God's Trigger is an outrageous and chaotic top-down shooter with a robust co-operative mode and plenty enough action to cover up its clunkier moments.
The apocalypse has always been a great source of inspiration for video games. Whether the Biblical destruction of Darksiders or the dark world of The Last of Us, the end of the world has come in many shapes and sizes. The latest game to dive into this theme is God's Trigger from developer One More Level.
In God's Trigger, the apocalypse is on the brink of being set off. Enter an angel named Harry and a demon named Judy, who must form an awkward alliance to stop Hell from literally breaking loose, heading after the four horsemen in the process. Along the way, all sorts of bloody hijinks ensue as the pair cut a violent path through enemy hordes.
The most obvious comparison to make for God's Trigger is Hotline Miami. The Dennaton Games titles also had a top-down viewpoint and buckets of gore, but tonally the two properties are very different. When it comes to Hotline Miami, this boiled down to that sheen of a video nasty, with both games drenched in 1980s neon as much as claret.
God's Trigger is much more light-hearted. With tongue firmly planted in its cheek, God's Trigger is knowing with its over-the-top violence, revelling in its outrageous tone with a light-hearted attitude. This comic book styling follows through to its overall art direction, relishing in the opportunity to offer up a pulp quality akin to beloved railgun shooter House of the Dead: Overkill.
The Hotline Miami similarity is most apparent within its gameplay, though. God's Trigger also dives into the viewpoint seen in arcade classics like Smash TV, as players go from room to room hunting down enemies with ruthless efficiency. This means utilizing the angel and devil duo's abilities and weapons scavenged from goons to clear maps of unwitting minions.
The levels themselves are maze-like, occasionally offering alternate pathways at times that suit different playstyles. Those after a stealthy approach, which offers additional experience at the expense of acquiring weapons or keeping up a speedy pace, may choose a series of rooms where enemies can be picked off individually, whereas those after a full-on attack will find areas that suit them better.
Both Judy the demon and Harry the angel also have their specialities. The two characters have different attacks and various magic skills that can be used, whether turning invisible, confusing groups of enemies, or turning one enemy unit against the others to thin out numbers. In single-player mode, this character swap mechanic adds a dose of ingenuity to gameplay, with players thinking on their feet as to which character suits which moment better.
This isn't just an arbitrary choice of character for any given moment, either. Akin to Shadows: Awakening, both Harry and Judy are needed at certain moments. This could be using Judy's ability to ghost through grates, or Harry's power to get through certain walls. Since both characters level up separately, it's also important to use both in a fairly equal amount to make sure their skill sets are boosted throughout the game.
Although a required swap between these two playable characters may feel like a chore, in reality the fun gameplay is enough to stop players from feeling that this mechanic is too forced. Equally, God's Trigger makes the decision to include a checkpoint system rather than make the player start the mission over from scratch with each one-hit death - something that players may appreciate given the occasional lengthy level with tricky sections to navigate.
Although the character swap method in single player works well, it's fair to say that God's Trigger is best enjoyed in local co-op. This multiplayer mode is a genuine treat, with one player taking the role of Harry and the other as Judy, causing chaos in tandem. God's Trigger is decent enough in single player, but those users who have a friend on the couch next to them will find a much more enjoyable experience.
When it comes down to it, God's Trigger works very well. Its occasional awkward moments with gameplay are eased by the fun of different powers and a quick checkpoint system, and its cheesy story and tone are infectious in their enthusiasm. Those after a good dose of simple fun could do a lot worse than turning to God's Trigger for some help.
God's Trigger is available for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Screen Rant was provided with a PS4 download code for the purposes of this review.