Published on December 14th, 2020 | by James Wright
The Falconer Review #XSX
Summary: The Falconer adds a next-gen dog fighting game onto the Xbox Series X with giant warbirds!
The Falconer is one of the launch titles for the Xbox Series X (XSX) console and gamers have been eager to see how it plays on this next-gen machine. While you control a giant falcon, The Falconer is reminiscent of those classic World War II dogfighting games as you sore through the skies with these powerful warbirds.
Add in elements of piracy from the 1600’s plus a setting that has parallels to the Caribbean, in this case the Great Ursee, you are thrust into a strange new oceanic world as you become embroiled in its politics and dangers.
It’s also a fractured world with many different clans littered through the islands and as you engage in a variety of missions from escorting warships to delivering items and of course engaging in aerial combat, it’s all part of how the title plays out.
So while you’re exploring the vast Great Ursee, the control mechanics for navigation (e.g. flying) work well as the game carefully introduces the various factions of the world, including your main goal, however it is unfortunately hampered by the combat mechanics.
What should have been a game similar to something like Star Wars Squadrons, it seems a little aloof in its controls and repetitive. That is, the combat can be frustratingly fiddly at times as you valiantly attempt to take on your enemies with a touch, well maybe a touch more of controller rage.
As a result and with the missions, The Falconer does feel like a grind but it is a beautiful grind on the XSX as the 4k graphics (both 60 and 120 frames per second available) really makes the world pop, including the spectacular lighting an weather effects that really draw you. Not to mention its colour palette. The musical score and audio definitely adds to the immersion and the voice acting suits the cartoon-like atmosphere. So while there are some issues with the controls, it’s still a very engaging world and really worth a play through as it does look spectacular on this next-gen console.
The Falconer succeeds in its exploration which is wonderful, however its repetition and frustrating combat mechanics creates a whole new challenge for the gamer. Lastly, this new world will take most gamers around 10 to 12 hours to successfully complete and its creator Tomasa Sala should be commended on creating a brand new and engaging world with its own rich culture and dynamics. Interestingly to say the least!