Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Babel Rising

Review: Babel Rising

5:00 PM on 06.14.2012 // Chris Carter
  @DtoidChris

"And so God scattered them upon the face of the Earth, and confused their languages, and they left off building the city, which was called Babel."

The Tower of Babel is one of my favorite religious stories of all time. It epitomizes both our general futility of living a God-like existence, and our insatiable drive to better ourselves.

Of course, Babel Rising, the latest Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network offering only scratches the surface of these metaphysical implications, but does it at least offer you some fun for a lazy Sunday afternoon?

Babel Rising (Xbox Live Arcade [reviewed], PlayStation Network)
Developer: Mando Productions
Publisher: Ubisoft
Released: June 12, 2012 (PSN) / June 13, 2012 (XBLA)
MSRP: $9.99 (PSN) / 800 Microsoft Points (XBLA)

Said humanistic futility is directly incorporated into the gameplay of Babel Rising (which is a complete 3D rework of the successful iOS game), as it is your holy duty as God itself to prevent a bunch of adorable little cartoon citizens from challenging your power. Your mission is to stop them from building a tower to the heavens through any means necessary. In fact, think of it like an anti-Lemmings.

You accomplish this goal by utilizing two of four potential powers: Earth, Wind, Water, or Fire. Each of the two powers has two unique functions mapped to your controller's face buttons. Using the left analog stick, a reticle will guide your powers in the right direction.

For instance, the Earth power nets you the ability to call down boulders, or rip the ground itself asunder. Power diversity is encouraged through a Tony Hawk-style combo system that rewards you for using as many different powers as possible. Enemies make funny noises when you smite them, otherwise distracting from the rather morbid nature of the affair.

Control-wise, everything is pretty straight forward barring one major glaring issue: the camera is controlled entirely with the right analog stick. If you're under attack from multiple angles, you often times have to take your hands off of a button/power to slowly move the camera around.

Even though you can do a quick 180 by pressing in the right analog stick, utilizing the LB and RB buttons (L1 and R1) would have been a godsend here. Babel Rising supports both Microsoft's Kinect and Sony's Move control schemes. For the purposes of this review, Kinect was tested. Thankfully, both control methods are utterly optional, as God himself wouldn't even dream of toying with them for more than an instant (or whatever metric of time he/she perceives as an instant).

To be blunt, the only cool thing about Kinect is that you can yell "Earth, Wind, Water, or Fire" at the screen: so you can pretend you're a Planeteer for five minutes, have your fun, and move on to bigger and better things.

You'll have to bear with some initial disappointment with the game's campaign, as you can sleepwalk through the first five missions, but after that initial offering, the game's intricacies immediately become evident. Builders and Priests -- units that can shield themselves from certain attacks -- start coming from multiple angles, forcing you to constantly survey the area and combine your powers to garner success.

When you're not fighting the aforementioned camera controls, it can actually be quite fun, hectic, and unique. Unfortunately, all of this is over in under two hours, as the campaign only offers a few short missions across three maps/structures. Also, don't go in expecting some grand, enlightening narrative in regards to the deific content of the game. Outside of the setup, everything is presented in a fairly vanilla, cut-and-dry manner -- it's not nearly as entertaining as Rock of Ages' God theme, for example.

Other than the campaign, Babel Rising offers a standard endless survival mode, and multiplayer. Like all puzzle games, unless you're completely hooked, you'll quickly grow tired of engaging in the same survival scenario over and over by yourself (even if you can choose between the game's three levels/towers).

Of course, this repetition will drive you to the game's multiplayer mode over time, which is restricted to two-person local play only. In this day and age, it's practically criminal for an XBLA or PSN game to exclude an online mode, especially in a game that thrives in essentially replaying the same concept over and over.

In fact, Babel's co-op mode is easily the most fun thing it has to offer, as each player takes two of the game's four powers, allowing for some pretty rad combinations. If you don't have anyone readily available to sit down next to you, however, you're pretty much out of luck.

