in each stage. Doing so will unlock the last few stages, but only if your Kaiju has reached over 100 meters in size. If you choose a “Defender” monster such as Mothra or Kiryu, your objective will actually revolve around defending generators and buildings from kaiju. You must defeat the monster before it destroys the generators. The less it destroys, the higher your score and power will rise.
Another mode is the “King of the Monsters” mode, which is simply stage after stage of fighting CPU-controlled monsters. You select a monster to play as, and the monsters you face in battle will progressively be larger and stronger.
Godzilla features a good amount of unlockables, most of which are new kaiju to play as, as well as abilities and moves for them. Defeating certain monsters in battle will yield parts or cells that can be used to upgrade certain abilities for certain monsters in Evolution Mode, such as charge time for your energy attacks, or even new attack combos. Different upgrades require different monster parts, which are obtained by playing “God of Destruction” or “King of the Monsters”.
Other unlockables include figures and settings for Diorama Mode. The stages are unlocked by destroying 100% of a stage in “God of Destruction” mode, and figures of monsters in various poses are unlocked by spending parts in Evolution Mode. You can place your figures in these dioramas and take photos of them.
The only form of multiplayer is online play, where three kaiju face off in a free-for-all monster battle. Unfortunately, because the game wasn’t exactly designed to be a fighting game, the combat feels shallow and your success pretty much depends on how much you’ve upgraded your character in Evolution Mode.
This is where this game really shines. You can clearly tell the developers are very passionate about the franchise and keeping everything as accurate as possible. The characters move and control like men in rubber suits. You can even see the seams on King Ghidorah’s neck! MechaGodzilla has his spinning head shield! Godzilla 1964 has the silly looking googly eyes! The short intro cutscenes where the monsters appear are taken directly from their first appearances in their respective films! THE GODZILLA DANCE FROM INVASION OF THE ASTRO MONSTER IS AN UNLOCKABLE ATTACK! Every monster has movie-accurate attacks, beam effects, and roars. Many of the game’s music tracks are taken from movies as well. The environments even look like miniature buildings, and spark as they are destroyed in the same fashion as they do in the films. The dialogue even has the same cheesy style of delivery as many of the dub actors from the films do. Everything in this game was designed to appeal to the hardcore Godzilla fan and as a pretty huge fan myself, I ate it right up.
As a Godzilla fan, I really enjoyed what this game had to offer, but objectively, there’s no denying that Godzilla: The Game is a small-budget title for a niche audience. While the game is immensely faithful to the source material, the visuals aren’t outstanding, the gameplay is repetitive, and the online mode gets old very quickly. However, the sheer amount of fanservice and the ability to stomp around cities and beating other kaiju as your favorite Godzilla monster make this a fun Godzilla simulator. The game is pretty short, but with a decent amount of unlockables and upgrades to keep you busy playing, at least for a little while longer. I definitely do not recommend this title for anyone looking for a deep experience, nor do I recommend buying it at a full sixty dollars. But if you love Godzilla, I say give it a rent, or even buy it if you can find it for a cheap price.
Godzilla: The Game for PS4 gets an okay out of ten.