Kaminai otaku Aniverse banner copy.jpg

 

There is no shortage of great role playing games on the PlayStation 4 with titles like Persona 5, NieR: Automata, Final Fantasy XV, Horizon Zero Dawn, Odin Sphere Leifthrasir and Valkyria Chronicles Remastered. Many indie RPGs are often overshadowed by the more popular titles that cause them to fly quietly under the radar and go unnoticed. Developer YummyYummyTummy has been hard at work in releasing their first PlayStation games: Fallen Legion: Sins of an Empire on the PS4 and Fallen Legion: Flames of Rebellion on the PlayStation Vita.   

Sins of an Empire is an engaging action RPG related to the political rule and military conquest of the failing Fenumia Empire. The plot revolves around Princess Cecile who seeks to bring order back to her collapsing kingdom and is equipped with an obnoxious talking grimoire as she fights against a coup led by Legatus Laendur. Heir to the throne, Cecile is given the tragic news of her father’s sudden passing that leaves her in charge with short notice and no time for bereavement. Legatus Laendur, a beloved military tactician, vows to overthrow Princess Cecile and the royal family after learning the hidden secrets within the Empire causing its very ruin and destruction. Legatus’s story and campaign is explored further in Flames of Rebellion for the PlayStation Vita, offered as a bonus to those that preorder Sins of an Empire for the PS4.

 

Combat is reminiscent of the battle systems found in Grand Kingdom and Valkyrie Profile. Squad members are mapped to a specific button as they await further orders. You can shift their positions and actions freely with accurate timing and strategic attacks giving you the upper hand on the battlefield. Cecile stands in the rear and offers support with offensive magic attacks and healing to keep your squad members alive and kicking. A brief tutorial walks you through the basics as you work to find the fighting style that suits your preferences. Although you start with three members, you can manage a squad of Exemplars as you progress through the storyline. Learning to block at the right time as well as switching members is you ticket to victory as blind button mashing will only get you so far against stronger enemies. Gemstones can be equipped by Cecile for stat boosts that include but are not limited to: Rubies, Amethysts, Topazs, Diamonds and Sapphires. Trial and error will fall into play quite a bit as you carefully watch the movement of your foes and counter their attacks in succession with team combos. 

Timely decisions will be made throughout the game with varying consequences as you fight enemy hordes and explore various lands and territories. They run the gamut from choices like ignore, pay and experiment that gives your squad different perks. You won’t have much time to mull it over with choices often appearing at random for a couple seconds at any given time. Each decision will lead to a specific outcome as you move from one battle to the next that may have either positive, neutral or negative consequences. Interestingly enough, some decisions play on the short term pain, long term gain or vice versa mechanic to get the desired stat boost or bonus you want. This feature encourages multiple playthroughs to see all the other possible outcomes of decisions you skipped the first time around.

 

One drawback is the pacing as there is a grand sense of adventure at the start of the game. Without a doubt, the bosses are the climatic points of the game as you gain experience and level up your Exemplars. In contrast, the numerous battles in between the boss fights feel like much of the same with the dreaded feeling of deja vu. Though battles may be considered repetitious to an extent in many action RPGs, it’s easy to lose interest and the sense of urgency once you master the nuances and various combat strategies on the battlefield. Veterans searching for a challenge can find it in the harder difficulty as well as via different playthroughs that yield tougher enemy encounters.

 

The beautiful, hand-drawn artwork is colorful and appealing with a lot of details seen in the character designs, monsters and the landscape. Regarding the audio, Sins of an Empire features the voice talent of Xanthe Huynh from Persona 5 alongside others like Kira Buckland, Alan Lee, Jalen Cassell and Dorah Fine. Those that preordered the game will enjoy two different stories that are written by Ben Bateman of Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward fame. There is a strong resemblance to the visuals seen in Grand Kingdom as the graphics are lively and vibrant throughout the game. 

Sins of an Empire is an ambitious game with beautiful artwork, engaging battles and stellar boss fights. It is held back mainly by the overall pacing, repetitiveness and the mediocre plot that keep it from being a solid experience. The absence of voice acting in certain parts of the game becomes readily apparent but the challenge of making important decisions in an instant is a most welcome feature. Sins of an Empire has a lot of potential that is best enjoyed alongside Flames of Rebellion on the PlayStation Vita as a complete package.

 

PROS (+): Engaging Battles, Beautiful Artwork, Epic Boss Fights

CONS (-): Lackluster Plot, Pacing Issues

 

SCORE – 7.5/10

This review is based on a digital copy of Fallen Legion: Sins of an Empire on the PlayStation 4 provided by the publisher. 

This website uses cookies, including third party ones, to allow for analysis of how people use our website in order to improve your experience and our services. By continuing to use our website, you agree to the use of such cookies.