[Review] Fallen Legion Revenants – Nintendo Switch

  • Developer: YummyYummyTummy
  • Publisher: NIS America
  • Release Date: 16/02/2021
  • Price: £35.99 / $39.99
  • Review code provided by NIS America

Introducing: Fallen Legion Revenants Review

I have always been a fan of unique role-playing games. Be it a gripping storyline, creative combat or a new way to engage with the surrounding world. The Fallen Legion series has forged a new path with a lot of gameplay and story aspects, making it stand out amongst other modern RPGs. Now with the latest entry of Fallen Legion Revenants ready to debut, how does it fare with these unique aspects? Continue reading to find out.

The Poisoned World

Welkin is the last safe haven from the poisonous miasma which chokes the surface of the world. This last bastion is far from perfect however, as a madman lords over the refugees, ready to kill or imprison anyone without cause. One such victim is the former chancellor, Rowena. Having been killed by the mad Ivor, her spirit is still bound to the world as a vengeful revenant. She not only seeks justice for herself and all the innocent people of Welkin, but for her son who is a prisoner in the clutches of the mad tyrant.

Rowena isn’t the only one who wants Ivor out of the picture. Though some are content to let him rule as long as they don’t face his wrath, there are others who see how unstable he is and know that riding the world of him is the only way to ensure safety. Lucien is a young politician. Not strong with a sword, his power lies in the political arena. Lucien is a member of the Welkin council and seeks to dethrone Ivor. Lucien works together with Rowena to sabotage the madman’s power. While the politician works to usurp Ivor on the inside, the vengeful mother steps, or floats, out into the world to battle scattered allies of the evil ruler.

The story is one of revenge and sorrow. Tough choices have to be made throughout the game and you’re making them. You mainly control Lucien, and in a way, Rowena. The decisions you are faced with as either character bind you to the story and keep you immersed with everything going on. You want to find out what happens next. Did your off hand comment doom a castle citizen you had a fondness for? Do you depart from a critical mission to help a lost child? Everything you do has a consequence and the narrative is better for it. Fallen Legion Revenants has a gripping tale that will absorb you from the outset.

Combat, Espionage and Politics.. Oh, My!

The gameplay in Fallen Legion Revenants is broken out into three parts. On the surface of the poison filled world, you act out the combat using Rowena and three Exemplars. The Exemplars are various weapons who take the form of powerful warriors, so the miasma doesn’t affect them. You don’t control Rowena or her team of Exemplars in the traditional sense. They move automatically from left to right with no directional input. Occasionally you’ll be given a choice on screen regarding their destination, but movement is all automatic. Every so often you’ll start a battle.

Combat

The combat system is rather unique. Rowena floats above the three Exemplars and deals out some magic, but mainly is present to protect the living weapons. The Exemplars occupy one of three squares and can move as a unit freely between each spot. Moving backward or forward can help dodge incoming spells or set up counter attacks. Each Exemplar is associated with either the A, Y or B buttons which determines their position and mashing the button will send them to attack. They have three action points so you can order them to attack as a group, striking three times each or cycle between them while you charge up Rowena’s power. Once you charge up a few orbs, you can have Rowena cast spells or have the Exemplars execute special skills. Getting the hang of the battle system takes practice and patience. Once you master it, you’ll be rewarded with devastating combos chained together. Or you can just mash the buttons and hope you come out on the winning end.

Though I found the combat a refreshing sidestep from other role-playing games, there were times when it was more frustrating than it was worth. Blocking incoming attacks is key to survival but some battles made it nearly impossible with an overabundance of chaos on the screen. That coupled with trying to press certain buttons such as the L bumper and the Y and A without hitting B was troublesome when things are happening fast. Fallen Legion Revenants isn’t a turn based game. You either act and react quickly, or you fail. I didn’t mind the combat system on the standard enemies, but the further I went, the boss battles grew more frustrating.

Espionage

The second aspect of gameplay is done in the relative safety of the castle. Taking direct control of Lucien, you are faced with a revolving door of dilemmas. In efforts to thwart Ivor, you have to get sneaky and do things you aren’t proud of. Whether that’s contaminating the castle’s water supply knowingly harming innocent lives or framing the chancellor for treason. Between each bout of combat runs Rowena is making on the surface, Lucien is faced with a new objective.

I enjoyed the fresh approach of splitting the screen between both protagonists so you got the feel that each character is doing their part at the same time. It was also nice seeing what transpires off the battlefield. My only gripe is that a lot of these events are unfairly timed. I was once given ten seconds to search two floors, all the while hiding from guards. I failed so many of these, I wasn’t shocked when Lucien was eventually found out and killed. Some events made sense to be timed but others just made me pull my hair out. Better execution on these stages would have made for a more engaging experience overall.

Politics

Swaying the other councilmembers to your political agenda is no easy feat. But it was fun to engage in. Like the espionage sequences where you sneak around as Lucien, you also control the idealistic councilman during these moments. Periodically there is to be a vote led by the chancellor. You seize these moments to make allies with the other members to swing things to your liking. Sometimes you promise to support an enemy in a future vote. Other times you spread lies or talk bad behind someone’s back. Then the vote is called and you can see how your actions or inability to act affects the livelihood of the castle inhabitants.

An Isolated Prison

Fallen Legion Revenants isn’t going to win any awards for graphics. The game looks alright in handheld mode but on the big screen, the characters appear washed out and a tad blurry. That’s not to say the different avatars aren’t beautifully designed. They look good at a distance but they lack a certain crispness.

Additionally, the music lacks any staying power once the game is off. It’s not remarkable in any way but it isn’t horrible. I never had to mute the sound for my own songs. The soundtrack helped tie the world together and echoed the continual events on the screen, whether dire straits or with sneaky undertones. The music did its job, it just wasn’t memorable. On the other hand, the voice acting was top notch. The actors helped bring the characters to life in their exceptional work.

Final Wrap

Fallen Legion Revenants was a mediocre experience at best and a frustrating nuisance at worst. It’s a shame as the story is truly remarkable with vivid characters and a lot of great ideas. All of the unique elements are strong in theory but just didn’t execute well. The gameplay feels rushed as combat gives little time to react and the timed events speed through as though they aren’t significant. Unfortunately they are. The artstyle, though not as regrettable as the combat, leaves a lot to the imagination and yearns to shine under a smudged coat of paint. Unless you’re a fan of the series, Fallen Legion Revenant should only be sought out while on sale.

Pros

  • Remarkable Storyline
  • Relatable Characters
  • Strong Voice Acting

Cons

  • Clunky Combat
  • Ill-timed Gameplay
  • Washed Out Art

Verdict
Fallen Legion Revenants is a gameplay pioneer that gets stuck in the mud.