Virtual reality is a great gateway to experiencing moments that would usually be too outlandish, and being immersed in a world like Outerloop Games’ Falcon Age brings joy and a certain sense of disappointment that it will be impossible to have a relationship with a pet falcon that is so rewarding.
While Falcon Age can be played like any other game, the way it is designed in PSVR only enhances the interactions in the world and the characters in it, and also some unique control ideas.
Your pet falcon is a wonderful sidekick, being responsible for most, if not all, of the actions that you will partake in. Dropped into an artfully done desert-like land that is sparse but not necessarily empty, your task is to take down outposts of automated colonisers.
It is not a full-scale war, but rather stoking the embers of a dying resistance, and inciting rebellion, all through the lens of meaningful character moments.
Be it the robotic overlords that are tired of your antics, your harsh auntie who imparts the knowledge of falconry, or how the people view their situations in diametrically opposing fashions, this is a world that makes you care, thanks to some brilliant writing and performances.
Falcon Age is compelling enough for players to want to learn more about the backstory and relationships at stake, and that is saying a lot.
The majority of the time, however, is spent with your feathered friend. Exploring, bonding, and striking out at refineries with the adorable avian is endearingly fun. The developers make it even harder not to care by introducing players to the companion as an orphaned baby bird, it is simply too hard not to care.
As a grown falcon, she can be directed to hunt for prey, collect items, and attack/distract the robotic foes. It is utterly satisfying to see her in action, and doing so via the DualShock 4 is intuitive and simple.
But doing so in VR with the Move controllers is highly recommended for the ease and immersion, and any time spent in close proximity to your pet is time worth spending. In an especially heavy moment, you will have to remove needle-type projectiles out of her, and it will hurt you more than it does for your avian friend.
Alas, the five-hours odd journey is not without some issues. The game can be slow to catch up to players, stuttering at times. Texture pop-in happens quite a lot, be it in VR or not, and can be a dealbreaker when you are looking to immerse yourself fully into this world.
The inherent charm of the tale Falcon Age is trying tell is evident, so is its compelling core of raising to the occasion in the face of adversity. The ideas of colonisers, the resistance, your falcon, and the theme of family all contribute greatly to the enjoyment of a game that could have been much longer.
Aside from the minor graphical issues, Outerloop Games have created a world that players would wanna live in, full of bright colours and fun to be had with a companion that is hard not to love. The fact that PSVR makes the whole experience even better is just the cherry on top for this soaring adventure.
GEEK REVIEW SCORE
Charming to the end, there is so much to love about Falcon Age, but none more so than your falcon.
Gameplay - 8/10
Story - 9/10
Presentation - 7/10
Value - 8/10