Review | Fallen Legion Revenants
It's a mother's intuition.
Fallen Legion Revenants is a sidescrolling action RPG developed by YummyYummyTummy and published by NIS America. Not quite the direct follow up, it is a sequel to the previous Fallen Legion released back in 2018 featuring upgrades to the combat system and a split narrative system with many more choices to make in advancing the story. This time, the story follows Rowena, a mother turned spirit (a Revenant, hah!) on a quest to save her son currently imprisoned in castle on a land, floating in the sky. She works together with the charming yet not-quite reliable Lucien, who seeks to climb the ranks of the castle and the land below it as its custodian.
Revenants is a solid upgrade to its previous entry but has its share of quirks. But I think returning players will like what they find here.
Ghost Squad Commander
In the Fallen Legion games, players take on the role of a chief (In this case as Rowena) that commands ghost warriors known as ‘Exemplars’ to do their bidding. With up to three waiting on command and each with their own skillset, player’s will need to time their attacks and blocks against enemies. A successful block at the right time can lead to a major win for the player and on the flip side, a mistimed attack can be unforgiving. The game offers multiple difficulty options so thankfully, if things get too hard, you can make things easier between missions.
One of my complaints about the last game was that, while the combat was fun, repetitiveness would set in fairly quickly. It was easy to get stuck in familiar combat styles as the combat system itself wasn’t all too complex. In Revenants, the introduction of spaces on the play field helps spice things up, where positioning is key to dealing out tonnes to damage to enemies in quick succession while also ensuring you’re not the victim of explosive magic and debuffs. Dealing damage builds a mana meter that allows the player to execute ‘Deathblows’, healing spells, and other sorts of magic found throughout the game.
Minor changes to mechanics have been made to be more forgiving, such as the block and parry system, but alongside the solid controls with proper enemy attack animations and sound cues make for a great upgrade from the previous game. There’s a lot more combo potential thanks to varied Exemplar skills and the positioning system, and the choices that the player also makes as Lucien can be a boon in tough combat situations.
A Divided Castle
As an interim for missions, players will assume the role of Lucien, who roams the castle walls to assume the role as custodian of the land. In this mode of gameplay, players will speak to castle residents, improving his reputation among a select few, sneak past guards, brew potions, and more. These offer not just narrative junctions but also gameplay bonuses during Rowena’s battle sequences such as healing without requiring mana. These are often timed events as well, adding a bit of pressure to the mix.
This is probably the coolest aspect of Revenants, as it’s a massive upgrade to the previous game in which players made choices on the fly. The addition of bespoke dialogue and character interactions between Lucien and the castle residents with the kind of choices players can make (those that impact the castle and the people that it governs below) had me thinking which choice was ‘right’ in the heat of the moment. It’s hard to find games where choices feel like they matter, and so it’s cool that Revenants doubled down on what was the weaker aspect of the first game and made it massively better.
Speaking of weaker aspects, the game’s story is told much better even though the player is once again placed in the midst of conflict. The desires of both Rowena and Lucien are told straightforward just as the struggles of the world are blatantly obvious. Dialogue is brief and doesn’t outstay its welcome, voiced or not. Of course, it’s still player choice whether or not they’ll care for the setting, but I can safely say it nails the story it’s telling.
Fallen Legion Revenants’ presentation is a bit middling. The art style is consistent but the spritework often looks muddy or low resolution. This thankfully doesn’t affect the combat, but the game isn’t exactly pleasing to look at. This also goes for the game’s user interface, which I feel isn’t all the best for the style of the game. It feels too minimalistic, and I rarely spent much time looking at it because of how far away it is from the action. Exemplars have their health and turn points above their heads this time around and I feel like I spent more time looking for that information instead of attacking and blocking. On the bright side, besides a moment of camera disassociation, the game was relatively bug-free.
I had fun with the time I spent in Revenants. There are plenty of alternative endings to go for and an easy passage to go back in time and make amends in previous chapters. The combat system is solid and works well with the adventure-like sequences, even if their presentation isn’t the best. For fans of the previous game and those who like games with plenty of narrative avenues to take, I can easily recommend this game.
|Reviewed on||Xbox One X, Xbox Series X|
|Available on||Xbox One, Xbox Series, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC/Steam|
|Release Date||23rd of August, 2022|
|Publisher||NIS America, Inc.|
|ESRB / PEGI Rating||T for Teen – Fantasy Violence, Mild Language / PEGI 12 – Bad Language, Violence|
Fallen Legion Revenants$39.99 / €39.99
- Solid combat system with more combo variety.
- Major upgrade to narrative-focused gameplay and flows well with afformentioned combat.
- Plenty of story routes to go for.
- User interface feels confusing and too minamalistic.
- Overall presentation is poor despite the nice artwork.