Falcon Age – Easy Allies Review
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Falcon Age – Easy Allies Review

August 22, 2019

Coming from new studio Outerloop Games,
with developers that worked on Dino Frontier, Falcon Age has you bonding with a feathered companion to gather resources and fight together to take back your homeland. It’s a smaller game that you can play
either in PlayStation VR or on a standard display, and while it has some rough patches,
it also has a lot heart. You begin the game as a woman in prison, enduring daily interrogations and doing manual labor while also using some of your rations to nurture
a baby bird whose nest was in your window. Before long, you find an opportunity to escape
and join forces with your Auntie and other resistance members,
fighting against robot colonizers despite the fact that you’ve admittedly already lost the war. While the concept of rebel underdogs isn’t new,
Falcon Age feels personal and comprehensive. You aren’t just fighting for territory, but to preserve
your sense of culture and identity, including the traditions
that allow you to become a falconer. Dialogue wheels allow you to express your reactions
to different characters, and there are several moments that really hit home and allow you to internalize
what your character is going through. This is in spite of the fact
that most of the people you meet aren’t particularly complex or memorable,
aside from your stern Auntie. Unfortunately, the final chapters don’t connect
quite as strongly, as you encounter another character who attempts to challenge your viewpoints,
but feels a bit underdeveloped. And the ending leaves these threads
somewhat in limbo. At the center of all this is the connection
between you and your falcon. Early in the game, the baby grows up, but a special item
allows it to appear continually in its younger form if you prefer. Either way, subtle animations and interactions
contribute to the sense that you’re working together with a living creature. When it gets attacked by turrets,
you’ll need to pull the darts out one by one, and petting or playing with it allows it to heal. The experience is even more effective in VR
where twisting your hand will have the baby bird hop across your fingers and simply calling your bird and watching it fly up to you
feels special. The controls are specifically tailored to use
the DualShock in TV mode and Move controllers in VR, but in either case, your left hand essentially directs the falcon
while your right hand is used to wield a baton that also
shoots out a beam of energy that’s used like a whip. You can use your left hand to point out distant objects
for your falcon to grab, fruit to gather, and animals to hunt, while the baton is used to bash things,
whip open chests, and pull switches. VR players have the option
to either teleport from point to point or hold a button to walk forward more freely, both of which have their pros and cons. The biggest of which
is that if you have the walking option enabled, your falcon will flap away as soon as you start to move,
which isn’t an issue in TV mode. The hit detection when swinging the baton
can also be a bit weird, particularly against quicker, more aggressive enemies. While it can be a bit clunky mechanically,
it feels great to coordinate with your bird. You can have it grab items and toss them down to you,
direct it to pile-drive rabbits, or work together to smash robots
and reclaim outposts and refineries. Some enemies are defeated as simply
as having your bird knock them out of the sky so that you can follow up and finish the job, while others require a more complex back and forth where you wear the enemy down
then have the bird hold it in place. Although it’s never that difficult, you do begin
to encounter new enemy types and situations that require you to outfit your falcon accordingly. Finding assorted recipes allows you to cook new treats
that bestow various buffs, you soon get bombs that allow your bird to take down
turrets and spawn points from a distance, and a shop in town sells various bits of gear
that increase the bird’s attack power or provides new abilities like being able to dig up chests. You’ll also find an assortment of hats, costumes,
and toys to dress up your bird and find fun new ways to interact with it. Whether it’s due to the limitations of VR
or simply the fact that it’s made by such a small team, Falcon Age undoubtedly has some rough edges. The environments are generally simplistic
and feel a little empty even for its art direction. Surfaces and background elements
are continually shifting and popping. Auntie is the only human who speaks, but it almost feels
as if she should have been limited to text as well since spoken lines feel randomly thrown
in between blocks of text. There’s a take on mini-golf
that’s more frustrating than fun, and after methodically clearing a mine-field,
the mines respawn when you return, making you repeat the process. The most exasperating issue we came across, though, is a bug that prevented the final door from opening, leading us to backtrack to see
if there were objectives we somehow missed. A quick reset though, and the door opened right up. It’s true that Falcon Age is burdened
with its share of annoyances, but it overcomes them
through the strength of its sense of companionship. By the end, you feel both as if the falcon
is a trusted partner and a part of who you are. Even though the story may not have a satisfying payoff, it’s effective at putting you in the main character’s shoes
and allowing you to identify with her struggles. There’s a greater sense of meaning here as well
as a heartfelt connection that’s well worth exploring. Easy Allies reviews are made possible
by generous viewers just like you. If you like what you see, check out
patreon.com/easyallies to help us make more. For just $1 a month, you can gain access to weekly
updates, spoiler discussions, and exclusive shows.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Guess preserving your culture and identity and fighting against people coming to your territory, is only bad when white people do it 🙂

  2. Is this a timed exclusive for PSVR?
    Would rather wait it out and get it on my Rift if possible, if not i'll get it for my PSVR.

  3. Is anyone on the docket to review Ghost Giant? I’ve heard its incredible. Just wondering 🙂 also amazing review

  4. Ofcourse this review was written by bloodworth 🤣😂 truthful to the point it hurts to watch. But informative like it should be for people spending money on this game. Love you guys keep up the great work.

  5. This feels like a great concept that feels a little too ambitious for a company small like this. With that said, I hope the company does more to make games that improve the overall experience.

  6. I love VR devs which are a small but passionate subset of the industry that is fully into this craze that will be niche. A lot of vr studios are now in their 2-3 games so the quality is only growing.

  7. Already thought the game had The Last Guardian vibes. Now I see it's even more so as Blood mentions it has technical quirks, but that the game's strengths overcome it.

    Anyways, the game looks visually beautiful. I love the whole premise of bonding with the bird and the whole colonization angle. Can't wait to play it when I get a PSVR headset soon. Another great game for PSVR, and another great review by Blood.

  8. Was so psyched to buy this game for PSVR after seeing other reviews. But after watching this video I completely pumped the breaks. Skipping the game. Sad.

  9. This is NOT a 7/10. its good game, that's all. There are way better games than this. I am not bashing Falcon Age mind you, it's a competent decent fan game, but in no way it is a 7/10. Immortal Legacy for example is wayyyyy better.

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