3.25 out of 5


  • Button settings
  • Music builder
  • Character Roster


  • Short gameplay
  • Tracklist is not memorable
  • Multiplayer ghost town

Purchase From

God of Rock is a unique title that mixes fighting and rhythm game mechanics. It makes sense on paper but while playing, it becomes more challenging than the original concept.

More About the Beats than the Beating

God of Rock - Screenshot

Playing in God of Rock is about who’s taken down first and not when a song finishes. The music plays continuously with no time limit until someone’s health bar depletes. Players will have to input the correct notes that move across the screen and utilize special moves at the same time if they want to end the match quickly.

While playing, colored notes will move across the screen towards a set of transparent shapes at the end of the music lines. When the note comes within the transparent shape, players will input that note with their controller. Those who’ve played other rhythm games such as Rock Band, Guitar Hero or the recent Theatrhythm Final Bar Line will understand the concept quickly. Hitting the note at the right time frame moves your character to hit your opponent. As long as their button input is a lower score than yours, you successfully deplete their health bar. To tell you if you hit it correctly, a message appears above, such as “Good” or “Perfect”. Perfect overpowers Good, and this means your character lands a successful attack. Music lines are like Theatrhythm Final Bar Line, horizontal. Many players are used to the vertical setup, so this may present a learning curve for them.

Using special moves requires an input from your joystick control and trigger buttons. This mechanic does take a page from fighting games to unleash powerful moves and alter your opponent’s music lines. For example, your opponent can speed-up your notes, which requires you to input more quickly. Creating a specialized attack will also add notes to the other user’s musical lines, making it more difficult to win. However, the player can unleash a specialized attack to cancel the additional notes.

Below the fighter, there are three gauges for special attacks. Players can unleash special attacks based on how much is saved up. If you have all three filled, you can input a more powerful attack that can tip the scales in battle. In addition to the special gauges, players can unleash ultra moves that also fill up in three segments, located at the bottom of the screen. Unleashing these is much simpler than the special moves, done by just hitting a trigger button on your controller.

First experiencing the gameplay felt overwhelming and there was a learning curve to understand the game’s mechanics. Being able to input special moves while inputting buttons to the music notes is still quite difficult to do at the same time. It becomes more noticeable to tackle when you increase the difficulty settings to just medium. 

Play to Win

God of Rock - Screenshot

Like many fighting games, God of Rock offers offline and online matches. Offline matches include Arcade and local battles. In Arcade, each player has a short story on their background and their reasoning to win the game’s tournament. These stories aren’t mesmerizing but offer amusing comic strips of their adventures. You go through matches with each character and end up fighting the game’s boss, wait for it, the God of Rock. Finishing the Arcade mode with one character takes less than an hour. With twelve characters, you’ll have it wrapped up in twelve hours.

Online matches let you play against friends who also own the game but random opponents for rankings or just quickplay. The more you play and win online, the more your rank goes up. However, finding opponents is tricky and there’s no telling if the game will hold on strongly enough for more players to play online. God of Rock offers cross-platform matchmaking but there still may not be enough players to give life to this experimental game. Without utilizing this feature, you’re only getting half the game. It’s a worse situation for PlayStation trophy fanatics as a quarter of the trophies to earn rely on online matches.

Tweaking the Instrument

God of Rock - Screenshot

The troublesome part is the notes itself. Testing the game on a PlayStation console, the notes resemble the shapes on the controller but in other colors. For example, the triangle shape on the PlayStation 4 controller is green but in the game, it’s orange. Those who’ve played on the PlayStation consoles for years will stumble on this, having a muscle memory that green is triangle. Fortunately, the development team released a patch so players can alter the game’s button input to their liking. The only drawback is the colors remain the same order despite any changes made. Orange will always remain first, and green at the bottom.

However, there’s another alternative way to change the notes. Players can swap buttons to arrows. You can use the direction pad or the button inputs to match the arrows. It’s almost like playing Dance Dance Revolution all over again but with a controller. Players will find this option much easier to use and can continue playing without hurting their brains. When facing your opponent, you’ll spend more time staring at the musical score of notes than the fighting and rarely utilize the special attacks. While the game offers players a chance to pause and learn special attack inputs, you’ll want to memorize your fighter’s moves if you plan on fighting in harder modes and online opponents.

Notes are fairly small and increasing them is not available. If you’re not playing on a large-scaled television, you may be straining your eyes and should expect frequent breaks to give those eyeballs some rest.

Variety of Styles

God of Rock - Screenshot

The roster has a dozen fighters available right away, and there’s a variety to them. There’s a mixed culture including an alien that players can choose from. Each fighter has a unique design that’s done quite well that makes each one stand out. Also, they each have unique special attacks that fit their style and personalities. For example, Queen’s bubbles attacking her opponent. Regarding the character voices, some are done quite well but they mostly don’t sync with the character mouth movements or talk a little too long. When characters are introduced before battle, you can’t skip their introductions either. At the very least, loading times are fast.

There’s not a lot of fighting stages to choose from and the stages do feel enclosed. Though players will focus more on the music at the bottom of the screen than the top of the screen, lighting and color effects play well on the characters based on the stage. For example, playing on a volcano setting gives the fiery orange and warm colors to the fighters. Playing in an underwater stage, the fighters have a blue undertone and ripple effects that make it look like you’re actually in water. Too bad the moves don’t look slower in this stage to get the full effect.

The music has some variety of styles from a techno-theme to guitar strings. However these songs don’t feel as memorable and don’t carry enough weight to hold their own for a rhythm game. Rather they seem more for a role-playing or platformer game. When comparing scores to other rhythm games like Bust a Groove, PaRappa the Rapper, or Deemo, it feels underwhelming.

God of Rock does offer something uniquely different: creating your own beats in the Level Editor. Players will first choose a stage and music offered in the game. Afterwards, the game lets players begin adding notes on the music lines. You can alter views between time signatures (e.g. 2/4, 3/4). Once you are done, you can use your custom beat score and apply it to matches offline and online. It’s an interesting addition that a lot of rhythm games should utilize.

The Battle Finale

God of Rock is an interesting mix of rhythm and fighting styles but it feels quite difficult to handle both styles. Outside of the Arcade Mode and Level Editor, there’s not much left as the online matches feel scarce.

A PlayStation 5 review code was provided for this review. Players can visit the game’s official website for more details and purchasing.

God of Rock - Gameplay Overview Trailer

About Seth Hay - Editor-in-chief / Webmaster

When Seth is not designing or developing, he spends time with his family and his occasional dose of anime, sports and video games.

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