HomeNewsGranblue Fantasy: Relink review – Short, sweet, but far from the Platinum-standard...

Granblue Fantasy: Relink review – Short, sweet, but far from the Platinum-standard RPG

How do you evaluation a sport that’s primarily one large advert for one more sport solely? That is type of what Granblue Fantasy: Relink feels prefer to me, the primary fully-fledged, 3D, RPG tackle Cygames’ long-running cell gacha sport. It is a tough query to reply, particularly when – spoiler alert – Relink is definitely fairly good! And it is even tougher to reply when the advert kind-of works.

A fast disclaimer: I’ve by no means performed the unique Granblue Fantasy cell sport. I’ve appreciated its character designs from afar, I’ve heard from mates that there are a number of LGBTQ characters which might be well-written, and I even tried to arrange an account as soon as, however by no means adopted by means of. I wished to evaluation this sport as a result of I wished to see what if it felt like an approachable entry level for a newcomer to the sequence. So, is it? Sure and no.

Relink’s specific journey begins in some unspecified time in the future throughout the skyfarers’ journey, although from simply the primary story I could not inform you the place. The entire crew is there (I feel, anyway), with the player-named Captain, Milhouse-sounding-sidekick-dragon Vyrn, mysterious blue-haired Lyria, and several other different characters, too. It rapidly establishes that we’re off to go to Estalucia, a fabled land that can also be supposedly the place the participant character’s father is. Seems like the standard type of factor you’d anticipate from an RPG, however that is not what the story is about in any respect – that is the place it looks like an advert for the cell sport in locations, since you do not truly discover Estalucia in Relink.

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As an alternative, you meet some new unique characters, together with a brand new pleasant face within the type of Rolan, and a few not-so-friendly faces within the type of the Church of Avia and its chief Lilith. Total, the story is generally simply serviceable. To be trustworthy, my favorite bits occur in the direction of the tip, which I am not supposed to speak about, however even these are largely simply your typical “my mates are my energy” kind-of moments. These moments did hit the emotional beats fairly effectively because of some effectively rounded voice appearing, carried out by a stacked forged.

What’s a captain with out their crew?

An essential factor to notice is that you simply will not be experiencing some massive, grand, 50-hour-long RPG right here, as Relink is kind of quick. I managed to beat simply the primary story in round 15 hours, which did not go away sufficient room to really flesh the characters out sufficient, however it endeared me to them to a level the place yeah, I wish to see extra of them. Maybe in a cell sport! Hmm, humorous that.

With it being so quick, there is not a complete lot of exploring to do both, because it’s technically considerably degree primarily based – there are off-the-beat paths you may try, however they largely end in a bit of additional treasure moderately than something attention-grabbing. I would say that is largely balanced out by the truth that this sport is solely attractive, although. Significantly, the primary hub-town, Folca, is extremely detailed and vibrant, and even simply random NPC designs really feel like plenty of love was put into them, so I can forgive an absence of exploration when the world feels so alive in different methods.

The place we’re going, we do not want roads.

You will not actually discover a lot story in what the sport calls ‘aspect quests’ both, as they actually simply comply with this sample: an NPC is stood in one of many two fundamental hub-towns, they need you to both get a useful resource merchandise/kill some specific enemies, there is a paragraph of flavour textual content, you are rewarded with assets and/or cash. There’s one other type of quest sort, known as Destiny Episodes, and these do provide side-stories about the entire sport’s playable characters, however are largely delivered within the type of paragraphs of textual content learn allowed by whichever characters’ episode you’ve got chosen. Thrilling they don’t seem to be, however there’s the occasional Destiny Episode the place you truly exit on a mission. And get to play the sport.

With the story content material a bit missing, it is a good factor that the precise gameplay itself is apparent, easy enjoyable. Relink is an action-RPG, however the place one thing like Remaining Fantasy 16 has you taking part in as only one character with plenty of choices, Relink as an alternative has plenty of characters, with just a few choices. Every character has their very own combos you may pull off (all of which have been surprisingly distinctive given what number of playable characters there are), and so they all have their very own ability bushes that unlock distinctive expertise that you could mix-and-match.

I had plenty of enjoyable attempting out the entire characters, with considered one of my favourites being the ghost bunny lady Ferry, along with her spectral companions and long-ranged whips. If I would solely been in a position to play because the player-character, I would have stated that the gameplay is ‘easy, if repetitive’, however the means to combine issues up so incessantly actually introduced all of it collectively.

Granblue Fantasy: Relink still of Djeeta and co fighting a Griffin in a desert canyon

Good canine. | Picture credit score: Cygames

You’ll be able to play with as much as three of your folks as any of the sport’s characters, with a separate set of quests you may try to tackle with them, too, providing issues like boss and wave-based fights, in addition to longer-running missions. Fortunately, you may play these offline, and I did not discover all of them too tough with out the assistance of actual folks, so don’t fret an excessive amount of you probably have nobody to play with.

What we’re left with on the finish of all of that is an especially tight sport that has no apparent warts, and is plenty of enjoyable to play, moment-to-moment. However exterior of fight and setting design, Relink does not essentially excel wherever. It left me wanting extra, not simply of the sport itself, however of the whole world. On condition that it was in growth for eight years (three of which have been below the stewardship of Nier: Automata developer, Platinum, and the remaining below Cygames), all of it feels slightly under-baked.

The issue is that, as many people know, gacha video games are inherently exploitative, and although I am assured in resisting spending any cash on them, I nonetheless really feel a bit unusual in regards to the pull I am experiencing in the direction of such a sport because of a seperate, supposedly stand-alone RPG. Must you play Relink for a style of Granblue Fantasy’s world? I feel so! However go in realizing that it will not offer you all the pieces you may want, and take it as it’s.


Granblue Fantasy: Relink is out February 1 on PS4, PS5, and PC. This evaluation was written utilizing a PS5 code supplied by the writer.. Should you’re after one thing a bit longer, you may try our definitive checklist of one of the best RPGs ever made.

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