I don’t know what would be scarier, having to contend with the mutated townsfolk and monsters in a destroyed world, or having to navigate the political tight-rope of trying to gain votes and pass measures. They sound equally terrifying but Fallen Legion Revenants has managed to turn this into a rather interesting affair, as you will be splitting your time between doing both!
Fallen Legion Revenants starts right away with you in control of Lucien, a politician and member on the council in charge of running the Welkin Castle. This floating castle, which serves as the last bastion for mankind, is ruled by Ivor, who does so with an iron-fist of Ivor. Lucien’s goal is simple: to overthrow Ivor and save those in the castle.
In order to do this, he will have to form an alliance with Ivor’s previous chancellor, Rowena, who is currently a ghostly Revenant after being unfairly executed by Ivor. Rowena has her own goals to accomplish as well, primarily to rescue her imprisoned son from the grips of her murderer.
Down below, a corrupting miasma has covered the countryside, turning any remaining survivors into horribly mutated creatures, with only remnants of their humanity and will. While researching ways to help those in Welkin Castle, Lucien stumbled on texts that detail the magical beings known as Exemplars, beings of great strength who have long-since died, but whose souls now inhabit the weapons they once wielded.
The story has branching decisions and will see Lucien negotiating, lying, forming alliances, and betraying others all in an effort to fulfill his plans. These interactions can lead to different outcomes and improve or tarnish your relationships with other members of the council. After completing the various chapters in Revenants though, you can replay them and make different decisions, letting you see how they pan out. There are some interesting interactions to be sure, but I was never really drawn into the story. You get dropped so suddenly into it with events already transpiring, that I felt I was left on the back-foot from the get-go. I was trying to just figure who everyone was and what I was supposed to be doing, that developing connections with the supporting cast was more of an afterthought.. With no journal to refer back to, keeping track of who was who and what their roles were proved to be a bigger annoyance than it should be.
Combat is where this game shines, and is my favorite aspect of Revenants. Battles take place on a 2d plane on tiles, three for yourself and four for your enemies. Various attacks and abilities will move enemies or your team around the battlefield. There are other abilities that can apply special effects, such as health regen or poison, to a specific tile. Having to pay attention to which tile has effects applied to them and making sure to pull and push your enemies onto them were welcome additional elements that I appreciated. I always like it when combat systems have some interesting mechanics to work around.
Each Exemplar character in your party is assigned to individual face buttons that you choose prior to setting out, with unique skills to unlock and an element attribute associated with them. Rowena will support the Exemplars with her own variety of spells and flourishes which can range from healing allies to fireballs that will push enemies away or closer to you. You will be busy swapping around positions of your characters, triggering special buffs, defending and reflecting back damage, and utilizing all the spells and abilities. It can be a bit overwhelming at the beginning and you will likely find yourself button mashing, but as you get a better grasp of the mechanics, you can start putting together really devastating combos.
Your forces include the likes of master fencer Aleister, the double-sided scythe-wielding Evania, and the heavily-armored Zulfiqar among many others. The most excited I got while playing was whenever I found a new Exemplar and seeing what all they do and how they play. Unfortunately though, outside of initial short “tutorials” when you unlock the character, there is little in the way of testing out party compositions and team synergy before taking them into actual combat.
After putting down the controller, I came away from my time from Fallen Legion Revenants wishing it was more polished. The abrupt transitions to loading screens, the omission of a journal and practice modes, and the beginning dropping you into what feels like an already established story, made the overall package feel rough.
There’s potential here and I really did enjoy the combat and finding more Exemplars and were the highlights of my time with the game. Compared to the other steller RPGs NIS has put out recently, Fallen Legion Revenants could have benefited from more polish to help it stand alongside them better. It’s not bad, but it’s not all that great either.
Fallen Legion Revenants is available now on both the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.
This game was reviewed on a PlayStation 4 Pro system with a review code provided by the game’s publisher.