The Falconeer Hands-on Preview: Soaring Bird-Based Battles


On a cold February morning in London, Den of Geek went alongside to the workplaces of Ukie, a non-profit commerce affiliation that helps the video video games business within the UK, to satisfy up with a Dutch developer named Tomas Sala and check out his new game The Falconeer. Immediately, the game’s visible type caught our consideration.

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Set in an oceanic open-world known as The Great Ursee, The Falconeer is a fantasy RPG that gives epic airborne battles. From crackles of lightning within the sky above to wild waves rolling beneath you, it’s a world that feels alive and lively always. Playing host to sizeable sea creatures, eye-catching islands, highly effective ships, and large birds, The Great Ursee additionally feels lived-in and filled with alternatives for motion. And this can be a pre-release construct with much more stuff nonetheless to be added.

Flying on the again of a large hen, you’ll tackle missions for a spread of completely different factions that every have their very own island properties. There are heaps of differing kinds of missions: you is perhaps defending a fortress, delivering a parcel, defending a convoy, or engineering an all-out assault on a sure faction’s enemies. You’ll have the ability to earn favor with completely different factions, in addition to play the game from completely different views. You may even screw everybody over and turn into one of the outlaw pirates in case you like.

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Lone developer Tomas Sala can reel off an enormous quantity of flying fight video games which have impressed The Falconeer, and his point out of TIE Fighter is a namedrop that can make followers of Star Wars video games sit up and concentrate. During our time with the game, we actually loved swooping by means of the sky on our feathered pal, regardless that it might not be fairly as sinister or cool as a TIE Fighter.

Whether you’re taking within the surroundings or participating in a battle, the bird-wrangling controls really feel intuitive, and it doesn’t take lengthy to get the cling of dodging blasts with rolls, firing at your foes, and recharging your weapons, which you are able to do by absorbing some lightning. You can even decide up bombs together with your falcon’s talons and drop them in your targets, which feels very satisfying. There are just a few fiddly bits that Sala remains to be engaged on – touchdown your hen in the fitting place is a bit difficult, for instance – however there’s nonetheless lots of time for finessing because the game’s launch date is but to be introduced. There can be some voice work to be completed and cutscenes to be completed, and some new options that Sala plans to splice into the game.

Even in an unfished state, as you fly round, you may discover that an enormous quantity of consideration to element has gone into creating this world. There are underwater temples and mysterious trenches that time to a bigger thriller tied to The Great Ursee’s historical past. And there are additionally nods to real-life historical past, with barrage balloons within the air that echo a preferred protection from air assaults that was used throughout World War II. Details like this make the world really feel actual and lived in. Even although the belongings you’re doing are pretty customary video game fare (capturing, finishing missions, exploring), the thought that has gone into The Great Ursee makes the world really feel actually partaking.

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Creating beautiful visuals, enjoyable battles, and an array of completely different factions isn’t any small feat for a solo developer, and Sala has additionally discovered time to construct a Photo Mode into the game. In this mode, we had been in a position to alter the day/night time cycle within the game, leading to some lovely sunsets which are worthy of being your desktop background. Again, you possibly can inform that quite a bit of thought and care has gone into this, regardless that the Photo Mode is hidden away within the pause menu. Sala has additionally gone to the trouble of giving gamers quite a bit of choices in the principle game – you possibly can conceal the UX utterly in case you’d reasonably simply absorb the surroundings.

The full game will in all probability have 50 central missions and 6 hours of predominant marketing campaign content material, however we’re wagering that this world is one that folks will need to hand around in gone the purpose of wrapping up the story. And on condition that quests could be procedurally generated, it looks like gamers will have the ability to swoop round as a lot as they like. We stay up for seeing The Falconeer come collectively, and it ought to be enjoyable to play the completed game and discover its beautiful world extra absolutely. For us, it has been some time since flying felt this free and enjoyable.

The Falconeer is launching on Xbox One and PC later in 2020.

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