Have you ever wanted to take back your planet from the colonizers with a battle falcon? I bet you would if I described it like that! Falcon Age places you, an initially nameless character, into an already destroyed world, mined into desolation by ORC, a company that strips planets for their resources. After befriending a baby bird and escaping a labor camp you are tasked by your aunt to take up the fight and reclaim whatever you can at whatever the cost.
As the game walks you through the core gameplay mechanics the bird reaches maturity and your aunt gives you a stun baton. She then gives you the all clear to throw your young inexperienced life away at an army of mechanized laborer and pacification robots. And while that may sound terrifying and daunting I found that combat wasn’t much more than slight obstacle instead and not very much of a challenge. Even the largest combat robots became a pile of parts once I learned the trick: Use the energy lasso to swing his hand into his face, stun him, call the bird in to peel back the armor on his eye and hit it 8-10 times until he goes boom.
I found the world a bit uninspiring. I found the assets to resemble placeholder elements up to and maybe even including the final spaceport. Structures were comprised of large blocks of gray and the rest of the world were long empty corridors of lightly textured canyons and valleys. It very much resembled a game from a mobile device ported PC and console.
The Characters however are fascinating and very highly detailed. Your aunt and the townspeople all felt like the world Outerloop was trying to portray, a sort of Mad Max desertpunk. If only the environment had the same style and quality.
The controls felt stiff at first and waiting for your bird can be frustrating, especially during combat, but it all falls into place as you become the rebel fighter your aunt demands you to become. Learning each enemies strategies while having your bird drop grenades or pick apart spider robots limb from limb can be gratifying. Without the ability to jump however you will get stuck walking around and through the paths the designers cut for you. It’d be nice to jump off ledges or stairs to speed things up considering how slow navigation can feel at times.
The music and sound in the game also feel like they fit but don’t do much to stand out. The music swells and swoons when appropriate and the sound effects are unassuming and functional.
For $20 I feel the game is a little empty. Like a VR experiment with too few side tasks and a world you can’t really fully explore. There is a little too much backtracking for the amount of fun Falcon Age has to offer. The hunting and cooking elements are cute and are necessary tools to keep your bird healthy, and there are a handful of cute cosmetic items if you want your Falcon to be wearing a cowboy hat and a monocle. The whole experience wraps nicely with a few difficult choices and a decent emotional tug, I’m just not sure how many people will play long enough to experience it.