During PlayStation’s big State of Play stream earlier this week they revealed that Falcon Age is officially launching for PSVR (and non-VR on PS4) in just a couple of weeks on April 9th, 2019. Then we also got the chance to go hands-on with Falcon Age at a pre-PAX East demo event and spend some time playing with the adorable bird ourselves. We first played it at PAX West and once again we were impressed with what we saw this time around.
Much to my surprise, there appears to be a lot more going on here than I originally anticipated. At first glance it’s easy to dismiss Falcon Age as a pet-focused simulation game that lets you handle the bird, feed it, and spend time with (you can do all those things) but that’s far from all that Falcon Age has to offer. In actuality, there is a full world ready and waiting to be explored.
Falcon Age is a single-player story-drive first-person action adventure game that follows a character named Ara. You’ll learn to hunt, gather, and fight with your trusty falcon companion at your side (or on your hand) as you battle to reclaim your legacy and land from colonizing machines.
I didn’t get to see a whole lot of the story in action during my demo, but I got the sense that the narrative will play a big role in pushing things forward and incentivizing your exploration. However, the developer was quick to emphasize that you can play Falcon Age in a variety of ways.
For starters, you can opt-in to a mode that disables the enemy’s ability to spot and attack you. Instead, you can wander freely, explore, and enjoy the atmosphere with little cause for concern. Alternatively, the normal way of playing, actually contains a healthy mix of stealth and combat on top of the bird-based hunting elements. There are crafting bits as well where you can set up a farm, grow foods for your falcon that offer various buffs, and more.
But I think the undeniably most enticing part of Falcon Age is the relationship you can build with your bird. Over the course of the game you’ll unlock rewards and cosmetic items like hats and pieces of clothing to dress up the bird. Some items even offer gameplay bonuses such as improved stealth.
In my demo I got to shake the bird’s hand, give it a fist bump, send it to kill rabbits, have it drop off loot as it flew by, and even locked eyes and made it do a little. It’s cute and honestly makes me wonder what the developer could have done if they’d chosen to double-down on animal interactions for the whole game rather than infusing it with more traditional action/stealth scenarios.
Falcon Age is due out on PS4 with fully functional (but optional) PSVR support on April 9th, 2019. For more details, check out the official PSN page. Let us know what you think down in the comments below!