The world is crumbling. Sluagh, zombie-like monsters, roam the world below the floating castle – a world suffering from plague and poverty. Rebellion stirs, however, as Lucien, a new council member in Ivor’s reign, secretly assists Rowena, Ivor’s former chancellor who was executed, in her journey to rescue her son from prison. Together, the two must combat deadly creatures and huge monsters while sabotaging Ivor and his loyal councilmen and women from within.
Fallen Legion: Revenants is the follow up title to Fallen Legion, featuring a new cast of characters and revenants of new and old. Revenants is a game that is full of great concepts and solid gameplay that never quite fully realizes itself. Having been a fan of the original Fallen Legion, I was excited to get my hands on this one. Combat has evolved a bit, but it’s still the fluent, strategic flow that I enjoyed from the original. The difference lies mostly within the bosses, which I found frustrating at best, even when I thought I had the right strategy. The worst part? If I couldn’t clear a boss and wanted to try a different setup of revenants, I’d have to start an entire level over – and some of them took quite a while to complete.
With that preface, Fallen Legion: Revenants is a game that’s split into two major arcs. You’ll control Rowena and her revenants in a side scrolling action/rpg setup where each character has a mapped button for his/her attack. R1 and R2 serve as combos for each character to use a special ability that will either pull or push enemies on the battle screen. This is important, as properly positioning your foes will help you land the combos and damage you want and need to blow through battles. You can also deflect and guard against incoming attacks, with a perfect deflection stunning or sending back projectiles, enhancing damage or breaking guard bars.
On Lucien’s side of things, you’ll sneak around the Ivor’s floating castle, making friends and deals, sabotaging things, and creating potions for Rowena while attempting to stay out of suspicion. It’s an interesting system that works relatively well (the timed segments with Lucien were a bit annoying) and added a layer of intrigue the original games didn’t have. Lucien’s interruptions during Rowena’s missions were a nice interlude to the sometimes drawn out combat. Outside of these two, however, not much else happens. Your missions consist of running through and combatting the Sluagh while Lucien works his magic. Sometimes, you’ll make decisions that will set you down different combat paths and unlock different revenants, but the gist is the same – every level.
Visually, Fallen Legion: Revenants features a hand drawn/anime style aesthetic. The characters are crafted with detail, and the environments are pretty cool, too. It’s nothing spectacular, but it is unique compared to its contemporaries. Likewise, sound direction in Fallen Legion is adequate with solid voice acting and a forgettable soundtrack. Combat actions and other various sounds are passable, making a relatively immersive experience.
When all is said and done, my feelings for this one is a mixed bag. I enjoy the concept of these games, and the narrative was a fun adventure. Combat is enjoyable, but if your party isn’t built for a particular mission, it can be frustrating, especially if you have to restart. The strategic elements for how you’ll approach every combat situation adds another layer of intrigue to the experience, but it’s not entirely enough to save the game from itself. If you enjoyed the original, you’ll likely enjoy this one – for a time, anyway. Fallen Legion: Revenants is a niche title for a niche set of fans, and that’s cool; it just will be a tough sell to anyone past that.