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Gods Unchained

Gods Unchained is a Hearthstone style game developed by software developer Immutable. The game has good graphics, although this comes as a heavy resource drain on your computer. The gameplay itself has it's moments but the meta of the game and the ROI of their cards makes this project score much worse than it might otherwise. As such, we will save you some reading time if you just want to cut to the chase, which is that while we explicitly do not give financial advice, and will not do so here, we cannot in good conscience recommend that people buy Gods Unchained cards on any level. Putting aside the fact that many, if not most Gods Unchained cards have lost up to 90% of their value (and falling), one can't even make up for this apocalypse in card prices by forging reward cards into NFT's and selling them on the open market. For this reason in our opinion their "Play to Earn" model falls flat because players can't currently actually ~earn~ anything, since you can't actually sell the cards one "earns". Or at least what you "earn" won't be anything tied to any monetary value at present and for the forseeable future since for nearly the last year Immutable has had thier "Forge" disabled due to high Ethereum gas prices. It's crucial as a player to understand that in order to mint NFT's through the Gods Unchained platform, one needs access to what they term "The Forge" in order to "fuse" two reward cards together which behind the scenes mint's them into a tradeable NFT on the Ethereum blockchain. Until this process is undertaken, all cards in your Gods Unchained account are not under your control but are instead controlled by Gods Unchained's owners, Immutable... and are not tradeable or sellable on the Ethereum blockchain.

A frequent refrain among the Gods Unchained team is that high ETH gas prices were totally unforseen and the team at Immutable is not responsible for seeing what was obvious to anyone involved in cryptocurrency going back to 2018- which is that nearly everyone involved with DeFi and distributed ledger technology aka blockchain saw coming- that high, even astronomical gas fees were on the horizon in the years ahead. The concept that a game company backed by Coinbase was not able to understand that ETH gas fees were likely to rise in 2020 stains credulity. It's disappointing that this project's failure to address this problem for the entirety of 2020 has dramatically impacted their card sales on third-party sites like OpenSea, where Gods Unchained is not even in the top 25 projects by volume anymore and trading of their cards has nearly ground to a complete halt.

There are some good aspects to this project and we will try our best to be fair and highlight them, but the complete collapse of prices of their cards is so substantial that we cannot in good conscience delve into those aspects without first noting the above. Your time might be another matter, depending on how much you value your time, but you might want to put aside any notions of actually earning actual money at present by investing your time into playing this game. We would just ask- how does one expect to put out a functioning card trading game, in which one can't actually buy the cards because it is prohibitively expensive? The card you just have to have, that is going to fill out your deck and only costs $1... will end up costing you $15 or more in ETH fees. A couple months ago it was closer to $50 in ETH fees- for a card that the seller is only making $1 from. Not sustainable in any conceivable way.

Of course, money isn't everything, and on some levels GU can be an interesting game to play- at least it could be if the devs of this project were not so insistent on favoring Agro decks that essentially overwhelm any other type of player. The developers at Immutable have been very clear that this skewing of meta is purposeful and they intentionally favor this style of play for the simple reason that it makes for faster games. I guess if your goal is to hurry up and lose, then this game is for you. For some inexplicable reason, while fostering an environment that favors jumping out to an early lead and abandoning any aspect of longer term strategy, they fail to recognize that each player is given 1-2 minutes to make their move- a mind-numbing process that forces better skilled players to wait around for people to decide what to do. Playing this game is like watching paint dry sometimes, punctuated by bouts of moderate excitement interspersed in between pure boredom. If a faster game was what the developers at Immutable sought, simply cutting down the time allowed to make your move, or rewarding faster players would achieve the same ends.

So for those of you who are still interested in playing this game, I will try my best to outline it's positive aspects, but it's difficult to find many real positives about this game, and those are very fleeting, and typically marred by the meta balance team.

