Stories of colonialism are somewhat common in games media. New people arriving to uncharted places where they have tasked with exploring and taking resources from the area. Falcon Age is a story about Anti-Colonialism. During my demo at PAX East, I sat down with Chandan Ekanayake, Director of Outer Loop Games, he described the game as just that. His pitch was, “What if the English Era of Colonization continued, and become automated by robots instead of humans performing the task?”
You play as Ara, a young adult living during this robotic colonization. Ara’s ancestors were falcon hunters and it is a tradition passed down for generations. There is a special bond between a falcon and the hunter in her culture, and this relationship is symbiotic. You both began to depend on each other more and more, and the bond grows stronger.
In your fight against the robot colonizers, you use your falcon for long range combat while your character is equipped with a baton. Combat is complex and this is one of the times where the bond you share with your falcon really shines. Whipping a sentry-type enemy to get it dazed then sending your falcon to pull them up in the air to expose a weak spot always feels fun. You get into a rhythm when engaging with enemies, that never gets old and always provides something new.
During combat encounters, you need to be mindful about your falcon’s health. When its health gets low, it will become less responsive to your commands. Your health doesn’t diminish as much, but you must remain mindful of the bird’s. You both have taken an unspoken oath to protect each other, and you must uphold it as much as you can.
While you are venturing around in the Port Loop region you often find, the rest points are bird foundations. Which serve as points for your falcon to grab something to drink and you pour out water for your bird. The game is chock full of moments where you have to help your falcon. The phrase, “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” is very applicable here. You help your falcon and it helps you more and more.
During the demo I was tasked with dismantling a refinery, and the robots which are working there. Walking up to the area in which it was in, it was smokey and had orange hues surrounding the area. Upon liberating the area, the area morphed into more bluish tones. It was as if the area had just had new life breathed into it and was once more in touch with nature.
Falcon Age is telling a story about culture, and how far people go to destroy it as well as the lengths people go to rebel against those forces. It is a game which is soaked in tradition and about persevering your culture before it potentially gets pushed out and forgotten. The residents are worried about becoming lost and worried about to potetitanlly to find a new home.You are one who will be able to bring your people this sense of liberation to your people.