The game currently has a menu option for downloadable content, but as is the case with any given arcade game, nothing is guaranteed. If it's anything like what's on offer from the iOS version, it'll involve things like enraged worker modifiers (x2 speed) or harder difficulties. As of now, you're stuck with what you're given.

Overall, Babel Rising is an interesting concept that ultimately won't hold your interest for very long. There aren't many God simulators out on the market anymore, and the simplistic nature of the game easily could have swayed a ton of new potential fans. Unfortunately, the package is fairly bare bones, and doesn't really deliver any long-term enjoyment. If you buy this, be prepared to turn the other cheek.



THE VERDICT

5.5

Babel Rising - Reviewed by Chris Carter
Average - Like a meal of lukewarm water with white bread. It filled my time and my belly, but lacks any discernible flavor or nutritional value. A game that left me no different than it found me. Just passing through.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Chris Carter, Reviews Director, Co-EIC
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidChris Tips
Chris (Magnalon) has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff! -----------... more   |   staff directory



 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Babel Rising


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Kitten Bowl x Puppy Bowl Stream Starts NOW!

Cool site never heard of before

Gravity Rush: The 6th generation game you didn't play

The Witness Review

Waifu Wars: Rei Ayanami (NGE)

Gaming's Beautiful People #3: Waifu Wars Edition (Bloggers Wanted)

Understanding How Street Fighter is Played

Cblogs of 2/05/16 + Digital Preservation

Music Notes: "Tied Down" by Forever Still

Desert Golfing - The Model Mobile Game

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

KeithTheGeek avatarKeithTheGeek
Woke up to find the qposts filled with favorite pokemon. I'm gonna be that guy and say his favorite is Charizard. Too lazy to go dig up a picture, but I don't have to. Yall already know what he looks like.
Shinta avatarShinta
CONTROVERSY: I'm playing Ninja Gaiden Black right now and the truth of the matter is that Ninja Gaiden 2 is the better game. The combat is just so much better, and the pacing is as well. NGB is still a 10/10 to me though. NGB's combat is just alot slower
Sir Shenanigans avatarSir Shenanigans
Since I was a lad who actually followed Pokemon, Scyther was green and sharp and cut his way to my little heart, where he remains today.
JohnSmith123 avatarJohnSmith123
Hmm. I unlocked something called Balam. I wonder what that i-oh. OHHHHH.
Jinx 01 avatarJinx 01
Always respect your waifu. And never have more than one, polyamory is bad mkay
EdgyDude avatarEdgyDude
Just realized Deadpool releases this week and started praying it doesn't suck.
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
You guys probably already know this but Feraligatr is my favorite Pokemon.
JPF720 avatarJPF720
Proudly stand as (possibly) the only person whose favorite Pokémon is this guy
Scrustle avatarScrustle
Haven't cared about Pokemon in about 10 years, but I used to like this guy.
Oridan avatarOridan
Hello, here is a pokémon that I like.
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
And another one. And another one. And another one. You smart.
ooktar avatarooktar
When did the Waifu War turn into a Pokemon debate?
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
I think about this a lot for some reason.
Parismio avatarParismio
This is a PSA: Never trust anyone who doesn't wet their toothpaste before brushing their teeth! Those people are clearly evil and their waifus are probably shit too!
Lawman avatarLawman
Going back to Gravity Rush, I think I forgot how much I love it. The visuals, the interesting designs, the dreamy music, likable characters, and of course, just floating all over the place like it's no big thing. It blends together so well.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
One of my personal favorite pokemon.
taterchimp avatartaterchimp
I had a rough night and I hate the fucking Eagles, man
Niwannabe avatarNiwannabe
Okay, here's one last Fuck, Marry, Kill to determine the truest of waifus. Donald Trump, Jed, Dreamweaver. Go.
BaronVonSnakPak avatarBaronVonSnakPak
I don't normally bitch about life on the internet, but I need to vent. It's been a REALLY shitty week. Hopefully life's been treating my fellow 'toiders better.
Torchman avatarTorchman
Mandatory reading
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -