The Nintendo Switch has a broad library of multi-platform games, but publisher Wired Productions has confirmed one of the more intriguing download titles to transition to the hybrid system. Yes, it was beaten to the punch by an early eShop game page, but The Falconeer: Warrior Edition is announced and officially coming to the eShop; we've been fortunate enough to preview the title ahead of time.
First, the release details - The Falconeer: Warrior Edition heads to Switch on 5th August, it'll be priced at $29.99 / €29.99 / £24.99 on the eShop, with a retail version at £29.99 /€34.99 /$34.99. It'll include the existing DLC from the Xbox version and also an all-new expansion, 'The Edge of the World'; this new content will include "additional sidequests, map locations, a self-contained story, and myriad new items to add even more depth to The Great Ursee".
It's a title that looks impressive to the eye but is clearly led by strong visual design and smart systems
The Falconeer has an intriguing history. It is mostly the creation of one man, Tomas Sala, along with a small number of valuable contributors. It also launched alongside the Xbox Series X/S before coming to Game Pass, making it one of the few new games to arrive on that system day one; as a result it got plenty of focus. It was a showcase on the new hardware, supporting native 4K and 120fps; it's a title that looks impressive but is clearly led by strong visual design and smart systems. As a result it's been able to make a wonderful transition to Switch.
Rather than the usual fuzz-o-vision at 30fps that blights a number of ports that downscale from the newest hardware to Switch, this scalable game comes out looking rather lovely on Switch, and at a steady 60fps. From a purely technical perspective if this was a small download-only title from Nintendo we'd say "of course", as it's smooth and beautiful on the system.
Of course, it's an Indie project so that should be remembered; in-game looks fantastic, but some brief cutscenes in which a mystical woman appears are a little rougher; the stuff that matters, though — soaring around the game's world — looks and feels excellent in motion. It holds up very well docked, and though the resolution drops as expected in portable play it's still an absolute pleasure on the eyes.
Anyway, about the actual game, The Falconeer is intriguing and feels rather unique - in our opinion this is certainly a positive. It can take a little getting used to, at first, as you have to remember you're riding a giant falcon and not flying a fighter plane. Momentum is a factor; if you want more natural speed flapping your wings for a boost drains energy fast, so you need to look for wind currents or do what an actual bird would do - soar high and then dive to build speed. There's a lovely organic feel to movement, as the bird won't simply bank like a jet when you turn, it needs to flow into the move. You can barrel roll, though, so don't worry.
Though you have a map and radar of sorts, combat also feels quite naturalistic, as natural as giant birds firing cannons at each other can feel. Your crosshair is small and it feels more like chaotic dogfighting of early 20th Century than modern combat of computer-driven lock-ons and missiles. It's rather enthralling.
Each landmark triggers a lovely swoosh of the camera as it's marked, and you can take in the surrounds before jumping into missions
We've stuck to early game in our captured footage above, but we're already very much enjoying the world this game creates. For one thing there's very little tutorial-led guidance, to the point that after some early struggles we dropped the difficulty, started again and began to find our feet. After the prologue you pick which chapter to undertake but there's a logical order to follow, and you can simply opt to explore and fly around should the mood take you. Each landmark triggers a lovely swoosh of the camera as it's marked, and you can take in the surrounds before jumping into missions.
It's a beautiful and odd world. Different groups and cultures have unique architecture, there's the 'Maw' in the middle of the map, a strange trench into which the sea collapses, and all sorts of rocky outcrops to find. You can swoop to catch and eat fish, or simply glide through the clouds. The sprawling sea is a marvel too, with impressive wave effects that, delightfully, have transitioned well to Nintendo's console.
In terms of mission structure, there's an element of figuring things out yourself. One seller says you need to complete a race to unlock his wares, but doesn't tell you anything else; exploring the home base and looking for environmental storytelling reveals the path. Story missions, at least early on, are snappy and introduce different mechanics. In some cases you're in dogfights, delivering goods or simply going on patrols. Story briefings are voiced with some entertaining acting, and we've been enjoying the slow-drip of details so far.
There's plenty we're yet to discover, included various upgrades to our feathered friend. Even if much of what to come is more of the same, the feel of the game is so delightful that we probably won't mind. Fly between checkpoints, shoot at things, fly home - the setting is so enthralling that, ultimately, we're happy doing just that.
Don't overlook The Falconeer. It's a fascinating game and, in the best possible news, it does itself huge credit on Nintendo Switch.
I'll check it out eventually. I've been interested, just not in a rush to buy it yet.
To many games in my backlog.
Huh, looks interesting. It might be fun.
