Holdan Hitchcock
Associate Opinion Editor

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout is a polarizing game. Released on Aug. 4, 2020, it’s a game where the outcome is seemingly decided at random, no matter a player’s skill level. While this can make the game frustrating, it’s a frustration that keeps me playing again and again.

The game is structured in “episodes,” each episode beginning with 60 players controlling a bean-shaped avatar. Episodes then contain 4 or 5 rounds, gradually eliminating players until there’s only one winner. The winner then receives a “Crown,” along with other bonuses in the form of in-game currencies. 

Each round presents a randomly generated challenge. Challenges range from completing an obstacle course, avoiding falling off platforms, and even team-based games where the entire losing team is eliminated. Obstacle courses, which are probably the hardest part of the game, are filled with windmills, floating beams, spinning discs, and the infamous seesaws. The variety of games encourages me to keep replaying, as I suffer through difficult games to eventually play my favorites.

As aforementioned, this game makes me angry. Part of what makes this game so frustrating is lack of true control over my playable bean. The game only allows a certain jump height and your wobbly playable bean doesn’t have the greatest balance. Despite this, the simple controls of moving, jumping, diving, and grabbing make the game basic enough to not get fatigued during long play sessions.

At times, even simple progression can be halted due to uncontrollable actions of other players. Specifically in the seesaw level, players ahead of me can make the platforms tilted. This causes me to tumble and roll off upon jumping on to said platforms. This happens at least 3 more times before “ELIMINATED” appears across my TV screen.

These events don’t chase me away from playing. Instead, I’m emboldened to rise to the occasion, as my failures only make me want to play more.

 I’ve played this game for hours and I still only have three Crown wins. Even though I’m not winning a lot, the game does well at rewarding you for your play. After each game, you gain experience points for how far you went before elimination, along with bonus points for top placings during specific rounds.

Along with experience points, you also gain an in-game currency called “Kudos.” These Kudos allow you to buy costumes for your avatar, ranging from a hot dog outfit to numerous animal costumes.

Crowns also allow access to costumes not purchasable with Kudos, allowing Crown winners to display their skills to other players through more rare items. Because of this, I’m striving to achieve a silly banana costume costing 5 Crowns, as it’ll represent my dedication through all my losses. In addition, with the daily rotation of purchasable costumes, I always have new items adding incentive to continue playing.

Going through the frustration of Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout, hopefully I’ll be able to gain a few more Crowns. Then again, even if I likely won’t, at least the drive to do so will keep me playing.