Platform reviewed: PS5
Obtainable on: PS5, PS4, PC
Launch date: February 1, 2024
Granblue Fantasy: Relink is lastly right here, and no matter whether or not you’re accustomed to the franchise or not, it’s been well worth the look ahead to what’s in the end an unmissable expertise for motion role-playing sport (RPG) followers.
Relink’s circulate is quick and energetic – one thing that you just’ll really feel all through each side of the title. That goes for story development, fight, facet quests, and even cutscenes. The motion RPG not often feels prefer it’s dragging its heels, and that is accentuated by a compact 15-20 hour marketing campaign that’s delightfully wanting to get you to endgame content material as quickly as attainable.
Even for those who’re solely staying for the story, you’ll nonetheless get a wonderful slice of well-told narrative and blisteringly-paced fight that solely will get higher as you improve your favourite characters and weapons. Nevertheless, you’ll seemingly discover you wish to stick with Granblue Fantasy: Relink for the lengthy haul, as the bottom sport has an distinctive quantity of content material earlier than we’ve even had a whiff of post-launch extras or downloadable content material (DLC).
Granblue Fantasy: Relink takes the collection’ protagonist (Gran or Djeeta, who you’re freely in a position to change between) and their crew to the Zegagrande Skydom – a mass of floating islands within the sky – of their continued seek for the fabled land of Estalucia, stated to be a utopia among the many clouds. It’s a story that carries on the occasions of the unique cellular sport’s story. And whereas having some prior data right here is sweet, it’s removed from important exterior of understanding the occasional reference.
That’s as a result of Granblue Fantasy: Relink boasts a newcomer-friendly narrative that’s nonetheless a lot entertaining. Plus, a fully-featured glossary will get you up to the mark on any ideas or terminologies that could be international for those who haven’t engaged with the collection up to now. Not sure as to what a ‘skydom’ even is, or wish to be taught extra concerning the races that inhabit them? The glossary’s received your again. The pre-established lore will be daunting, however the sport helps you completely in relation to studying concerning the wider franchise.
Regardless, Granblue Fantasy: Relink’s story is easy however efficient. It’s primarily involved with hopping the participant from place to position and protecting a brisk tempo whereas doing so. This focus signifies that its cutscenes and writing, whereas wonderful on their very own, don’t overshadow the perfect a part of Granblue Fantasy: Relink; its phenomenal fight.
Granblue Fantasy: Relink sees you taking a squad of 4 characters into its numerous missions, however you’ll solely be controlling whoever’s within the lead slot. In single-player, your different social gathering members are AI-controlled. This function isn’t as a lot of a hindrance as it might sound, although, as you’re in a position to swap different characters into the lead slot any time throughout a mission. And you might wish to, because the AI can usually neglect they’ve entry to essential buffs and expertise and, often, stand straight in entrance of oncoming assaults with out even making an attempt to evade them which did result in the occasional irritating loss of life.
Most characters have a collection of bread-and-butter combos, that are often a string of primary assaults adopted by a powerful assault enter. This assault fashion is common throughout the solid, however every character additionally has their very own traits and highly effective expertise to set them aside. The protagonist’s principal gimmick, for instance, is that their expertise turn into stronger (as much as 4 ranges) as you dish out combos.
Most others on the solid are simply as distinctive and fascinating. Narmaya can swap between two distinctive stances for what is actually two totally different transfer units, much like how she performs in Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising. Vaseraga, then again, is a juggernaut who can land charged assaults to construct up a gauge that lets him entry much more potent skills.
Granblue Fantasy: Relink’s story boss fights are the spotlight right here. Usually towering in scope, every brings ahead distinctive mechanics that make studying each encounter really feel satisfying and rewarding.
The primary takeaway right here is that Granblue Fantasy: Relink merely feels wonderful to play. I had a blast taking part in with the immensely assorted roster of characters and figuring out how their playstyles might greatest synergize with a celebration of 4. There’s a lot experimentation right here that means that you can form a perfect group. You possibly can have devoted healers and help characters amongst your ranks. Or for those who’re feeling daring, go all-out offensive with powerhouse characters to rinse bosses faster on the expense of the workforce being extra susceptible.
Finishing quests and aims affords you mastery factors, which will be spent on each character’s exhaustive ability tree, every of which is cut up into offensive and defensive expertise and stat boosts. On high of that, characters’ weapons will be cast, leveled up, and affixed with gadgets that add extra stat modifiers. Then there’s sigils, that are basically equippable motes that provide additional stat upgrades. And these are important for shaping character builds to your liking.
That stated, Relink isn’t solely a numbers sport. Stats assist, after all, and beefier characters are required for tougher quests. However evasive choices like dodges, guards, and parries imply that expert gamers are rewarded for getting proper in a boss’ grill with out backing down.
It definitely could be a lot to absorb, although, particularly as you start unlocking new characters. It could take time to determine the place to take a position your mastery factors and improve supplies greatest. Fortunately, Relink does a stable job of introducing all these methods over time. And quest rewards are usually plentiful, which means you’ll be doing little or no grinding even within the early levels of its endgame.
An image value a thousand phrases
Granblue Fantasy: Relink gives a wonderful entry level for collection newcomers, and presents slick fight with a moreish development loop. To high all of it off, the RPG is extremely stunning. Regardless of being totally 3D, Relink nails the painterly look of the cellular sport.
Characters function detailed cel-shading with hand-drawn touches like armor and weapon put on, they usually’re delivered to life by improbable movement seize throughout cutscenes and very good voice performing throughout the board in each Japanese and English. The voice solid can be retained from the cellular sport and Granblue Fantasy Versus Rising, so for those who’ve gelled with these characters for some time, you’ll really feel such as you’re being reintroduced to outdated friends in Relink.
Environments look equally distinctive, with breathtaking vistas and skyboxes that provide an immense sense of scale, regardless of most maps being comparatively small. It’s a splendidly colourful sport, too, actually popping with HDR enabled, and sure to shine on any of the best gaming TVs.
There aren’t any devoted accessibility choices for Granblue Fantasy: Relink at launch. Nevertheless, the sport does function a fight help mode that helps extra demanding combos and playstyles really feel far more surmountable for individuals who want or choose a extra streamlined method.
Efficiency is a giant winner right here, too. On PlayStation 5, there are alternatives for constancy (4K at 30fps) and efficiency (1080p at 60fps) modes. I primarily performed with the latter and by no means as soon as encountered noticeable body drops. Even split-second efficiency dips are fairly uncommon towards the sport’s most monumental boss fights.
Total, Granblue Fantasy: Relink provides one other high quality product to the franchise that’s been steadily rising in reputation within the West. It places ahead a confidently fast-paced fight system with layers upon layers of customization and depth. Its in depth endgame will preserve you coming again for extra, lengthy after you’ve rolled credit, with no scarcity of difficult boss encounters. If you happen to’re a collection veteran or just an enjoyer of motion RPGs, Granblue Fantasy: Relink makes for important play.