Fallen Legion Revenants
No, It Is Not A Castlevania Clone
They say never judge a book by its cover. The number of times I called Fallen Legion Revenants a Castlevania clone without knowing anything about the game aside from what I’ve seen on the game case itself is enough to put any librarian to shame. Get it? Because I’m judging a book by its cover, so the librarians who read the books are going to be upset with me for judging the book! I’ll be here all week.
Players who come across Fallen Legion Revenants would be forgiven for thinking so upon first glance, as the main character Rowena (the woman on the right) looks like she’s in direct relation to Soma Cruz, and Lucian on the left looks like the long lost Belmont cousin. It would have been cool to see such a crossover happen on a current generational console what with the main game located in a large castle, evil overlords ruling the kingdom, and an abundance of rotten undead and humans fighting for their sanity. It would feel right at home in a Castlevania plot, but, after the first ten minutes, players will release that this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Fallen Legion Revenants Lets Your Servants Do The Bidding
The general plot for Fallen Legion Revenants focuses on Rowena, a woman who was executed by the main antagonist for reasons not yet disclosed. Her son, however, is locked away in the castle and through sheer force remains a revenant to save her son. Because she’s a specter, she’s unbound to the laws of the living including interacting with humans aside from Lucian, who has his bone to pick with the antagonist as a politician fed up with his rule. Though the two protagonists are opposites, they are united by the single cause of defeating the main antagonist for different reasons in different manners, using their strengths to their advantage.
The majority of the gameplay element is through Rowena and her ability to summon the spirits of soldiers which act as the player’s main party. Rowena can control up to three units, which the ones you start with consist of an armor-clad knight, a swordsman, and a gunner, all with various strengths and weaknesses. Battles take place on various tiles, which determine the range of certain attacks and skills as well as the placements of the enemies themselves. Ideally, it’s best to separate the enemies across various tiles, which are done via the skills of each unit. Some units have the skills to pull the enemy towards a tile while others push them back.
Charm The Rich While Banishing Enemies In A Ditch
The game runs in “real-time,” which is to say that the party is limited to the number of actions they can take until they have to wait to resume combat. Attacking and using spells take up actions, with the latter also requiring magic points to use. Rowena is an exception as she doesn’t actively participate in the fight as a target, but rather she can use her revenant powers to heal her units as well as push and pull the enemies towards and away from them. If a unit is incapacitated, Rowena can revive them though at the cost of her life essence. So, essentially if the units die enough times, it’s game over as Rowena remains defenseless.
While combat makes up a majority of time spent in Revenants, Lucian plays an important role in the land of the living as he engages in conversations and battles of wits amongst his cohorts in the castle. This includes the basics, such as saving data and equipping items to Rowena’s soldiers, but also gaining insight on how to gain ground over the antagonist, Ivor. While Rowena physically attacks Ivor’s troops, Lucian is more of a diplomat, lowering his morale through the usage of correct dialogue choices and swaying public opinion.
A Ghost And A Human -- Fallen Legion Revenants’ Duo
The two gameplay mechanics intercept each other on occasion, as an early instance involves Rowena figuring out the best way to cut off Ivor’s supply route. She finds this out from Lucian who engages in conversation with his cohorts who will tell him information in exchange for favors and saying things that they would like to hear. These, in turn, will either lessen the load on Rowena’s combat or further increase it by avoiding problematic situations altogether. Likewise, items she finds on the field can be given to cohorts to improve their approval of Lucian.
While these are all interesting and unique mechanics, the game is not without its lack of polish. The graphics, on the PS5 and upscaled due to the console’s capabilities, really show how much on the lesser side the sprites are, often showing blurriness and pixelation that wouldn’t be so evident if it were it ran on PS4 and the Switch. In motion, the game isn’t ugly and it’s not as noticeable, but during its cutscenes, players can see the minor nitpicks. The voice acting, mainly the dialogue, makes everyone seemingly have a snarky streak amongst them, which is also off-putting.
A Surprise Undiscovered Gem Minus Dracula
With not much information online on Fallen Legion Revenants, with only a wiki article for the first game, it seems as if the sequel was left ignored with few even knowing it exists. Is it an underrated gem that few had discovered, in that regard? Probably not, but it is at least worth a try maybe during a sale as the risks the devs take with the uniqueness of the gameplay is admirable, were it not for the hard-to-follow story and dialogue that tends to try too hard. It has an identity that’s unique to itself, which is far more deserving than my initial thoughts on it being simply a “Castlevania RPG.”
Fallen Legion Revenants is available on the Switch and PS4.