Falcon Age review for Nintendo Switch, PS4

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also on: PC, PS4
Publisher: Outerloop Games
Developer: Outerloop Games
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

Falcons have had a surprisingly big fall when it comes to video games. I mean, they?re not in the same league as cyberpunk, but this year we?ve had both The Falconeer and Falcon Age. Given that I can?t think of any other games starring or about falcons, that constitutes a pretty significant shift in representation for the Falconidae family.

Mind you, it would do even more for falcons if the games in questions were actually good. The Falconeer certainly wasn?t, and even though Falcon Age is substantially better, I don?t think it?s going to be a game too many people are playing — or even remembering the existence of — six months from now.

Of course, if Falcon Age is remembered at all, it?ll probably be entirely thanks to the fact the falcon in this game is so cute. Not only are you raising it from a little baby falcon to a full grown adult, you can pet it! And feed it! And bump your knuckles against its little claws in a gesture of friendship! If that?s not a way of making you feel emotionally attached to your pet, I don?t know what is.

I?ll also give the game credit for incorporating the falcon in a way that makes sense. While The Falconeer was basically a flying game with falcons instead of planes, here you use your falcon as partner and a weapon. You can send her to take down flying robot and other enemies, but also to capture desert animals and uncover buried mines/treasure. Falcon Age makes your falcon one of the game?s real stars, and it helps the game stand out.

Or, at least, it would if the rest of the game weren?t so forgettable. The story is that you?re embroiled in desert rebellion against a big corporation exploiting a planet?s resources, and…well, that?s more or less it. You wander around a planet that all mostly looks the same, every so often shutting down refineries and battling native wildlife. It?s pretty repetitive, and once you figure out that the key to victory is keeping your falcon close by until you need it to take out flying drones, it?s really more a matter of hoping you stumble across where you?re supposed to be going than anything else.

Still, I?d be lying if I said I didn?t enjoy my time with Falcon Age. It certainly has its share of flaws, but it also features some pretty great moments, and on the whole the latter outweighs the former. Plus — and this can?t be overstated — you really do get attached to that falcon.

Outerloop Games provided us with a Falcon Age Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: B