E3 2019: Fall Guys Puts the Physical Comedy in Battle Royales

Despite being called a press conference, Devolver Digital’s pre-recorded E3 videos are rarely focused on revealing new titles, instead happy with satirizing the industry with blunt and eccentric jokes and plenty of blood and gore. But this year, several titles did end up getting announced as they switched their target to Nintendo Direct-style announcements, including Fall Guys from British developer Mediatonic, a colorful and chaotic multiplayer title.

Featuring 100 players, Fall Guys tasks players with surviving a variety of over thirty knockout games reminiscent of Mario Party mini-games and various Japanese game shows, with the ultimate goal of being the sole survivor. While that premise certainly makes it sound like it was inspired by the rise of battle royale titles, Mediatonic’s Joe Walsh does admit the game shares some DNA with the incredibly popular genre, including the rush you feel upon achieving victory, but the core gameplay differs substantially, with a larger focus on overcoming wonky physics and abstract obstacles. The knockout games are randomly selected and differ depending on the size of the remaining population, with certain ones separating the surviving population into teams who now must focus on cooperation as opposed to competition. There will be a light touch of skill-based matchmaking, with the team primarily focusing on online multiplayer but fully open to integrating local play in some manner.

The art style of the game is undeniably bright and colorful, with the character design being purposefully top-heavy to take advantage of the comedic physics similar to Gang Beasts or Human Fall Flat. These indisputably jelly bean-shaped characters can be distinguished with a wide variety of customization options, some of which can be unlocked by winning these gauntlets. Walsh says that the team fully plans on adding additional knockout games after launch, and is fully open to the idea of streaming integration, allowing viewers to choose and influence which challenges will affect their streamer of choice.

With matches scheduled to last fifteen to twenty minutes for those who are fortunate enough to make it towards the end, Fall Guys seems like a promising offering of quick and ridiculous chaos that is sure to bring plenty of laughs upon its launch in early 2020 for PS4 and PC.