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You're a rampaging giant smashing puny humans in this action RPG

Giants uprising Angry Giant
(Image credit: Varsav Game Studios)

Giants: they're just like us, only bigger and usually meaner. But in the case of Early Access action-RPG Giants Uprising, the humans are the real monsters. The giant you play has been enslaved by cruel humans and forced to fight in gladiator pits, only escaping after teaming up with one of the seemingly few decent human beings on the planet (who sits on your shoulder and provides helpful advice).

Now it's time for a little payback in the form of smashing, stomping, and chucking boulders at every human village and encampment you see. Hear the screams as you obliterate buildings and pound soldiers into splats? That's justice. Giant justice.

Your giant has a few different attacks. You can stomp your big foot, naturally, and charging your stomp before slamming down your foot will do some serious AOE damage. You can also punch or do a big two-handed ground-pound, and you can dodge, which also serves as a short leap that crushes people if they happen to be in your way. Smashing buildings into firewood not only gives you small health boosts, but some of the detritus can be picked up and used as melee or thrown weapons. Doing enough smashing and killing will also fill a rage meter, giving you a boost for a short (not giant) period of time.

But if you think you can just rush in and smash everything in sight, think again. You may be big, but the humans outnumber you and have developed quite an arsenal of weapons to deal with giantkind, include huge bear traps (they probably just call them giant traps), harpoons tethered with ropes that can both hurt you and slow you down, ballistas that fire sorties of missiles, and tall cannon towers that will shred your health and stagger you. In Giants Uprising, retreating is just as important as smashing, and when it comes right down to it, you'll quickly discover that despite your size you're very much the underdog.

Plus, you're not just fighting little people. There are plenty of mean old giants that have been recruited (most likely against their will) to serve mankind, so at times you'll face a long slugging match with someone your own size. 

Controlling the giant takes a bit of getting used to. Not that I expected to be as nimble as Spider-Man—we are talking about a giant, here—but carrying out attacks can take longer than expected and taking damage will often interrupt you if you're charging an attack. Getting stunlocked is pretty common, as attacks from humans on the ground, a rain of arrows from above, or getting plunked by cannons and catapults can disrupt your animations and leave you standing there helpless. Keep the dodge key in mind at all times or you might find your giant's health very quickly whittled down to nothing.

There are some pretty big rough spots in this Early Access release. It's definitely in need of some optimization: Sometimes when I really smash the shit out of something and the air fills with tiny ragdolling bodies and splinters of wood, my framerate drops pretty severely. I encountered a few bugs, too, like when a rolling boulder failed to destroy a gate I needed to get through, which meant I had to restart the level. Maneuvering the giant to pick up things like meat (to restore health) or weapons off the ground can be pretty fiddly at times.

But there's definitely some promise in Giants Uprising, too. Despite the issues it can be pretty satisfying to pick up a huge hunk of wood and fling it across the map, instantly destroying an enemy cannon that is too far out of range to hit you back. And it's nice that humans, while mean, aren't incredibly stupid. Kill enough of them and the rest will usually flee screaming, so you don't have to hunt down every single last little person and squish them into goo.

The Early Access roadmap shows more levels, new enemy weapons like airships and railguns, and a customization system to be added in 2021 and 2022. You'll find Giants Uprising here on Steam, where it's currently 10% off and there's a free demo to try.

Christopher Livingston

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.