Falcon Age is finally available on Steam, after initially having been playable on a Playstation 4, both with and without PSVR. The full game is now available on PC, with support for various headsets including, Oculus Rift (Quest 2), HTC Vive, Valve Index and Windows Mixed Reality. We were able to review both the mouse and keyboard version as well as with a VR headset. For this review, we used an Oculus Quest 2 with a link cable that you can use to play PC VR games from different sources.

The first thing I noticed was Falcon Age’s unique setting that takes place on a colonised planet where robots have enslaved humans and taken over. The story speaks of the legendary falcon hunters who are capable of freeing everyone from the grasp of the robot overlords. We play as one such inexperienced hunter and her trusty companion who join to end the oppressive reign with the help of her Aunt.

The falcon does grow on you quite fast due to how expressive she is, but I couldn’t say the same for most of the people you meet throughout. Their dialogue writing does feel a bit uninspired with some strong choices of words that are meant to invoke their culture but end up falling a bit flat.

What is confusing is that it gives you choices for dialogue, but there are no consequences or benefits to what you pick. A lot of the time, you will just be forced to select the correct choice anyway, so it doesn’t really change anything. Sure it feels really cool to flip through dialogue choices by rotating your wrist in VR, but it doesn’t feel much more than a gimmick.

The story itself whilst interesting doesn’t really have many satisfying beats, and certain events like the ending don’t have the same gut-punch they are screaming to have. Since this was hugely focused on VR, as mentioned, a lot of the game’s focus is on interactivity, whether it be with items around you or your avian friend. You have a variety of ways to interact with your falcon, such as giving it fist bumps, stroking it in VR, and even getting it to hunt and grab items for you.

However, I notice that a lot of the magic is lost when playing with a mouse and keyboard or controller setup, and you don’t have the same connection with the falcon and the environment. If you were to play on traditional controls alone, the game might feel a tad simple. Not to mention, the overblown and uninspired UI design feels more suited for the comfort of VR as well. Still, when you start interacting with elements yourself in VR, the same familiarity quickly becomes an exciting adventure.

It really is something whistling for the Falcon by moving a VR controller to your face and pressing the interact button, before reaching your hand out for it to land on it. It never gets old, and you really feel a bond with your companion. It is especially great to see its wide-range of emotes where it can play with various things you give it. Did we mention, you can give it a variety of super cool hats?

This was also one of the first things we tried via the Oculus Quest 2, which is super easy to set up with a PC. What we can’t get over is how liberating playing in VR can be. We are so used to just walking around quickly in a game’s environment that we sometimes forget to appreciate its interesting nooks and corners.

However, with VR, I was usually trying to look behind objects or even duck underneath tables. I kept trying to find the crouch button until it dawned on me, that I can literally just crouch with VR. When this level of freedom is mixed with the unique interactivity Falcon Age offers, it starts being a lot of fun. You can mine ores with your pickaxe by hitting it, attack enemies with your weapon and move around in room scale if you have space.

Sadly, this doesn’t feel as magical without VR and starts feeling like a simple game. Whilst it can be fun to see the environments by yourself in VR, they aren’t particularly varied and all feature a similar aesthetic to one another. Not to mention, you can complete the game in 5 hours or even less if you play with traditional controls

The non-combat option is a nice touch, however, allowing different players to take on the game without feeling intimidated. This setting allows you to really focus more on the core falcon interactions.

Overall, if you are a VR user this is definitely worth getting, especially if it is your first foray into PCVR gaming. Sure it is still quite charming without VR, but a lot of the essence is lost otherwise with mostly recycled environments and lacklustre dialogue system, so I can’t definitively recommend it to non-VR users.