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Falcon Age

Posted by GG Goblin On April - 25 - 2019

Come on! Who wouldn’t want a Falcon?

While all manner of different experiences are now available on Sony’s PlayStation VR platform, it is the ones that have the player interacting with things in a way they may not be able to do in real life that really shine. From controlling little robots to helping out an anthropomorphic cat, the level of interactivity that can be found only in VR makes for some really great, interesting games. The latest interaction to catch my eye involves a Falcon, the star of Outer Loop’s PS4 title Falcon Age, who quickly becomes one of the best friends you will ever have.

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In Falcon Age, players take on the role of Ara, a young lady who is being forced into manual labour by the Outer Ring Company. Small respite comes from caring for the Falcon and chick that have made their home in her cell. One thing leads to another and Ara escapes with the baby, revealing a relationship that will quickly grow. With the help of her auntie, Ara and her Falcon set off to free their land of the robot invaders, along the way discovering her past and learning the traditions of a Falcon Hunter.

The story in Falcon Age is not bad, and doesn’t necessarily go where the player expects. As Ara explores the reasonably large open world environment, Ara will come across all manner of other people, and most of them will have something to tell Ara, further building up the world. While Ara continues to help the resistance, the story will twist and turn in a satisfying way. However, let’s not kid ourselves, we are all here for the Falcon.

Falcon Age is a game that has all of its bases covered, in that it can be played by anyone with a PS4. At its most simple, it can be played on the TV with a controller. The next level of immersion comes from playing Falcon Age on PSVR with a controller, and then finally the use of Move controllers adds a whole other level of enjoyment. Look, the options are all there, but this is a game designed for VR and playing it on the TV is no where near as much fun.

So, the Falcon. The game does an incredible job of building that bond between Ara and the Falcon, and interacting with the Falcon is one of the most joyous things I have done in VR. This is no stupid bird, as the player can have it do all sorts of useful things, such as attack robots to distract them, or even hunt small animals. However, it is not just here to do the players bidding, but also to be a friend. Ara is able to pet the Falcon, which serves to both heal the bird and make the player feel great, and even do little birdy fistbumps. There is so much more, but I will get to that in a moment.

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While the bird is super cool, Ara is perhaps not so much. I am sure it is the lack of feathers. However, she is not incapable and between her and the bird, there is not much they can’t do. Is there something Ara needs that is out of reach? Send the bird to get it. Need to take down a robot? Have the Falcon distract the robot while Ara sneaks up to bash it with her baton/whip. Collect resources, free areas of the robot tyranny, do some cooking.

Hang on, cooking? Well, there has to be a use for all of the small animals that have been hunted and the various other resources. There is a simple cooking mechanic in the game that will allow Ara to make some tasty pellets for her Falcon. These are not just tasty morsels though, and can provide all manner of different buffs for the bird. As if that wasn’t awesome enough, you can also play dress up with the Falcon, with a wide selection of hats and outfits to dress the bird in. I cannot emphasise enough how cute this damn bird can be.

It’s all very impressive and so much fun interacting with the Falcon. The problem is that everything outside the Falcon feels less impressive, especially the environments that completely lack any variety and look quite bland. It is such a shame as the bird looks great, the orange and brown rocky landscapes really are nothing to write home about.

Otherwise, Falcon Age is a really nice little game. The game has options to reduce the nausea that many experience in VR, including teleport movement, making the game more comfortable for all players, and there is even a non-threatening mode for the younger players to enjoy. The developers have put a lot of though into making sure Falcon Age can be enjoyed by pretty much any PS4 owner.

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Falcon Age is a great little game that really shines when it comes to the bond between the player and the Falcon. Interacting with the bird is a real joy. The rest of the game is well thought out, with an interesting story and some fun gameplay. It is short, but that is what we expect from PSVR games. If you are looking to make a feathery friend in virtual reality, then Falcon Age will be the game to check out.




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