THE FALCONEER IS GORGEOUS BUT UNEVEN   
Kick up the speed.                


REVIEW

By JAY TEE
17/11/20
Reviewed on Xbox Series X.

He’s losing his rag!

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The Falconeer plugs a gap long since unfulfilled, evoking a good old fashioned Panzer Dragoon style experience that is quite the visual charmer. As a showpiece for next gen hardware, it’s a well optimised, easy breezy take on aerial combat, but poorly structured narrative content and an unshakeable lack of momentum mark it down in crucial areas.

Despite some well thought out and clever mechanics (recharging your energy by flying into a lightning storm is particularly inspired), I couldn’t help but wish the moment to moment traversal was given an injection of pace. Although you can slightly offset this issue with modifications unlocked as you progress, the act of flying isn’t nearly as exhilarating as it should be.

However, if you’re looking for a more deliberate pace, The Falconeer is a generally relaxed experience that makes it easy to absorb the various graphical flourishes. The lighting design is superb, and with options for 120fps and wide screen monitor support, it deserves commendation for delivering such a concise and feature rich visual palette.

Although the music is fairly unremarkable, the voice acting is strong (and a lesson to titles like Sea of Thieves on how important it is to get this sort of thing right). That being said, the out of the gate bombardment of story context and lore is muddled and overwhelming, delivered in long stretches of exposition filled dialogue. It doesn’t hit the mark, and suffers from taking a “tell” rather than “show” approach.

Combat also lacks nuance, with weaponry void of heft and fights devolving quickly into mad circular affairs thanks to an over reliance on lock-on controls. The constant pinging from one objective marker to the next doesn’t help, and repetition quickly seeps in. Again, as a slower paced exploration title, The Falconeer has redeeming qualities. But as an overall package, there are simply too many elements that don’t work.

Your mileage here will vary, but if it’s a fast paced aerial combat adventure you’re after, The Falconeer isn’t firing on all cylinders.

WORTH IT?

BUT

NAH.
The Falconeer is a treat for the eyes, but the pacing and combat feels off.    

The visuals really are quite beautiful, and a good way to show off new console hardware.  

TARPS?

BETTER THAN*:

WORSE THAN*:

At the bottom of some of our articles, you’ll see a series of absurd looking images (with equally stupid, in joke laden names). These are the TARP badges, which represent our ‘Totally Accurate Rating Platform’. They allow us to identify specific things, recognise positive or negative aspects of a games design, and generally indulge our consistent silliness with some visual tomfoolery.  

The TEMPORAL CAUSALITY badge is for a game that requires frequent backtracking.

The HMM… FIREWORKS badge is earned when a game features excellent particle, lighting, or atmospheric effects.

The DIGITAL FOUNDRAJON badge is for a game that pushes technical boundaries with cutting edge presentation.  


The WET TARP badge is for a game with great weather and / or environmental effects.


The DROWSY badge is for a game that sometimes has issues with pacing.




The SET PHASERS TO SHATNER badge is for a game where lower expectations may lead to a good time.


The UNRAVEL MY LOVE badge is for a game that is clearly a passion project for the developers.



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* This is not a serious comparison.