The Falconeer first soared onto the Xbox Series X as part of its launch window! Being met with critical acclaim, it became the envy of most as one of the first true Next Generation titles and one of Series X’s only exclusives. Now, with a new set of missions and optimized for older hardware, The Falconeer is setting off for PlayStation hardware and Nintendo Switch! While I let this one fly right by on Xbox, I was excited to find out what I was missing with the release of Warrior Edition!

The Falconeer has a story unlike one I’ve ever seen. You play as a fabled, and feared, Falconeer in the middle of a war against all who would oppose your rich employer. The beauty of this game is that your story isn’t set in stone. You can take up all sorts of contracts and missions to influence your path. You’re a hired gun and the game makes it known that you’re expendable.

The best way for me to describe the combat of The Falconeer is taking the rails off of Star Fox. While the bird felt much like controlling an Arwing, it was very freeing to fly through true 3D-space once I got the hang of it. Diving down from the clouds and pulling off tricks is my favorite part of the game. Escort missions where we simply glide along and take in the view happened to be my most fun times!

The Falconeer isn’t a flying simulator and, honestly, I think it should’ve been. By just the third chapter I began to groan every time I’d get into another dogfight. What should’ve been the best element of a shooter, the combat, turned into multiple hour grinding sessions I could barely stand. Even after lowering the difficulty, A.I. didn’t feel tough to maneuver around or take on. They simply felt like sponges. Ironically, the DLC content was far more balanced out than anything from the main campaign.

The Falconeer looks simplistic. It feels “arcadey.” In spite of not coming from the era, an era I didn’t live in, it gives me this sense of nostalgia attached to early 3D titles. If things were balanced just a little bit better, I think The Falconeer could easily have been one of my favorite titles of this new generation. I’d recommend The Falconeer with the same mindset I’d recommend a JRPG. Are you willing to put up with a grind to get down to a wonderful core? I wasn’t. I know many others will be.