While it had its technical missteps, it’s attractive falconry mechanics and colorful visuals shone through. The experience is largely the same, outside of some modest improvements, on other VR platforms.
I played through a short demo on the Rift S at PAX West that took place midway into the game. The controls, visuals, and gameplay mechanics all felt similar to the PSVR version. The colorful environments looked vibrant and combat felt mostly responsive, although some bugs and technical issues still hindered the experience.
For those new to the Outerloop Games’ adventure, Falcon Age is a first person adventure that follows Ara as she uses the lost art of falcon hunting against a force of automated colonizers. It hits the Epic Games Store today, making it compatible with the Oculus Rift, Steam VR headsets like the HTC Vive, and Windows VR. The new version also comes with balance changes, new enemies, new bird skins, and even a slightly new ending that comes from your choices. All new content will come to every version of the game with an update today.
My e 20-minute playthrough had me fight a few robots and take down several towers and open gates in order to progress. Aiming my falcon attacks with a laser beam, calling her back to my arm, removing needles after she had been attacked, and working my electric whip with the Rift controller were all satisfying and remarkably similar to the other versions of the game. Nothing was lost in translation.
Navigating with smooth locomotion worked well, meaning that post-PSVR release updates are included in the PC VR version at launch. Outerloop Games creative director Chandana Ekanayake confirmed that Falcon Age was originally developed on PC VR, meaning the build up to the launch this month was smooth.
Outside of a tricky save spot that kept me locked in the grips of an enemy robot after each respawn, the demo was trouble-free. I didn’t notice any performance issues during any of my scraps with enemy robot thugs. And just like the PSVR versions, combat is completely optional so you don’t even have to engage in the first place.
I didn’t notice how balance changes affected gameplay or experience the new ending and enemies that Ekanayake mentioned, but I did get to test out some of the new bird skins. While only a small addition, the range and variety of skins are absolutely wonderful and add a nice bit of extra charm to catching your falcon on your arm.
If you haven’t been able to try Falcon Age due to its PSVR-only launch earlier this year, the PC launch has all the updates and content that have come to it since April. While I only had a short time with my demo, I felt it was indicative of the full game. It’s still the bright, meaningful adventure it was when it came out earlier this year.
Maybe a Quest port is in the cards next?