Falcons are amazing. From the way they fly to the way, they can interact to even the way they get their prey. There is just something about how majestic they really are. I have always wondered would it would be like to actually have one go on a journey with me. Being able to see from the sky with its battle like cry. For most of us, we will never get a chance to know what it’s like to experience that bond. But what if there was away? A way for you to go on that journey and live that experience. It could never happen, could it? Developer Outerloop Games couldn’t have possibly found the gateway to allow us to enter what it would be like, could they? The short answer yes, yes they have with Falcon Age for the PlayStation VR.
In Falcon Age, you play as Ara who is stuck at what appears to be a prison of sorts. Your only true friend is the baby falcon that you are raising from your cell. In the beginning, it seems that your job is to go and break rocks and collect ores all while trying to be made into a better citizen. But you being as strong headed as you are, are not just going to be subjective to the questioning you have to go through.
I am going to say this from the beginning, if you can and are able to handle it, go to options and select free movement. The teleportation works great, but having to press the Move button on the Move controller every time can just seem slow. This is just from my experience as I like to move and I have a very high tolerance when it comes to Virtual Reality. I didn’t really pay attention to this option until halfway through, but once I did, it just felt so right and it was so very smooth. Again, do what is best for you and your time with Falcon Age. So with that said, let’s continue.
As I mentioned, you can use the Move controllers or DualShock 4 controller as well as in VR or non VR. I strongly recommend playing in VR and using the Move controllers as the experience, I believe, is more magical. Using the left Move controller, you can raise up your hand to your mouth to then to be able to whistle to your falcon and then hold out your hand to have your falcon land on your as well as use the left Move button to send your falcon to attack animals or enemies as well as collect things for you.
If your falcon attacks and animal for example, it will attack it and almost do a pile driver on the animal to kill it and thus when called, will bring meat or whatever else you have sent it to collect back to you that you can then put in your pouch to take with you.
But the journey really doesn’t start until you meet your Auntie. Over the bond you have with your falcon, you really want to become a Falcon Hunter and you want your Auntie to show you the ways. But it’s not going to be that simple as she wants you to work and prove to her that you have what it takes. Something as simple as collecting vegetables and bringing them back so she can show you how to prepare food for your falcon. Different recipes that you will gather on your journey will help your falcon in different ways such as replenishing energy.
You will learn of these outposts that need to be shut down to help relinquish the evil power that is trying to take over the land. What you have to worry about are the enemies that protect the outposts as well as the sensors that surround these outposts at different areas as they will shoot your falcon with needles that you then need to call in and pull them out while your falcon is weak. The first time I saw this, I had this sadness as you don’t want to see your friend hurt. But one thing to remember is, petting your falcon does help replenish some of its health as well, so use that to the best of your abilities.
Within your journey, you do have access to a map that will show you where you need to go by the markings on the map that can also be flipped. I would recommend saving when you can and upgrading your falcon when you can as well. I will say that there are quite a few times that you will have to go back and forth in order to find out what you should do in the next part of your journey. I do wish a few times that there would have been a way to fast travel back to your Auntie’s as it would have made things quicker at times. But I totally understand where the direction the developer was trying to go with here.
What I really like is how Outerloop games from the beginning, shares the bond between the main character and the falcon and makes you care about the friendship you two have. I don’t want to go too much in detail about what all you have to do, who you might meet or some of the answers you will make to the questions that you will be asked as Falcon Age is something that is really special and should be experienced in Virtual Reality.
Let’s talk about graphics. Seeing your falcon’s feathers move freely along with how the developer has captured the beauty of the flying mechanics is really an art that I for one appreciate. The colors of the art style from your falcon to the wasteland really bring this journey to life.
On the sound aspect of things, hearing your falcon talk in its own language sounds as authentic as it could be without actually having a falcon right next to you. I loved the background music as at lowered at the right moments and picked right back up where it needed to. There were some dips in the dialog where a character would only say a few words and then you would hear nothing. I can see where it might be distracting for some, but I tried to not let that affect my time spent with Falcon Age.
If anything I would like to see added would is more areas to explore. Since the Falcon Age is not all open world, looking at the map there is so much more I would love to go and see. But one of the features that I do love is how the developer allows you to answer the questions by rotating the controller like how you would move a dial. It is just a simple, yet interesting way of doing things that I hope to see more of.
Falcon Age brings something new as to the way we interact in Virtual Reality and how things will interact with us. It takes a simple idea of bringing this trust between two living things and shows that the bond is stronger than anything that could be imagined. As in life if you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you, it’s yours. But sometimes that love will always be there no matter how far apart you may be.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I am going to see what other tricks my falcon can do.