Windfolk: Sky is just the beginning – Review
Follow Genre: Third-Person Shooter, Action
Developer: Fractal Falls
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Platform: PS4, PS5
Tested on: PS5

Windfolk: Sky is just the beginning – Review

Site Score
3.0
Good: Colorful, Fairly good idea
Bad: Horrible voice acting, Graphical issues, Bland gameplay
User Score
1.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 1.5/10 (2 votes cast)

It’s easy to say that the new generation of consoles hardly has any exclusive titles to win over gamers. Also, the fact that there hasn’t been a proper restock since November isn’t truly helping anyone either. That being said, the following review will actually be a small exclusive Sony published title, by a fairly new Spanish developer. We get to play Windfolk: Sky is just the beginning on PS5, albeit with a PS4 code. The game throws is us into a colorful world, where we can soar through the sky, and ultimately shoot the baddies to save the planet. Were we taken to the next level? Absolutely not.

Story

In Windfolk you’ll be playing as Esen, a very annoying brat, who is fighting for the rebels. These rebels want to stop The Coalition from taking all the trydian the planet has. Of course, this alone would be somewhat boring, thus there’s the backstory of Esen undergoing horrible experiments by The Coalition. The plot never really thickens that much, but at least there is something tangible. We have to say that the writing is absolutely horrible though.

Graphics

At first glance, the game has a few cute assets sprinkled around but that’s basically where all its charm ends. While the colorful nature of the game may be appealing, the constant texture popping, the boring enemies, the somewhat empty world and even the bland main character will snap you back to reality before you are actually immersed. Everything in the game feels like it’s not finished yet. You have all the basic models, but no actual details to draw you in. Even the weapons don’t have any impact when hitting something, the water is just a solid object and you can fly through basically every plant and even the thick tree branches.

The developers also forgot to clean out Spanish text here and there, which feels a bit off (and lazy).

Sound

The sound design of the game is relatively okay. The sound effects present do the trick but they never differentiate and the weapons don’t really have any impact noises. It’s mainly just functional to give a small ‘kick’ to what is going on. The musical soundtrack is quite orchestral and fairly nice but doesn’t always suit the setting. It’s the voice acting that is truly horrible. It’s like watching a children’s program where you learn to count, as the overacting is so bad. Also, the person who wrote the dialogues for this game cannot possibly be older than six years old, as it’s crammed full with potty humor from a bad Nickelodeon show.

Gameplay

Windfolk is a third-person shooter with some flight mechanics thrown in the mix. You will basically either be doing races by flying through colored hoops, or you will be fighting off the forces of The Coalition, those seeking to harvest all the trydian in the world. It all boils down to either pressing down your L2 button the entire time for quicker flight or pressing down the R2 button the entire time for combat. It doesn’t get any more complex than this, and that should already be a hint that the game is not much in terms of combat and even fun for that matter. You can opt to play the story mode, to have a bit of a ‘frame’ around the events, or just play short challenges if that’s what you prefer.

The controls are okayish and you get the things done you are supposed to do. Nonetheless, during flight, we often broke our rapid flight when pressing down L3 for our turbo. More than often it did not register. Other than that, the annoying ‘zoom out’ that happens when pressing the turbo is actually very tedious to deal with.

Combat is probably the worst portion of the game. You just keep the enemies in the oversized reticle and when pressing down R2 and you’ll just keep damaging them. This might be because the game is clearly not made as a proper shooter and the developers just wanted the easy way out. It won’t take long to see the random programming causing the erratic movements of the enemies either. These weird ‘spasms’ of the enemies happen when you damage them for a while, clearly triggering a piece of code that ‘commands’ them to move outside your reticle in the blink of an eye. We reckon this was done to make things more challenging, but it actually makes the combat even more annoying. The game only offers a handful of skills and weapons, but these just unlock when you reach certain stages. There is no actual progression for your character. It’s just flying and shooting in a very boring fashion.

Conclusion

Windfolk: Sky is just the beginning is indeed just the beginning for developer Fractal Falls. While it’s clear that the project was made with some love (and limited resources), this one should not have been released in its current state. The game has certain cute aspects, but it only contains two elements, namely flying around and shooting enemies. The first is always the same, and the second is just plain boring and tedious. With some much-needed additions, such as new weapons, some extra customization options and a bit of gameplay variety, this could have been a nice game. Now, sadly, the game is a bland mess that should have been a playable beta rather than a full release.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 1.5/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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Windfolk: Sky is just the beginning - Review, 1.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

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