When Wind Waker met Skyward Sword and invite Battleship, Skies of Arcadia, Star Fox, and Panzer Dragoon to the party. Such an interesting title, definitely will check it out for sure.
Did I miss reading the switch resolution? Any game can run at 60fps if it’s at 3ds resolutions.
@sixrings I haven't pixel counted (more a Digital Foundry thing) so won't pretend I have, but I said a few times that I think it's a beautiful looking game. The publisher says its 1080p docked, it either is or very close with some dynamic resolution, equally it's nice in portable mode too.
@ThomasBW84 well if the publisher said that then it should be in the article taken with a grain of salt the same way activision claimed crash 4 was 1080p. But thanks for the info.
Looks interesting! I'm much more excited about this than Skyward Sword HD.
Looks pretty good but I’m certain a Falcon can’t do a barrel roll in real life!
@HamatoYoshi If I ever find a Falcon big enough to carry me, it's a theory worth trying out.
@HamatoYoshi you'd be surprised, sparrow hawks will fly along one side of a hedge then barrel roll over them to take out other flying birds. Kites and other birds of prey can be very agile in the skies!
It looks like an interesting game but the graphics/art style don't do it for me at all. Why is every level dark or foggy? Most of the time in the videos above, I can't see what they're even shooting at. Maybe it's just me but it'll be a hard pass for me.
I was really excited when I first read the news and saw the trailer yesterday, but after seeing how all the user and critics kind of destroyed the game in the reviews for other platforms, I think I will just pass.
What’s with Xbox games and giant, enemy crabs?
I played this on Xbox One X, but the port looks nice.
Could be 720p/60.
@sixrings Probably minimum 720p/60 on Switch.
The Falconeer does some tricks where the GUI is native or close to native , to keep all text and gui elements as crisp as possible.
But the 3D game world is then up sampled from a much lower resolution, but with a beefier AA than normal. (SMAA)
Its 1080 for the GUI and 720 for the 3D world docked.
720p and 450p in handheld mode.
The game uses no textures (anywhere including the GUI) so crispness is prioritized for the GUI, and smoothness of play for the Gameworld. It works quite well and has got the game to 60fps without any content sacrifices (same setpieces and unit counts as on other platforms)
hope that explains some things.. as usual its a bit more complicated than saying its 720 or 1080 for switch.
I am curious but I hope that there is an option to mute the voice over. Nails on chalkboard for me.
@FalconeerDev Thanks for the tech info, always nice when devs comment here. This game just got even more interesting to me because of this, shows you care about the community!
@FalconeerDev a demo would be helpful. But thank you for your follow up.
Thx, I do a lot of community outreach myself, as people mentioned it's a game that draws a lot praise and a lot of critique. It's a genre bender with some artistic ambition, and sometimes that's a lot more complex than just a cool 3rd person action game. And at its heart it is a WWI style air combat game, and you'll actually need to get comfortable with that kind of gameplay, to enjoy it.
So I've learned to just wade in and listen, listen some more. I've been listening and reading (replying and helping where neccesary) since november now.
I think we're easily 10+ major updates deep with regular updates having been done multiple times per month. Including 3 major content updates. With the majority of the changes being made based upon user feedback.
So you can always hit me up, here , on discord, twitter or reddit with questions ore requests. The game's discord can attest to the huge amount of community requests that got into the game.
I am hoping all that work will pay for the Switch version and switch players, and you will all receive a game that is truly a grade above what it was at launch!
But you all are going to be the judge of that!
Again, Nintendo and Microsoft show love for each other. That’s... so touching. dries tears
I will be playing this one. These are the types of experiences I look for on my Nintendo Switch. Everything about this game is up my alley as long as it reviews well.
Okay! This looks interesting.
Interesting for those unable to play it elsewhere. I've tried it a few times but just can't get to grips with the controls and give up quickly.
Personally, I would rather see GamePass on Switch than getting charged to play each game individually like this.
@Lando_ This game is also coming to PlayStation 4 & 5 as well btw.
I'll bet you already hate the PS5/XBSX.
A LOT of dynamic resolution happening on those 2 with Returnal actually upscaling 1080p per DF.
I'm assuming you're a PC gamer though who worked/lucked into a 3080.
I've wanted to play this, and almost bought it physically in anticipation of getting a series x. Never been able to get a series x, so maybe Switch at half the frame rate will be the way to go. Sounds like a cool game.
looks like panzer dragoon but only with a falcon. looks really fun
I played this on game pass and it wasn't for me.
It was just a bit boring flying between the 'Open World' locations
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