Giants Uprising PC Preview

Giants Uprising will someday shine.

By Fragnarok, Posted 15 Nov 2021

Giants Uprising is an Early Access action-adventure game by VARSAV Game Studios. Centuries ago giants and humans lived side-by-side, but as the human lands flourished the giant’s empire slowly fell into disarray. The humans took the opportunity to overthrow the giants, enslave the survivors, and use ancient secrets to advance their technology. Players take control of the giant Rogbar, a prisoner forced to fight in the arenas for the amusement of Edgar of Lackland. Accompanied by Rogbar is the barbarian Kielbasa, whose jaded observations act as the game’s narrator.

Giants Uprising|VARSAV Game Studios|Early Access

Rogbar has several options in his arsenal, though none of the keybinds can be changed. He can perform a single punch with the left mouse click, an overhead slam with the right mouse button, stomp with Q, a toggled block with Alt, an eight-way dodge using Space and a direction, dash with Shift, or pick up items with E. Various derbies can be thrown as projectiles, while meat and animals can be consumed by pressing 3.

However, using the latter may not be as necessary, as Rogbar also recovers health by destroying buildings and killing pedestrians. There is also a stamina bar that depletes with each move. Rogbar can still execute attacks with no stamina, though they will be less potent. Finally, with enough attacks connected, players can enter an enraged mode by hitting X. During this short burst, Rogbar is supposed to deal more damage though it doesn’t have enough visual impact to easily tell.

Giants Uprising|VARSAV Game Studios|Early Access

The best strategy depends on who and what Rogbar is facing. Against other giants, it becomes a game of timing hits, blocking, and then counterattacking. Humans are small enough to simply be stomped and walked over, though several of them will be deadly if they can get their own attacks off. In many locations, the humans will also arm siege weapons like canons to deal with a brutal onslaught to Rogbar. Players will need to either destroy them or move quickly if the weapons are too far out of reach.

Gameplay typically involves listening to Kielbasa’s instructions, who will point out the next checkpoint and other obstacles. While it might at first seem like a lush open world, trees, rivers, walls, and more will force Rogbar into a more linear path. Kielbasa’s orders will also sometimes be full dead ends, for example, he will suggest Rogbar should head to a bridge without realizing the giant is too heavy to support it and doesn’t know how to swim. This would lead to a reload, where players will purposely need to ignore their alley’s advice.

Giants Uprising|VARSAV Game Studios|Early Access

What makes things even more confusing is the poor user interface. Most of Kielbasa’s orders are a single floating green icon, with not much direction on how to reach them or how to interact with them. In some cases, it might be an indication to destroy, pass through, or interact. The heads-up display has more general problems, as much of the text is very hard to read dark red on a black background; textbox highlights are also a very close shade to the text itself, requiring one to de-select a prompt in order to even read it. In-game text is also super small, making it hard to even follow as it is presented. Cutscene text is a little be easier on the eyes and stays on the screen longer.

Giants Uprising has both unpleasant art direction and graphics. Most of the game is shades of brown and gray muddled together. Illumination from torches and other sources of fire tends to be too powerful, turning inside corridors into a solid red. The most overbearing is the game’s sunlight, which can be absolutely blinding when directly on the camera. However, at most points, the shadows are too hard and have no opacity at all. This can make levels pitch-black while running through tall forests to near castle walls. To add all of this is a constant film grain filter and aggressive motion blur, neither of which help with the game’s extremely poor optimization.

Giants Uprising|VARSAV Game Studios|Early Access

There are no options when already in-game. To make any adjustments to the graphics or audio, one must exit back to the main menu. This doesn’t allow players to test the new picture quality or performance until they reload again, making the entire process long and perplexing. Players can also not adjust any of Rogbar’s abilities without exiting as well and going to a separate stat menu. This does not become additionally confusing as it only affects the single save game slot available in Giants Uprising. Once started, there is no option to begin a new game, have multiple save files, or delete the save. One will need to explore their computer to where the saved file is stored and manually delete it.

Giants Uprising has some interesting ideas with its setting and combat. However, it is currently poorly built, needing massive improvements in user interface, graphics, and performance. Most players should hold off on the game while in Early Access. However, with a few months to a year of work, VARSAV Game Studios may revamp Giants Uprising into a stellar action-adventure.

Kurtis Seid, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): PC
Publisher(s): VARSAV Game Studios
Developer(s): VARSAV Game Studios
Genres: Adventure, Action
Themes: Medieval, Destruction
Release Date: 2021-11-02

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