Fallen Legion Revenants
Fallen Legion Revenants is the sequel to Fallen Legion: Rise to Glory which actually combines both Fallen Legion: Sins of an Empire and Fallen Legion: Flames of Rebellion into a single release. All three games are action-based side scrolling RPGs in the style of traditional JRPGs, centered on fast-paced, real-time combat.
The story of Fallen Legion Revenants focuses on Rowena’s quest to free her son locked up in the prisons of the Welkin Castle – the last remaining bastion of mankind, sadly ruled by a tyrant. As the former chancellor of the castle, Rowena is wrongfully executed for treason but her desire to free and raise her son keeps her tied to the mundane world in her spirit form as a revenant. She allies with Lucian – a member of Welkin Castle’s council whose goal is to dethrone the tyrant and improve the lives of Welkin Castle’s inhabitants through various political decisions.
As Rowena, you control during battles 3 spectral warriors known as Exemplars, which contribute to the fight with their own specific abilities, some of them being ranged, others being melee, some being better at producing damage, while others assuming the role of a tank. Of the two attacks that each Exemplars has, the basic one has a relatively low impact on enemies’ health and is used mainly for charging up a shared bar that allows them to release their deathblows when the target is reached. These are your main damage sources, while Rowena’s abilities are focused on supporting or healing the group.
Fallen Legion Revenants takes Rowena and her team from one battlefield to the next, with several groups of enemies that have to be defeated sequentially. The combat is very intense, in a “button-mashing” kind-of style and blocking / parrying is of uttermost importance. I can go as far as saying that blocking or deflecting enemy attacks often creates more damage than your own basic spells. The Exemplars that Rowena brings in her party can be chosen before each fight, and new ones can be discovered by defeating various bosses – this adds a bit of flexibility and the ability to adjust the combat to your playstyle, more or less. The Exemplars’ mastery can also be increased by fulfilling various in-game challenges, related to combat (for example performing a perfect block a certain amount of times).
During each battlefield, Rowena will face at some point the decision of following one of two possible paths: an easier one, and a difficult one that usually leads to a boss fight. During this decision, the story shifts to Lucien, who will quickly need to find clues inside the castle about which path is which. These are story-sequences in which he either talks to various castle residents and promises his support for a reform in exchange for sensitive information, or he tries to find this information himself by reading certain books. However, everything is timed, and sometimes there isn’t enough time to enjoy the story or to ponder on what to do. Supporting some politicians will have others disagree with Lucian, and it usually boils down to trading one good relationship for another. During two consecutive battlefields, there’s usually a story intermission and the game allows you to visit the upgrade hubs or to save – there is no possibility to save otherwise.
The game has 3 difficulty modes, and for me even the easiest seemed rather challenging – I struggled quite a lot during boss fights (which took minutes and lots of iterations and revivals), but I think this is because I’m not very used to the combat style. There’s a certain rhythm to the attacks that one needs to train themselves for, and there’s also the need to time your blocks perfectly while keeping an eye on which abilities you can use. Planning your deathblows at critical times, quick reactions and focusing your attention on multiple things at the same time are what makes the game very intense and demanding.
Fallen Legion Revenants is a game with beautiful graphics, fully voiced in both English and Japanese, which is most suited for those who enjoy a fast-paced, feverish combat and button mashing during fights, combined with a story-rich, choice-driven gameplay.