GODS Remastered hands on — ’91 classic modernised for a new audience

In 1991, one of the finest games made by The Bitmap Brothers saw the light of day: GODS, a puzzle platformer which follows the story of Hercules’s ascension to godhood. Almost two decades later, GODS returns in the form of GODS Remastered, developed by Robot Riot UG and Sound of Games, and soon coming to a platform near you.

While platformers were not exactly a rarity in the early 90s, GODS distinguished itself from the crowd with a couple of features. Somewhat slow and methodical, the game focused on switch puzzles and exploration as much as it did on combat and platforming.

GODS’ AI was praised as revolutionary at the time, as it adapted to the player’s behaviour (within limits) instead of just walking back and forth. Bonuses were awarded to players in several ways, sometimes even for being plain bad at the game — an interesting way to help frustrated players.

A popular title, GODS made its way from the Amiga and Atari ST to other platforms such as DOS as well as the SNES and Mega Drive. However, the Mega Drive version suffered from speed issues, the SNES version was zoomed in for some reason, and the otherwise decent DOS port lacked music.

Thankfully, GODS Remastered uses the superior Amiga version as it basis. Still played in two dimensions, the game now offers 3D models, all new graphics, lighting effects and more. For those who prefer the crisp pixels of old, a classics graphics mode is available.

Switching between the two can even be done on the fly. If that sounds familiar, you may have seen it in the remaster of Wonderboy: The Dragon’s Trap. Being the gold standard of game remakes, one cannot fault the developers of GODS Remastered for including this excellent feature.

However, even if you happen to own the original GODS, the remaster still has something to offer. Widescreen support is now available and the frame rate is smooth. Availability for mobile and PC means that you do not need to dust off your old Amiga — provided you had one in the first place.

I had the chance to play GODS Remastered at PLAY Expo London 2018. The game does what it is supposed to do — it is GODS, but with updated graphics and better performance. I prefer crisp pixels over the new graphics, but that is mostly a matter of preference.

Should you give GODS Remastered a try? If you like slow-paced traditional platformers in general or the original GODS specifically, yes. That is all you are going to get here, but since this was all that GODS Remastered intended to do in the first place, it delivers.

GODS Remastered will be launching on Android, iOS, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch and PS4 in the future. It is also launching for the ZX Spectrum Next, on which we played it. Those interested in finding out more can do so on the developer’s Twitter, or website.

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