In case anyone ever wonders why I consider Final Fantasy Tactics to be the worst SRPG I’ve played, games like God Wars are ample evidence why. The far-reaching influence of FFT has wreaked catastrophic consequences upon the SRPG genre as a whole; FFT is directly responsible for almost all of the elements that make games like God Wars, Mercenaries Saga, and Fell Seal so bad.
FFT is the single worst thing in history to happen to the genre.
Most of my complaints with God Wars are also true of Fell Seal, which I’ve already covered. As such, this article may feel a bit redundant, so I’ll try to minimize any repetition here. But here’s a short overview of why God Wars’ gameplay is terrible.
The job system is stupid. God Wars is an insipid sandbox SRPG where any unit can do anything. Especially if you grind and overlevel your characters (a method of playing which all FFT-like games openly encourage). I always emphasize this with grind-based SRPGs, but it bears repeating every time the issue comes up: grind is antithetical to strategy! When all of the game’s guides on Steam cover how to grind more efficiently, rather than discuss strategies for maps or team composition, that should be a huge red flag.
Classes in God Wars are badly balanced. Priests and Archers are absolutely essential leveling for every single unit because they give passives for +50% Job Points gained and +1 mobility, respectively (see above screenshot). God Wars’ illusory “customization” system doesn’t even work on a basic level because of this massive imbalance; when you have classes that every unit wants, then you either need to A) rebalance things dramatically or B) nix the job system entirely because this shit doesn’t flush.
Every unit has only 3 mobility at base. It’s as boring, slow, and dumb in practice as it is on paper. When Fire Emblem Armor Knights outclass every character in God Wars when it comes to mobility, you know the game has serious problems.
Map design and AI are lazy. There are many exceptionally large maps which become tedious slogs because of the 3 mobility issue and because in most maps, enemies outright refuse to move. Large maps aren’t even a test of your stamina and resourcefulness either, unlike in a good SRPG like Valhollian or Riglord Saga; MP in God Wars recovers every turn, so you can just heal-spam and turtle if you desire.
Oh yes, and did I mention that there are DLC items accessible early on that give you absurd stats like +240 attack and life steal? At level 1? When your base attack is around 100? Talk about pay2win!
There is nothing strategically interesting or well-crafted about God Wars.
Lest you hope that maybe the story is better, God Wars swiftly crushes this notion. God Wars’ story and aesthetic is marketed as being “loosely based on Japanese folklore” because characters with familiar names show up (e.g. Kintaro, Kaguya, Hanasaka, Susanou). But that’s like saying “A Bug’s Life is loosely based on the Mahābhārata” because feature filmings of A Bug’s Life were preceded by Geri’s Game, which featured Chess, which was based on Chaturanga, which was created in 6th century India, the country which also produced the Mahābhārata.
God Wars’ story has nothing to do with Japanese folklore. The names are familiar, but nothing about the story is otherwise recognizable. Princess Kaguya wasn’t borne of a bamboo chute; Susanou isn’t a god; Kintaro has no connection to any yama-uba; Momotaro makes no mentions of peaches; and so on and so forth. Instead, God Wars’ story centers on an incoherent and filler-heavy romp throughout ancient Japan, with your characters trying to figure out why the gods are angry. Or something like that.
Really, it’s hard to stay engaged with the story when it’s filled to the brim with so many pointless modernistic anime tropes, most notably its unrealistic fanservice. Characters are one-dimensional at best, as you’d expect in a game which shamelessly relies on fanservice for its appeal.
Even Banner of the Maid, with its questionable translation and blatant fanservice, managed to treat its historical subject material with more respect and finesse than God Wars does. God Wars’ story is, frankly, a disrespectful bastardization of Japanese folklore.
There is nothing enjoyable about God Wars. It’s a disgrace to both the SRPG genre and to Japanese folklore. This is one of the worst SRPGs I’ve had the misfortune of playing.
Console: PS4, Vita, Switch, Steam
Developers: Kadokawa Games
The game’s Steam page, in case you have masochistic tendencies or have a penchant for playing bad games: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1038810/GOD_WARS_The_Complete_Legend/