The Falconeer: Warrior Edition – Review
Follow Genre: Open world adventure game
Developer: Tomas Sala
Publisher: Wired Productions
Platform: Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC
Tested on: Switch

The Falconeer: Warrior Edition – Review

Site Score
Good: An expansive aerial open world that is a joy to explore
Bad: Switch version's visuals aren't very impressive
User Score
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.3/10 (3 votes cast)

The Falconeer originally debuted as a launch title on Xbox Series X|S in November 2020, as a timed console exclusive. The one-man project now comes soaring onto the PS4, the PS5 and the Switch in the form of The Falconeer: Warrior Edition. The original debuted to mixed reviews, but then resolved a plethora of issues with its Kraken update, and the Warrior Edition now expands upon this, offering what is likely to be the definitive version of The Falconeer. Get ready to take to the skies, as we take a look at The Falconeer: Warrior Edition to determine whether this is a flight worth taking.


Set in an open world known as the Great Ursee, where giant flying beasts are the main mode of transportation, The Falconeer’s story centers around an assassination attempt on the empress. This plot is not told in a linear manner, but through the viewpoint of a variety of different characters, each involved in their own tale that ties into the overarching plot. Each of these tales comprises a separate chapter, and the order in which these are played is left up to the player. You won’t get the entirety of the main story unless you’ve played through each chapter, and the various chapters offer different insights from the various factions that inhabit the Great Ursee. Naturally, the characters featured in these tales interact with one another at some point, and characters that you play as in their respective chapter appear as NPCs in other chapters.


While we can’t vouch for the PS4 or PS5 versions of The Falconeer, it seems like the graphics took a hit in the Switch port. Aesthetically, the world of the Great Ursee is a joy that speaks to the imagination, filled with giant birds, pirates, and otherworldly creatures. In practice though, the game suffers from low poly models, soft textures, and jagged edges, especially while playing the game in handheld mode. Human character designs also look less detailed than they should. Some sacrifices had to be made of course, given the Switch’s lower graphical processing power, and it seems like this was a matter of performance over shiny visuals. The game manages to keep up its framerate, which is impressive given the amount of on-screen action at any given time, meaning that although the visuals aren’t all that impressive for the Switch port, at least they don’t hamper the gameplay experience. Also of note is the dynamic day and night cycle as well as the various weather effects, as they provide a wide array of colours in the skies.


The Falconeer’s OST was composed by Benedict Nichols, whose work you may have heard in indie titles like Before We Leave or Omno. The Falconeer’s dark and epic soundtrack is a testament to Nichols’ talent as a composer, and we found ourselves listening to it even while we weren’t playing the game. There is also a decent amount of voice acting present during the narrative parts of the game, and naturally the sounds of screeching eagles and roaring dragons are plentiful during the game’s combat. It all adds up to an impressive soundscape.


The Falconeer is built around aerial combat, with your character of choice riding on the back of a giant beast. The creatures that feature in the game aren’t limited to just falcons, despite what the title would have you believe. Throughout your time with the game, you’ll also be able to take to the skies on the back of phoenixes and even pteranodons. Given the recent re-release of Skyward Sword HD, it would seem logical to make the comparison between The Falconeer and the Loftwing mechanics of the aforementioned Zelda title, but The Falconeer’s gameplay is actually more akin to the Starfox series. Each chapter lets you roam around the Great Ursee freely, but tasks you with completing story missions first and foremost, and your aim is of course to play through each faction’s story missions in order to fully unravel the overarching story.

Controlling your bird (or flying reptile) is easy to learn but hard to master, and is very intuitive. Basic controls are simple enough: you fly around with your left stick and control the camera with the right stick, and you’re able to lock on to enemies at the push of a button. One of the main elements for success in The Falconeer’s aerial dogfights is in its stamina system, which you’ll need to learn to master to be able to pull off the necessary actions, such as barrel rolls. The game eases you into some of its more advanced mechanics gradually, with some of the more complicated weaponry requiring you to earn enough in-game currency to be able to purchase it as an upgrade. This means you can tailor your loadout to your playstyle gradually, as you discover what you prefer. Do you go for heavier weaponry that slows you down or do you prefer a swifter, more agile avian companion in exchange for damage output? The choice is yours.

Your weaponry is battery powered, and will need to be recharged occasionally too. This is done by flying into lightning storms, which adds another dimension to the gameplay. Not that The Falconeer needed any more variety, because this is a surprisingly well-developed world, with a wide array of areas and creatures that inhabit it, ranging from krakens to airships and everything in between. The world speaks so much to the imagination that we were a bit disappointed that the open-world mechanics weren’t fleshed out more. Don’t get us wrong, we loved the aerial combat and its intricacies and this is where The Falconeer’s core experience lies, but if anything, we’d love to have a true open-world game that lets us fully explore the Great Ursee freely at ground level as well.

Your collection of creatures will grow as you progress through the game, and apart from upgrading and expanding your weapons arsenal, you are also able to customize the actual beasts as well. The various critters all have their own stats, with some able to reach higher maximum speeds and others having greater defense values or more stamina, but you can optimize everything even further by purchasing mutagens. These will “mutate” your creature, which boils down to adding permanent buffs to certain stats, depending on the mutation that you bought from the shop. This adds yet another layer of depth to an already highly customizable game. One would expect that having this many elements present would spoil the game by becoming overly complicated, but there is an element that prevents The Falconeer from falling into that trap and that is because it was designed with a focused, singular vision.

We mentioned it earlier in the review, but we’re going to repeat this now because we cannot stress it enough: The Falconeer is a one-man project. The entirety of the game was developed by Tomas Sala, with the exception of the OST, which as we mentioned was composed by Benedict Nichols. The majority of the game’s audience isn’t going to realize how monumental Sala’s undertaking was to bring this game to their screen, but knowing this left us feeling even more impressed with the end result. The Warrior Edition also includes The Hunter DLC, which adds a new class as well as the awesome Ormir Dragon. The massive amount of content included here means that you’re getting a whole lot of bang for your buck here, and with a massive menagerie of creatures to ride on, each with its own stats, the replayability of The Falconeer means that this is a title that you’ll be spending quite some time with.


While we’re still waiting for a decent Starfox title to hit the Switch, The Falconeer: Warrior Edition successfully scratches that itch if you’re eager to play an arcade title centered around aerial combat and barrel rolls. The combat mechanics are great and the fully fleshed-out world and various stories make for a setting that really manages to draw you in. If you’re able to play this title on a platform other than the Switch, we’d recommend doing so, as you won’t be taking as much of a visual hit. If you were put off by the mixed reviews of the Xbox launch edition, then we recommend you reconsider, as The Falconeer: Warrior Edition definitely is a title worth checking out.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.3/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
The Falconeer: Warrior Edition - Review, 9.3 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

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