Having debuted on PS4 and PS Vita with different campaigns respectively, the PC release of action-RPG Fallen Legion provides the both. Now titled as Fallen Legion+, the game lets the player tackle the turmoil of kingdom Fenumia from two viewpoints. The crown princess Cecille is in a middle of confusion after his father’s demise. With the help of a talking grimoire, which may have an agenda of its own, she’s on the road to pacify Fenumia. Legate Laendur, on the other hand, is viewed as traitor while he seeks out to redeem the glory which was once promised to him. Are Cecille and Laendur, the former allies, just victims of a sinister plan, agitated at each other’s throats, or are they indeed on different ends of justice?
Fallen Legion: Sins of an Empire, starring Cecille, debuted on PS4 and Fallen Legion: Flames of Rebellion, featuring Laendur, on PS Vita. Both campaigns can be played at the same time, as they have independent save slots. Either way, the player is treated with a 2D side-scrolling action-RPG. Cecillle or Laendur are support characters, providing a group heal, a resurrection and an attack spell. The bulk of the action is handled with up to three exemplars, resurrected husks of fallen champions. Exemplars, joining the party as the campaigns progress, represent typical RPG classes of tanks and damage dealers, either melee or rangers. Each exemplar has an own face button assigned to him or her. In the heat of the battle, it’s always clear who you’re attacking with, while providing crucial support with the campaign’s main character.
The party hurries through the scenes from left to right, only stopping to fight enemies or have conversations with the story mission characters. On-foot decisions are thrown in regularly, asking responses to issues involving kingdom. The play doesn’t stop there. The characters keep on running and you must react quickly. The answers not only provide temporary buffs or items to the party but also affects the overall morale of the kingdom. Sometimes though, the situation may dictate to pick up certain buffs instead of morally righteous choices. Between stages, a world map serves as a base of operations where all the game management, like choosing upgrades for exemplars, is done.
Bulk of the game is spent on 2D-battlefields. Exemplars’ actions have a cooldown timer to them and there’s also a turn meter below the action, showing the heroes’ and enemies’ turns. In the heat of the battle, though, reading turns is often redundant and the play boils down to mashing free cooldowns. It’s easy to frantically deal out damage, but sudden difficulty spikes, even with trash mobs, forces you really to learn how to defend. To master the flow of the battle is to master blocking. Timing the block is tricky, as it’s often difficult to read the enemies’ erratic attack animations. It would help if there was a better audio feedback of connecting actions.
Fallen Legion+ is quite narrow in the gameplay it offers. That’s not to say it’s not engaging. There’s certain appeal to the limited nature of the action, and clearly there has been much thought in creating the kingdom of Fenumia, with all the lore, characters and events in both campaigns. Viewing the action from different viewpoints of its two protagonists is an interesting idea, and keeps the player suitably intrigued. The hand-painted visuals have homey charm to them, even if the graphical assets are repeated from the stage to another. The energetic chaos of the background music resembles frenzied 16-bit soundtracks, and after a while you gladly reduce its volume down.
There’s Nintendo Switch version of Fallen Legion+ in the works (with a really cool physical edition too, complete with an art book and other goodies). I think the game will be the most comfortable in Nintendo library, as it has this pick up and play mentality to it, perfectly suited to Switch. The PC version is decent though, and it’s a quite hardware friendly too. Fallen Legion+ is definitely worth checking out for anyone after fast-paced action-RPG with a bit different looks. The thing is, Steam is full of bigger games in the genre, each fighting for your attention. Considering the fierce competition, I fear 29,99 might be a bit too hefty price tag for Fallen Legion+, even if it includes practically two games. I suggest to keep an eye out for the game as soon as it gets a price reduction in some seasonal sale event.
Video game nerd & artist. I've been playing computer and video games since the early 80's so I dare say I have some perspective to them. When I'm not playing, I'm usually at my art board.