Life stirs within Godus (opens in new tab) developer 22cans. We've heard nary a whisper about Godus' troubled development since September, when progress on the implementation of combat was detailed. Peter Molyneux retreated from the spotlight all the way back in February 2015. Now, combat, a pillar of any burgeoning religion, shows itself in... the sort-of standalone Godus Wars?
Godus Wars is free for all Godus owners or available to buy under its own name for £11/$15 (opens in new tab) in Early Access. Somewhat confusingly, purchasing Godus Wars also nabs you Godus, yet Godus remains on the Steam store. It's effectively an update under a separate name—perhaps to distance Wars from the gloomy reviews of Godus itself?
"Peter has always considered Godus being two games," the update reads, "one tranquil, peaceful and the other war-like with bloody battles taking place across the unique lands."
Those bloody battles constitute a light RTS that leverages the world sculpting of the base Godus and pits you, for the time being, against two AI deities. You pick your own god and slog it out for control of seven continents using a combination of 50 units and a choice of eight god powers. It's certainly a more traditional angle on the god game than we've seen so far. In an interview with Eurogamer (opens in new tab), Molyneux himself discusses the intent behind Godus Wars.
"Is it like a Call of Duty 3? No, it's not. It's a pure and simple game. For me, I find RTSes impenetrable at the moment. They're tweaked toward an audience which is hyper RTS. This is just pure and simple. You make a fucking big army and you go out and just fuck the other side. There's a pleasure and a delight in that and that is multiplied by the Powers.
That description is a long way from the grand promises (opens in new tab) for which Molyneux is infamous in many eyes.
"I came up with this simple strategy," Molyneux says of his own thought process following the events of February (opens in new tab). "I would just be a coder and a designer, and I would talk to the press perhaps about something I had done and had released, but not talk to the press about what I am doing, because that is clearly not working, and redefine my relationship with those people."
This incarnation of Godus Wars is supposed to lay the groundwork for player-vs-player smiting at a later date, along with the implementation of the 'God of Gods' feature (opens in new tab) intended to immortalise Curiosity winner Bryan Henderson, who is, at long last, in-game as an opposing deity.