Falcon Age, the latest game from Outerloop Games, is a perfect example of why VR Games are unique and what they can bring to the gaming experience. It uses the Move controls for the PSVR for in ways that make the experience of falconry believable. Along the way, it used beautiful artwork to tell a story about family and colonial exploitation. If you have a PlayStation 4, and especially if you have PSVR, you should give Falcon Age a playthrough as soon as you can!
When I first saw Falcon Age online, I was immediately drawn to it by the vibrant colors and animation style. So when I had the chance to play the game at PAX East, it was one of priorities. The PAX demo had me hooked right away and I knew I had to play it as soon as I could. The innovative gameplay drew me in even deeper.
Using each hand independently makes you feel like a falconer.
In VR mode, Falcon Age uses the PSVR’s Move controllers. Your left hand controller is used to handle the bird. If you bring the left controller in front of the VR mask you will whistle. This let’s your falcon know you are summoning her but she won’t land until you stick your left hand out. If you move, she will take off from your hand and patrol the sky above you. While in the air, you can push the main button on the left controller to send your falcon to hunt animals or pick up objects. Your right hand is used for your electric whip, petting your falcon, feeding her and picking things up. Using your two hands for different tasks is unique from a lot of VR games. Usually in VR games, your hands perform the same functions.
You have movement choices in Falcon Age.
You have a few options for movement in VR mode. You can move either in in degree increments and teleport or free roam. When teleporting, you can rotate the Move controller to change the direction you face when you land. Personally, I preferred to move freely. You use the main button on the right controller to move forward and the X and O buttons to turn left and right. You can also turn on strafing where moving the controller laterally you will side step. It was more natural for me, but if you get motion sickness than I don’t recommend it.
It’s worth noting that I experienced some issues with moving. There are times where I expected to walk up to an object and not come to a dead stop but to walk at angle around said object. I didn’t though, I would come to a dead stop. Once I realized this would happen, it was easy to adapt and avoid getting stuck. It wasn’t a big deal and was easy to overcome.
Falcon Age is a story about family, cultural heritage and anti-Coloniasm.
In Falcon Age, you play as a girl named Ara that has been imprisoned by the Outer Rim Corporation. This corporation runs the planet you are from and set up set up mining operations all over. They have also oppressed the local population and tried to remove and traces of their traditional way of life. In short, they are exploiting the people or Ara’s world.
While imprisoned, Ara notices that a baby falcon that lives in a nest above her cell. The mother falcon was attacked and killed by the robot drones that the Outer Rim Corp uses to keep people in check and guard their mining operations. Ara escapes her cell and takes the young bird with her. Upon her escape, Ara makes her way to her tent where her auntie lives. Her auntie teaches her how train and use her falcon. She also reinforces some of the culture of their people. I don’t want to go more into the story than that because I want you to experience it for yourself.
Falcon Age is beautiful, plain and simple.
The artwork, especially the falcon, is stunning! I don’t know how else to put it. The falcon is the star of the game. The interactions that you can have with the bird are incredible. The way her feathers move when you pet her is incredible. If she is hurt, you can pull needles from her and pet her to heal her. You can fist bump her. You can give her clothing that is cosmetic or to help her perform a job. I was really impressed with the detail that Outerloop Games put into the bird and how she behaves and reacts to things. As I said before, she is the star of the game!
If you are looking for a PSVR game, look no further.
If you have a PSVR, you should play Falcon Age… right now. It is an incredible experience. It’s fun to walk around with your falcon and have her hunt lizards. It’s amazing. It’s a lot of fun and well worth your time. It is one of the best games I have played so far this year and the kind of VR experience I have been craving. I give Falcon Age a 4.5/5. Go play it!