Initial release date: February 16, 2021
Series: Fallen Legion
Genres: Adventure game, Action role-playing game, Side-scrolling
Publishers: NIS America, Nippon Ichi Software
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4
"Review Copy Provided by NIS America"
One of 2018’s best new gaming IPs was Fallen Legion: Rise to Glory which had incredible gameplay, story, graphics, and the like. It was an endearing and enthralling experience that kept you coming back for more and more. The sequel? Well it doesn’t honestly live up to how amazing the first game was in many aspects and in others it exceeds it which can lead one to feeling that this is either a truly great experience or that it’s a truly disappointing experience. Either way you look at it I for one was really looking forward to this title. So why am I saying Revenants isn’t as good as Rise to Glory in some ways and yet better in others? We’re going to dive into that and much more.
The story of Fallen Legion takes place in Welkin Castle, a floating paradise housing the remaining of humanity, while the world below it is ravaged and warped by a devastating plague. Rowena is one of the main protagonists looking to revive her dead son while the politician Lucien seeks to overthrow the ruler of their world.
The story is, admittedly, a very slow burn that takes a long while to get going because it spends the opening act and midway point to set up the world and the stakes that you will see and experience. It is a great story that will unfortunately be not experienced by a lot of gamers due to how long it takes to get In gear and the fact that it will ask of many to do a lot of extensive reading and remembering aspects of the lore and story; I will say that once it is in gear, its in full throttle until the climax of the game so take that into consideration.
The gameplay is a combination of not only your standard button prompted turn based RPG but also has aspects of utilizing investigative skills and interrogation along with exploring Welkin Castle and seeing what all is going on.
There will be moments where you will need to interrogate various people for both the main story and the side quests. Interrogation sections break down into you needing to pay attention to various cues and details such as you needing to take notice when an NPC states that they spoke to someone and who specifically along with you needing to pay attention to the what dialogue choices you select and during what events as the outcomes of your choices will ultimately determine the route you will take in your journey.
When it comes to the combat sections, you will end up using either Lucian or Rowena who will be accompanied by up to three party characters as you go about slaying monsters and the like. The turn-based combat is very hands on and will not allow for you to blindly button mash your way through sections as you will need to have a good understanding of what the mechanics are, your character traits and abilities, and the enemies you are facing in order to have an idea of how to win battles. You have the ability to not only attack but also to block incoming attacks of which will require you to master the timing to be able to pull off which will leave your opponent wide open to being attacked.
Your recruits are all assigned to a button and have their own set of attacks and defensive maneuvers that they can utilize at the press of a button. One example is of a character named Burgundy who is able to shoot potions and kick potions at enemies. How you position your team also matters from a strategic standpoint since you will need to decide if you want to have someone up close on the frontline or in the middle or back row; all of which affect how much and or how little damage you do as well as receive.
If you loved the graphics in Rise to Power then you will love them even more here as the level of detail in the characters and the environments is noticeably higher. The art is absolutely AMAZING, and while the animations are not the most fluid in the field especially when compared to its contemporaries in games like Indivisible where the animation is incredibly fluid.
Not much to touch on here other than everything sounds fantastic from the music to the sound effects to the voice acting. Not a bad aspect to this section.
This game, while great in many ways, is not so great in others with a perfect example being how utterly slow the story and pacing can feel at times. I’m not even kidding when I say that it can feel like there is no forward momentum with the plot at times as the pacing is just worse than a snails pace until the game finishes up its world building to get the story in motion. That alone is going to lose this game many players and gain itself a metric ton of detractors.
The interrogation segments can really feel at times like they are vastly more fun and interesting than they actually are and after a while will become routine and monotonous to have to keep doing just to advance the scripted story events.
Lastly, is the fact that the animations aren’t as smooth as they could’ve been which is a shame as given this art style this game should be running like smooth wine with fluidity of animation like no other game and yet it just doesn’t and many animations just come off as choppy.
Fallen Legion: Revenants is a good game, however, it has a lot of half baked ideas and poorly implemented sections and mechanics that do drag the experience down several notches to the point where it feels like the developers decided to cram into this game so many different elements without figuring out how these different aspects can all work cohesively. It’s a shame because I genuinely had a great time with this game even through its plodding points and I can see a lot of people would potentially enjoy this game. If you are a patient gamer who doesn’t mind reading a lot and enjoys a tactical experience, then this is a game you will most definitely enjoy; on the other hand, if you are an impatient gamer who needs to be hooked from the beginning and doesn’t care much for sitting and doing a lot of reading then this is not at all the game for you.