Polygod is a game that you’re either going to absolutely love or completely dismiss the second you begin.
I mean, I can’t put it in simpler terms than this. It’s often frowned upon to start a review with the ol’ ‘you’ll love it or you’ll hate it depending on x’, though however cliche it may be, Polygod earns this by being polarising almost from the outset. An FPS rougelike with poly visuals looks, feels and plays exactly how you imagine, with a ferocious difficulty level and visuals that present perhaps the exact opposite.
Basically you’re going to die an awful lot at the hands of the enemies which are infinitely more powerful than you. You’re going to swear and curse and want to throw your Switch across the room (please try not to). It’s going to test your nerve, your patience and your persistence for rewards. Your currency is ‘souls’, this should tell you what you need to know about what kind of audience Polygod is trying to connect with here. If you fall into the category of gamers that love dying repeatedly in order to learn more about what lies ahead, Polygod has been made for you from the ground up.
An FPS roguelike then? Yep. You’re on your own in this one with little to back you up save or a single weapon and basic movement. It’s built knowing it’s going to take a fair few playthroughs to master – hell, to even tear through it at a basic level, which, to its credit, makes you feel like a master anyway – and if you’re willing to stick with its vicious playthroughs you may find yourself destroying poly aliens like there’s no tomorrow. It’s a dream come true for speedrunners. Immensely challenging and requires deep diving to understand its mechanics and how to tear through each level as quick as possible.
Levels are randomly generated and are tied to a seed which you can save and share its code with others to try, allowing competition for the best time. The levels are built to include long corridors, mazes (in a similar vein to that Windows 95 screensaver, if you can remember such a thing) and dead-ends, keeping you entrapped throughout with very few places to try and gather yourself amidst the wave of aliens nasties and those lovely turrets that have a nice habit of murdering you to death at a single glance. Taking them down, along with all enemies, will drop you some health, essential for tearing through levels and taking on the final boss.
As you move further into the game you’ll discover altars, allowing you to create ‘builds’ which offers significant upgrades to yourself and to your weapon. You can essentially craft the way this game plays to your liking the more ‘builds’ you create. In each level there’s also the ‘Altars of Gaia’ which each have ‘blessings’ assigned to them that can be bought in exchange for the souls of your victims. You can increase your damage or ‘Swop’, which will replace your current blessing with something completely different. Each blessing comes at a price to another ability though, so choose wisely.
We’ve reviewed the game on Nintendo Switch and it fits the handheld well, with no visual hiccups or bugs that we could come across in our several hours of playing. The Switch version does include gyro controls though via detached Joy-Con play and is hugely impressive.
Polygod then is going to test your metal in every sense of the word and should you want a hardcore rogue challenge you’re not going to go wrong here. Krafted Games have um, crafted an experience that is partly ridiculous, partly wonderful and altogether just tough as balls.
If you have the stones to take on its challenges, you’re going to not want to put it down.
Polygod is available now on Steam, Nintendo Switch (reviewed) and Xbox One.
Developer: Krafted Games
Publisher: Krafted Games
Disclaimer; In order to complete this review, we were provided with a review code from the publishers. For our full review policy, please go here.