Reviews - Updated on April 9, 2022

What kind of pet animals that help the main character in battle, we have not seen in games. Cats, dogs, bears, wolves, owls, saber-toothed tigers from Far Cry Primal, Icarus the eagle from Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey… But for us to be given a tame falcon with which we could interact, fight and hunt according to the principles of falconry – such it still didn’t seem to be. The authors of Falcon Age filled this gap.

Cultural heritage

Falconry has been known since ancient times – the Assyrians (and not only them) were engaged in this back in the 700s BC. Then it spread throughout almost all of Eurasia and in some regions of North America. Hunting with birds of prey was at one time very popular in Russia, especially under Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich. According to Wikipedia, in 2016, UNESCO, noting “the close relationship with such concepts as environmental protection, cultural heritage and community engagement, as well as its significant prevalence in 60 countries around the world”, included falconry in the list of the intangible cultural heritage of mankind.

So, in Falcon Age, falconry is also a cultural heritage of the indigenous inhabitants of the planet, which is now mercilessly colonized by robots under the leadership of a large industrial corporation. Naturally, there is a resistance, whose members are imprisoned by the invaders and forced to extract resources.

family history

We play as a rebel girl named Ara, who at the beginning of the game languishes in a damp dungeon. There she secretly tamed, groomed and cherished a falcon chick, which once helped her escape. After that, the girl went straight to her aunt, one of the leaders of the rebels. She began teaching Aru the forgotten art of falconry.

When the bird matured enough and got its name (we choose it ourselves), Ara, together with his falcon, went to war with the invaders – to recapture factories and settlements. However, the story is not so straightforward. At some point, Ara’s mother will appear on the scene, who tells her something completely different from what her aunt said – and our heroine may even have doubts about the correctness of what she is doing. In general, the plot has its own intrigue, and it is interesting to follow it.

Falcon Age game review

A bird cannot die in a fight, but a heroine can. But her health is restored automatically.

Battle comrades

The entire gameplay of Falcon Age, as you already understood, is built on the interaction between a girl and her falcon. The bird usually sits on the hand, but at any time it can be sent to attack the selected target – for example, to shoot down a flying drone or grab the legs and hang the attacking robot. Then we run up and with the help of a faithful stun club, we disassemble the enemy into cogs.

With the same club, you need to timely turn off the spawn points of enemies and turrets that attack our bird in the air. Gradually, the falcon has new opportunities – it is allowed to put on different equipment, which allows, for example, to detect and even dig out mines. Or it can be launched as a bomber so that the falcon drops grenades at the specified point.

You also need to give the bird items of equipment that protect it from damage, make it less noticeable, and so on. All this, in addition to a huge number of scarves and funny hats, is purely for external customization of the bird. You can, for example, put on it … the head of a dog. Although I would not scoff at the falcon.

Another layer of gameplay is hunting and resource extraction. The falcon must be set on rabbits and chanterelles running here and there in order to get their meat. Or for him to get some kind of fruit. Then this fruit can be planted in the beds and get even more vegetables. All this in order to prepare recipes for different foods that improve, heal, protect or strengthen the bird.

Falcon Age game review

The place for the beds must first be cleared with the help of a faithful falcon.

Falcon you are mine

In fact, how the action of Falcon Age is quite simple. Problems arise only when meeting with bosses, who, as a rule, constantly summon their minions. But there is a “peaceful mode” that allows you to go through the story without any battles at all.

And indeed, the charm of Falcon Age is not in fights, but in interaction with the falcon, which you quickly become attached to. The bird here feels exactly like a living being, and not like a piece of code that automatically teleports after you. For example, if you ran ahead, and the falcon is circling somewhere in the air, then, do not whistle to him, he will not return and sit on your hand – you have to go back and whistle where the bird hears.

And when the falcon sits down, you can stroke it or shake its paw in a funny way. Moreover, stroking sometimes restores part of the health lost in battle to the bird. Feed her, give her new equipment, a scarf or some kind of toy (and there are many such things) – all this is also animated in detail. Which, of course, only enhances the feeling of interaction with a living being.

And when nasty turrets fire at our falconer with some kind of syringes and he, exhausted, falls to the ground, and then with difficulty climbs into our hands so that we personally pull out all these syringes from him, at such moments the heart bleeds.

For greater cuteness, an adult falcon can be turned into such a funny chick.

***

Games with fresh ideas and unusual mechanics are especially valuable today. And from this point of view, Falcon Age was a success. Yes, this is not an outstanding action adventure, but a very curious and emotional mixture of action and pet care simulator, seasoned with an intriguing story and stylish picture. Particularly realistic and cool interaction with the falcon is naturally felt in the VR mode that the game supports. But even without it, it turned out perfectly – fresh emotions and impressions are guaranteed.

Pros: well-written setting and story with its surprises; unusual and in its own way interesting gameplay, built on interaction with a tame falcon; the ability to care for the feathered and customize its appearance; nice picture; spectacular VR mode.

Cons: As an action-adventure game, the game is rather weak, and the enemies rarely challenge.

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