A tale of two emperors.
Upon the death of the emperor, the Octavia – Princess Cecille – is crowned empress and given a talking book named Grimoire to guide her journey. Disarray plagues the war torn land, and Cecille wants nothing to do with leading her new legions; nay, her empire. But Grimoire coaxes her into leadershisp, offering grim advice and dark suggestions to solidify her reign. One of her top generals, the Legatus Laendur, believes Grimoire to hold nefarious intentions and claims himself, after watching unbelievable atrocities carried out by the Octavia’s soldiers, emperor. With his multiple legions, he and Cecille race against time to reach the capital first and play a literal game of thrones.
That is the premise of Fallen Legion+, the action RPG from YummyYummyTummy games – a product that features both the PS4 and PS Vita games (Sins of an Empire and Flames of Rebellion). You can choose to follow the storyline of either character, and your choices can seriously affect the outcome. From the onset, Fallen Legion+ looks quite simple; the combat is easy to understand, the presentation is two still animations speaking to each other, and the world map is there to just move from one spot to another. But once you fully commit to the Fallen Legion+ experience, you’ll soon discover that beneath the facade of simplicity is an incredibly complex game.
Combat in Fallen Legion+ utilizes a three combative character system with your additional “commander” unit. The entire game is presented as a side scrolling RPG, so the battles are 2D. Each character is assigned a button or key to attack. As you choose each character’s attack, they queue a combo in a line on the bottom of the screen. Sounds simple, right? The catch is that, if you take damage (without blocking) your combo queue dissolves, and you lose your current combo count. Additionally, your bar at the bottom can be given attributes like attack boosts or extra combo slots based on your in-game decisions (but we’ll touch on that shortly). Once you fill out your combo bar, whichever character provides the last attack will utilize his/her “special” attack. For example, Dardanelles the cannonier, would use a gravity attack that pulled in all enemies close to you. This was particularly effective when ranged attackers hid behind big tanks. Each character comes replete with one originating combo attack, but they can learn more as you progress through the game.
This system quickens the pace of combat in Fallen Legion+ to near neck breaking speeds, which is both fantastic and taxing, as coming up with a proper strategy and then executing it can become a challenging task. Adding to the hectic battles is your character – either Cecille or Laendur. The commander unit has different abilities set to a specific button and direction press. For example, Laendur has a powerful earth attack mapped to the Y button (on my Steam controller), but pressing down and Y sends out a healing spell. Up and Y utilizes a resurrection spell. As you cast spells, your commander must wait for his/her attackers to continue pummeling enemies in order to build up enough mana to attack again (though each spell has its own set of mana; using one does not deplete from the others). At the end of the day, you have a really fast paced but strategic battle system that is turns both difficult and gratifying.
Outside of combat, the game itself remains fairly simple. Gorgeous anime style visuals gives the game a more unique feeling, and it fits the game well. Again, world travel is done by simply moving your character sprite from one blip to another on the world map, splitting your time between dialogue and battle scenarios (each actual stage consists of your character side scrolling through multiple battles to complete). The real joy of Fallen Legion+ outside of its deep combat is your ability to shape each individual playthrough in completely different manners. Periodically throughout each stage, your commander is presented with a situation, and you have a limited amount of time to decide how to act upon each one. For example, in my playthrough as Laendur, I decided to remain neutral when Agnes assaulted other legions, and I helped her when she needed defending. In turn, she assisted me on my journeys by giving me battle boosters or relics. Ultimately, however, your choices can sway entire campaigns, as I chose to jail most of my betrayers, fattening my prisons to burst, causing my overall morale to drop. In response, I started punishing my enemies by death, but that caused other issues. It’s a really intriguing system that made my time in the game pretty enjoyable (and somewhat stressful).
Lastly, Fallen Legion+ allows your allies to gain strength in various ways. The aforementioned choices you make can result in your allies finding promotions. For example, my Dardanelles rather quickly was promoted, earning her a new class and more power, based on the choices I made. I can’t say for certain which choices I made, but I’m guessing they had to deal with the color of the cards and which characters they dealt with. As you play, you’ll see what I’m talking about. Additionally, you earn crystals that power up your characters (although some give a big boost in strength by reducing a percentage of HP, for example) that you unlock as you complete missions and earn higher ratings. These are definitely handy and will help you build the party that works for you (I ran the first few chapters as mostly Longinus, Winchester, and Dardanelles due to how much I enjoyed playing them, though Apollo occasionally replaced Winchester as my archer/gunman).
In all, Fallen Legion+ is a grand adventure that, if you combine both campaigns, should take around 20-30 hours to complete. Your decisions will change the outcome of the game, as well as give characters promotions, and those successes or failures will either benefit your journey or hinder it. While its premise appears simple from the outside, once you get knee deep in Fallen Legion+, you’ll find plenty of avenues to explore, and the combat alone is both rewarding and difficult.