I will say this as far as the strategy of this game goes; there is none. The game developers have labeled this a strategy game, but because of the way they balance the card meta, there really is little variation in any of the strategy employed in this game. It's the same thing, turn after turn, player after player with no imagination to speak of. Everybody follows the same script and the same tired combinations. Since the game caters to people with short attention spans, all that is really needed to be formidible is to just plunk down as many low mana cards early on as you can to simply flood the zone with not much thought or strategy required beyond that. No real stretegic thinking or imagination needed. Which is why this enterprise seems so cynical since they promote their marquee cards so heavily, which cost a lot both in terms of money and mana cost, but in reality if you have more than a couple of these cards in your deck you will die long before you get to actually get to employ them in any meaningful sense. There is really very little skill involved with this game.

GU also has a tendency to freeze midgame. A lot. Also, we noticed that it is a very heavy resource drain on your computer. Every time the launcher window gets opened, our testing computer immediately has the fan come on. This is a new computer, with excellent specs so there is no way this should be happening and leads us to be concerned that this overheating could potentially damage your PC. While we have not experienced any negative effects due to this issue, and are not saying that this game will hurt yours, it is concerning to have a computer perpetually overheating while the launcher window is simply open, and the amount of resources this game uses is quite intense. But the list of problems with this project goes on and on.

Some people might call this game essentially a clone of the popular Hearthstone card game and Gods Unchained goes to great lengths in their online literature to draw comparisons to Hearthstone, going so far as even promoting guides for onboarding Hearthstone players. It's hard not to consider this Coinbase backed project a flat-out money grab, pay to win game whose owners very cynically just savage their older card issues with new artwork and re-publish them so that in order to keep up, one must constantly be sinking new money into this black-hole. So for instance if you go out and buy yourself a Genesis card that has interesting abilities and you feel gives you an edge, watch out, because as soon as Immutable issues thier new season of cards, you might find that the abilities your card has have now been swiped and slapped onto a new card with some new artwork and viola- more money for Immutable. Nevermind that now, not only has that maneuver gutted the value of your existing card as it's abilities are no longer unique, but on top of that, you must pay Immutable yet more money to purchase said card just to remain competitive in any future play.

Actually, it was this reviewers intention to try to give an outline as noted above as to the overall play style etc of this game, but in retrospect, just go look at any review of Hearthstone and you will know pretty much all you need to in terms of the style of play and concepts like mana management and meta.

So, at this point you might be asking- is there any good to this game at all? Well, yes. You can sign up for free and they will give you a "Welcome Set" with which to play the game and get the chance to "earn" (we use that term loosely) Core Set cards (which you cannot at this time sell) by rising through the levels. The fact that you technically don't need to pay upfront to try out the game is really the only positive aspect of this game that we can discern. Just don't expect to actually win any games against anyone but a novice player with equally unimpressive cards. It's just unfortunate that a project that had a 2 year start before so many other interesting games that are now coming online has blown their lead and anyone naive enough to buy these cards is now stuck with them, unless they want to sell at most likely a steep loss. Our sincere condolences.

While it might not be entirely fair to label this as a dead project- let's just say that it has one foot in the grave and is on life support. Their much touted Tournament which they crowed about for all of 2018/19/20 has been postponed indefinitely. One would expect that being a crypto focused company that the $500,000 in prize money promised to players would be locked up in a smart contract all this time but apparently that's not a consideration. Maybe 2021 will finally see them fulfill this long-held promise.

Oh, and the bugs... did we mention the bugs? They are endless, even for a beta project. We suggest that this game officially change it's name to Bugs Unchained.

Immutable has been promising a solution to high ETH gas fees for nearly all of 2020 with their project cleverly entitled, "ImmutableX", but details are sketchy and not forthcoming. With major backers like Coinbase it would be foolhardy to totally write this project off as dead, especially when dollar signs abound in the eyes of the people involved, but it could be well into 2021 until this project recovers any momentum, and at that point really, who cares? There are so many other interesting games coming online right now we barely have time to review them all.

In an age where decentralized projects are increasingly backed and supported by independent creators and players, GU feels like the worst of both worlds; a big game company who ignores the voices of it's players, but despite being a big game company backed by indusrty bigwigs they still can't manage to iron out the bugs. Add to that, no capability for players to mint their cards into tradeable NFT's for most of 2020. Not very DeFi.