A free content update for The Falconeer drops this morning. The update, called ‘The Kraken’ adds new diving and exploration missions, as well as new locations. New tutorials will help onboard new players, and quality of life changes will help keep them playing.
I really liked The Falconeer when it launched – read my review here – and I’m looking forward to jumping back in to see the new content later today.
The Falconeer continually reminds me of Sea Of Thieves, and it’s not just the stylized graphics or environments dominated by water – it’s something about the pace of the game.
This is a game I can fire up when I’m stressed after a bad day and just soar around the skies taking it all in. The game’s art style, like Sea of Thieves, just has something in it that works for me. The bright colours, the rolling waves, the gorgeous skies – it’s soothing to turn the HUD off and just take a low flight over the ocean, seeing whales jump out of the water and other random events, and not worry about anything for a bit.
When you’re decompressed and ready for more, the game offers up a combat system that’s reminiscent of Crimson Skies – only on the back of a giant falcon. Whatever bird you’re riding – the game offers up a few with different stats – has an energy bar that can be used to gain altitude, fly faster, do tight turns, or pull off evasive barrel rolls. When depleted that bar can be refilled by diving, which creates a balancing act between using it for gaining height and having enough left to use for your defensive moves.
There are also some environmental objects to keep an eye out for, including waterspouts that will give your bird a free ride to the upper atmosphere, lightning storms to recharge your guns, and jet streams that help you transit the long distances between settlements faster.
I could just fly around this world for hours…
The story – a sprawling tale that will have you questioning what’s really going on in this world – is told over several chapters, and there are some difficulty spikes that will necessitate grinding out some side missions for money to upgrade both your bird, using potions that add abilities like more health or faster regeneration, or your weaponry. Early on there’s some skill check battles that will make sure you know how to dodge incoming fire or keep a lock on your enemy as you battle in a WWII style furball of tightly-circling combatants, but for the most part it’s simply a matter of ‘my guns are doing enough damage, I need new guns’ damage checks.
Falconeer’s story throws you through several factions as you switch falconeers at key points to give you some perspective on the other cultures at play in the world. It’s an interesting approach that allows for some of the twists and betrayals to really hit home for those who are paying attention and not simply waiting until they can go fly again.
For as fun as combat is, and I didn’t namecheck the legendary Crimson Skies without good reason, I had just as much fun in The Falconeer simply roaming the skies taking it all in. This is a world with personality, and I still want to see what else it has to offer.
I played on both the Xbox One X and Xbox Series X, and while the new console has a decided edge in load times it was a great experience on both. The game offers up 4K resolution at 60 fps on the Series X, and upscaled 4K at 60 fps on the One X. The Series X also offers up an upscaled 4K at 120 fps mode that is incredibly smooth if you have the monitor or TV to take advantage of it.
What I Loved:
Super relaxing feel to the non-combat moments
Great photo mode
What I liked:
‘play at your own pace’ style allows players to explore when they want, for as long as they want
Bird/weapon upgrades are kept simple – no need to read pages of stats to figure things out
A game you can jump back into just to explore
Story beats that really work thanks to seeing every side of the conflict
What I Disliked:
Difficulty spikes that force you to grind out cash
Could have used more mission variety
What I Hated:
The Falconeer is available now on Xbox consoles and PC for $38.99 Canadian. Reviewed on Xbox One X and Xbox Series X using code provided for review.
I’m a sucker for Warhammer 40,000 games, and the last few years have been pretty kind to the IP, and hopefully that continues with Warhammer 40,000: Dakka Squadron – an aerial shooter scheduled for Q4 2020 release.
The trailer gives an idea how fast-paced the combat will be, and though I have to say I’m not all that impressed with the visuals just yet it IS pretty early on so we’ll see what it looks like closer to release.
It reminds me a bit of Crimson Skies, only set in the Warhammer 40K universe, which isn’t a bad thing at all. I’ll be keeping an eye on this one as it gets closer to release.
Here’s the press release:
WARHAMMER 40,000: DAKKA SQUADRON Announced for Multiplatform Release
Warhammer 40,000: Dakka Squadron will scream “WAAAGH!“ into living rooms, featuring blazing, Ork aerial combat waged across 41st millennium battlefields.
Coming for PC and Console Q4 of 2020.
CHICAGO– Feb. 20, 2020 – Phosphor Games Studio in partnership with Games Workshop is excited to announce Warhammer 40,000: Dakka Squadron. Available later this year for consoles and PCs, Dakka Squadron is a fast-paced, aerial shooter where the player is an Ork Flyboy, taking to the skies to do what Orks do best – fight!
With 3rd person, action-packed gameplay and intuitive controls, players will choose a Waaagh! (or campaign) and take part in a series of missions across alien worlds. Players will fly against insane odds, blasting away with their Supa-Shootas against enemy air forces and ground targets, while unlocking new weapons and upgrading their Dakkajets to be the most “dead killy” Flyboys in the sky.
All of the player actions revolve around fighting. Building and crafting is for the grots. Choose an Ork Clan and customize your squadron to augment your play style. Fly Dakkajets, Burna-Bommas, and Blitza-Bommas, equip them with an array of guns, bombs, and missiles, learn special maneuvers, and unleash your dakka to conquer a galaxy riddled with ancient enemies.
Hone your skills to climb the ladder of the Ork faction; start off as a lowly Flyboy and conquer worlds to become a Warboss.
Explore incredible environments across multiple planets through a 20+ mission campaign
Fantastic voice over acting and dialog unveil a complex plot and capture the grim humour of Orks in the Warhammer 40,000 universe
Complete missions, perform challenges and unlock achievements to discover powerful Orky weapons and receive incredible fighta upgrades
Master dog fighting, dive bombing, and carpet bombing and use different playstyles to complete varied air to air, and air to ground missions.
The first video game built from the ground up by Orks for Orks.
Warhammer 40,000: Dakka Squadron will be coming for PC and Console in Q4 2020.
More detailed information about the game, as well as social media links, can be found on our website: www.dakkasquadron.com
About Phosphor Games Studio Based in Chicago, Phosphor Games Studio is a premier development studio comprised of experienced video game designers with a track record of producing financially successful and critically acclaimed titles across a variety of genres – from first-person shooters and MMOs to sports and casual games. The studio received back-to-back Mobile Game of the Year nominations from the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences for Horn (2012) and The Dark Meadow (2011), was awarded the AppStore ‘Best of 2015’ for Path to Luma (2015) , and has released the hit VR title The Brookhaven Experiment (2016). More information can be found online at www.phosphorgames.com, on Facebook or via Twitter @phosphorgames.
About Games Workshop® Games Workshop® Group PLC (LSE:GAW.L), based in Nottingham, UK, produces the best fantasy miniatures in the world. Games Workshop designs, manufactures, retails, and distributes its range of Warhammer®: Age of Sigmar® and Warhammer® 40,000® games, miniature soldiers, novels and model kits through more than 529 of its own stores (branded Games Workshop® or Warhammer®), the www.games-workshop.com web store and independent retail channels in more than 50 countries worldwide. More information about Games Workshop and its other, related, brands and product ranges (including our publishing division ‘Black Library’ and our special resin miniatures studio ‘Forge World’) can be found at www.games-workshop.com.