Beating on hordes of dastardly foes as a princess and a ragtag group of warriors sounds like a fun time. Fallen Legion: Sins of an Empire has you command a small army to fight for your kingdom so get ready for battle.
You play Fallen Legion: Sins of an Empire by selecting where to go next via a large map. Upon entering an area, you'll witness some story sequences then fight a succession of enemies until you reach the end. Thankfully, Princess Cecille can take up to three warriors along for the fight. In order to battle, you basically use three face buttons to make each party member attack and the fourth to cast magic as the princess herself which can heal or damage foes. The only other controls are a block button and a button to use Relics which are special items that give you certain boosts. Blocking is the key to victory since doing so with perfect timing will cause your enemies to become vulnerable. Not only that, you can Break large enemies which allows you to ceaselessly attack for a short period of time, there's also a Combo Bar that provides boosts, and Cecille goes into Desperation mode whenever her protectors all bite the dust. Although this sounds complicated, the controls are intuitive and the battle system is easy to learn. However, it can be quite challenging as well.
The first thing you'll notice about Fallen Legion: Sins of an Empire is how impressive its art is. The detailed character and enemy sprites and distinct variety of environments are gorgeous and the animation is rather fluid, too. After playing for a bit, you'll start to notice just how awesome the audio is as well. The music is a seamless blend of mood-setting orchestral pieces and upbeat guitar-infused tracks whenever you fight. The voice cast does a great job of providing each character with a unique personality but (like in many RPGs) their repetitious phrases in battle become annoying after a while. That being said, the sound effects are spot-on which makes the combat even more satisfying. Overall, Fallen Legion: Sins of an Empire's sights and sounds are sure to impress.
One part of Fallen Legion that I thought was quite enjoyable is its decision-making component. Basically, you're posed questions from time to time and your answer not only grants you with an immediate albeit temporary boost, it also has an effect on future character interactions. A system tied to this is Morale which dictates how much health your party gains so your decisions really are impactful.
Your party can consist of warriors including Longinus (a lancer), Apollon (an archer), Zulfiqar (a defender), Winchester (a sniper), Mjolnir (a dwarf with a giant hammer), and Dardanelles (a heavy gunner). It's great to have this kind of variety but the lack of character growth is something that detracts from the overall sense of accomplishment. All you can do to grow your party is equip Gemstones that provide stat boosts and such. Some can upgrade Princess Cecille's spells, too. There aren't any experience points, individual equipment loadouts, or shops which makes progression fall flat. Speaking of falling flat, the entire campaign merely consists of fighting battle after battle which becomes monotonous sooner than you'd think. On top of this, there are plenty of difficulty spikes that will make you feel like quitting entirely. Of course, you could always persevere and try to time your blocks perfectly but some of the later boss battles seem to last forever. In the end, this promising ARPG quickly turns into one tedious and frustrating experience.
Fallen Legion: Sins of an Empire is one of the most promising action RPGs that I've seen in a long time but its reliance on repetitive battles will surely wear down any genre fan's enthusiasm quicker than Cecille can say "Cassandra's Coil!"
- + Intuitive battle system that's easy to learn yet it becomes impressively challenging
- + Fantastic art, music, and voice cast
- + Enjoyable decision-making component
- - Unvaried gameplay that mostly consists of repetitive reaction-based battles
- - Incredibly uneven difficulty
- - Lack of rewarding character growth