Fallen Legion: Sins of an Empire takes a novel approach to the telling of its story. The game released on PlayStation 4 and follows the adventures of Cecille, the young woman who would be the ruler of her people, in the land of Fenumia. While sounding somewhat interesting right out the gate, it is the fact that Fallen Legion: Flames of Rebellion, which was released on the PlayStation Vita, tells an opposing side to the story, taken from the point of view of General Laendur, the antagonist to Cecille. The story on the Vita is very interesting, and a good counterpoint to Sins of an Empire, but the more interesting tale is that of young Cecille. Developer YummyYummyTummy does a good job of taking the story of the struggles of Cecille and mixing it with some very interesting combat, which is the meat of the game.
The story itself in Fallen Legion: Sins of an Empire is fairly decent. I am a fan of a good female protagonist, and Cecille steps into her deceased father’s shoes with a bit of ease, but also faced with a number of difficult decisions along the way. Her key advisor is a talking Grimoire, who provides a great deal of sass, and often times gives advice that makes you wonder about taking morality advice from a talking book. Regardless, it provides a great counterpoint to Cecille’s character and does help guide her along the way. It also assists in the creation of Exemplar’s, manifestations of Fenumia’s fallen warriors that assist Cecille in combat.
The combat in Fallen Legion: Sins of an Empire, of course, is the bulk of the game, as points on the map exist solely to move you from fight to fight, which isn’t a bad thing. The combat is very reminiscent of Valkyrie Profile, whereby each of your 4 characters is tied to one of the face buttons, with Cecille having a few different options for spell casting. There is a meter that fills up, and you press a face button to make an Exemplar attack, and if you chain together enough attacks, there are special finishers that do a variety of things, depending on who is attacking. However, to keep the combos going you need to be blocking or especially parrying attacks from enemies. This is when things get frustrating, because often there will be a number of enemies piled together on screen, and you can’t make out the actions that you need to see to be able to parry effectively. Easily one of the most frustrating parts of the game. When the system does work, and you are attacking, parrying, and pulling off finishers, the game feels great, but that happens too infrequently I found.
Visually, Fallen Legion: Sins of an Empire looks very good, and it reminds me very much of a Vanillaware game, due to the 2D style of the game, but also the impressive character designs and overall aesthetics of the background. The music, however, was an even bigger standout for me. The composers totally nailed it, and I enjoyed the music battle after battle. Epic RPG scoring at its finest, it was great to hear in a game that sometimes didn’t feel as epic as the music, but the music definitely helped lift it up a bit.
All in all, my experience with Fallen Legion: Sins of an Empire was great, but a bit short. The game will take about ten to fifteen hours to beat, though there is an addition of a “One Life Mode” and there is a new game mode, that gives you access to an epilogue which adds a bit of replayability. The game is fun, albeit frustrating when there is too much going on onscreen, and the story is a bit on the light side. Still, it is a solid indie effort, and worth picking up if you enjoy some action in your role-playing games.
A PS4 Review Copy of Fallen Legion: Sins of an Empire was provided by YummyYummyTummy Inc. For the Purpose of this Review.