Goliath is certainly a game about survival, but it isn’t a traditional survival game. It takes the traditional survival formula and speeds it up, while creating a fun environment for mech battles in the form of an ARPG. I hadn’t played anything quite like it before.
Created by Whalebox Studios out of Serbia, Goliath is a “dream project” that began development in 2014 and was released on PC in 2016. At the outset of Goliath, your character crash lands on a mysterious island, full of spiders, angry ducks and lots of trees. Soon thereafter you’ll find yourself chopping trees for components and creating coal in a furnace. This is traditional for survival games. But, within a few minutes, all of that time-consuming gameplay was turned on it’s head. I built a wooden mech, and it was glorious. “Woody,” as I call him, can chop down trees and bad guys with a dazzling set of attacks. If you need stone, lumber, twigs, etc. Woody will expedite that process. But keep your eyes open for larger bad guys that can take Woody down and force you to rebuild him at camp. Fortunately, Woody can be upgraded and you can build more powerful and secure mechs over time. It’s fun, but probably not what you were expecting if you were looking for a survival game like Don’t Starve. If you want something with more action, you’ll be happy with Goliath. And, fortunately, there is full controller support. I played via the Steam Link on my 60″ LCD and an XBOX One controller.
In terms of story, it’s delivered without consequential dialog options and voice acting. The only real effect you have on the story is in how you choose to interact with the other sentient beings on the islands. You can steal from them or help them. Your call. If you don’t care to get deep into a game’s lore, you’ll have fun with how wacky Goliath’s story is.
There are enemies everywhere, and sometimes the mini-map doesn’t help you avoid them. Quests and objectives are tracked for you, and a path is provided on the map. But oftentimes I found myself going in circles. It sort of adds to the reality of being stranded on an island you’ve never been to before. Although, the sheer number of enemies is difficult to overcome if you’re not in one of your mechs. I love that feeling of vulnerability that comes over you when your mech is destroyed. Conversely, you feel like an absolute bad ass when you enter your mech suit or place it in patrol mode. So neat.
I’m not yet done with Goliath. There is plenty more for me to explore and build. But, I do understand the core mechanics and I think there is great promise here. Cheers to a great start!