The Falconeer: Warrior Edition: Frantic Flying Fun – Switch Review

I’ve never really enjoyed aerial combat. In the original Battlefront 2, I often found myself crashing my X-Wing into the hull of my enemy’s ship. In the rebooted Battlefront 2, I’d average around two kills per 30-minute match. Generally, I find aerial combat games to be a little unintuitive. That or I’m just terrible at them. Either way, I was a little apprehensive when approaching The Falconeer: Warrior Edition. Namely, I was worried a game entirely focused on aerial combat would see me quitting out of frustration. Fortunately, The Falconeer: Warrior Edition has incredibly intuitive controls. In fact, it goes far beyond that, and well exceeded my expectations.

In-game Screenshot (Handheld)

The Falconeer: Warrior Edition takes you on a gentle ride through its captivating world and characters.”

The Falconeer: Warrior Edition has a relatively simple formula to it. You’re dropped into the open world with a main quest to follow as well as a handful of side quests. Missions don’t take all that long to complete. They generally require you to venture to a certain point in the rather large world and fight a bunch of ne’er-do-wells. While there are certainly variations on the mission types, the general minute-to-minute gameplay feels mostly the same. However, I’d hesitate to say that it makes The Falconeer: Warrior Edition a repetitive game.

In-game Screenshot (Handheld)

If it were any other game, I’d argue that completing missions that are similar in both structure and narrative classifies it as repetitive. However, The Falconeer manages to avoid such a label thanks to its lackadaisical gameplay. That’s not to say that there aren’t moments of sheer ecstasy scattered throughout. Rather, The Falconeer takes you on a gentle ride through its captivating world and characters. There’s something to be said about the way developer Tomas Sala, captures the beauty and serenity of simply swooping through the air as the sea ebbs and flows beneath you.

“Watching as legions of other Falconeers tear through one another across the skies adds to the immersion of the battle and raises the stakes and tension of every encounter.”

Whenever the game does need to ramp up the tension, it does so beautifully. The incredible music by Benedict Nichols crescendos from a serene melody to a bombastic cacophony of chanting and blood-pumping drums. As you dash and swoop through the battlefield, bullets burst all around you, explosions blast you out of the sky, and lightning thrashes above you. It is ecstatic to manoeuvre around a battlefield ablaze with destruction and death.

The Falconeer: Warrior Edition - Combat
In-game Screenshot (Handheld)

Locking onto your target is simple enough. Following them around the battlefield and riddling their wings with your bullets as you swerve to dodge an incoming explosion is pure action-packed fun. Watching as legions of other Falconeers tear through one another across the skies adds to the immersion of the battle and raises the stakes and tension of every encounter.

“Playing The Falconeer: Warrior Edition was a bit of an eyesore.”

So when it comes to the two main facets of The Falconeer: Warrior Edition’s gameplay, you’re pretty much always guaranteed an enjoyable time. It is a shame then that almost everything else suffers, especially in the Switch port. First and foremost, the storytelling in The Falconeer: Warrior Edition failed to grip me. At the beginning of each chapter, you’re given a smattering of side and main content to complete. But the majority of these missions feel completely disconnected from one another. Unfortunately for me, the game’s narrative never really coalesced into a coherently captivating experience. Worse still is the atrocious British voice acting throughout the game. While certain characters are passable, the majority of the performances really let down the overall presentation of the narrative.

The Falconeer: Warrior Edition - Exploration
In-game Screenshot (Handheld)

Additionally, while exploration and combat are exceptionally enjoyable, the game’s overall visual style leaves much to be desired. Perhaps it was because the majority of my experience was playing the game in handheld mode. But for the most part, playing The Falconeer: Warrior Edition was a bit of an eyesore. On the Nintendo Switch, the game suffers from blurry visuals and low draw distance. Even should you be able to see everything clearly, the majority of locations you explore are similar in design, and aren’t terribly inspiring.

“This isn’t the greatest game to grace the platform, but it is certainly a fun one.”

That’s not to say that The Falconeer: Warrior Edition’s visuals should be completely written off. There were moments of genuine beauty as the sun rose while I soared through the sky. Certain battles felt truly epic in scale and the sheer amount of visual noise happening on-screen brought them to life in a way I’ve not seen done before. It’s just unfortunate then that the majority of islands look the same. Most of your time will be spent looking at the pretty, but endless void of sea and sky.

In-game Screenshot (Handheld)

Of course, The Falconeer: Warrior Edition comes to the Switch with all its updates and brand-new additional content. If you’re already a fan of The Falconeer, but simply want to play it handheld, then this really does feel like the complete package. For newcomers, well you’re getting The Falconeer in its best state yet and packed with a ton of new missions and bosses. For $29.99/€29.99/£24.99, I feel like what is on offer here is worth it. This isn’t the greatest game to grace the platform, but it is certainly a fun one. While certain minor aspects of the overall experience do drag it down, its combat and exploration are so enjoyable that I feel it warrants the asking price.

*Disclaimer: Reviewed on Switch, code was provided by the publisher.

The Falconeer: Warrior Edition - Feature Image
The Falconeer: Warrior Edition Review
Summary
The Falconeer is an incredibly enjoyable, fast-paced adventure set across a vast open world. Its immersive world and captivating gameplay coalesce into a genuinely fantastic experience, only let down by a few minor issues. With all its new content packaged in, The Falconeer: Warrior Edition is well worth picking up.
Pros
Incredible soundtrack
Frantically fun aerial combat
Captivating lore
Cons
Bad voice acting
Few minor bugs
Occasionally repetitive
7