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Bulwark: Falconeer Chronicles Review (PS5) – From Uncharted Skies to Uncharted Waters

Bulwark: Falconeer Chronicles Review (PS5) – Bulwark: Falconeer Chronicles is the newest game by solo developer Tomas Sala.

If you know his name, then you are likely familiar with his previous game, The Falconeer. Bulwark: Falconeer Chronicles takes the world of The Falconeer to a whole new genre.

Bulwark: Falconeer Chronicles Review (PS5) – From Uncharted Skies To Uncharted Waters

A New Beginning

Bulwark: Falconeer Chronicles is a city builder set in a post-war society, where rebuilding and healing are the primary goals.

As such, you are tasked with expanding your small settlement and making relations with, or declaring war on, the other settlements that surround you.

This is not like your average city builder, though. Rather than constantly battling resources and managing a population, the player is able to expand without much concern.

All the player needs is a connection to the resources needed and land to build upon.

In the main menu, Tomas Sala addresses the player and explains that in this game there are no mistakes, and through experimentation and patience they would find success.

Due to this there is no true fail state, and no reason for the player to stress or worry about the decisions they make like a typical city builder or strategy game.

There are three main scenarios that the player is able to choose from in the main menu. These all place you in charge of a different faction in the world, thus starting you in different locations. The player is also able to tweak the settings of each scenario to their liking.

Despite outwardly appearing like an intense game of politics, trade, and war, Bulwark: Falconeer Chronicles feels tranquil and relaxing to play.

Even when negotiating relations with other factions, it all ultimately boils down to the choice between playing nice or playing dirty to get what you want.

Managing Relations

When you do encounter a new faction, you are first able to trade with them or declare war on them. Depending on what you choose and how long you maintain certain relations with them, you can ask them to surrender, ally with you, or join your faction.

There is combat in the game, but it is not the main focus. The player can station commanders in their settlements and place warships on their trading routes to protect themselves from attackers, but even if the player loses, it is only a matter of rebuilding what they could not save.

The best part of the gameplay, in my opinion, is the airship exploration. Traveling the map to find new points of interest or place new harbors is when I had the most fun in my time with the game.

This is largely because it allowed me a new perspective to appreciate the beauty of the world that I was playing in.

Beauty On The Horizon

The world of Bulwark: Falconeer Chronicles is absolutely gorgeous, but it is harder to appreciate it from up close, when you are more concerned about what to upgrade or where to place your next tower.

When you are flying from one location to the next, however, you are able to simply take it all in. It is also in these moments when Bulwark: Falconeer Chronicles truly shows what it is best at.

Not only is it a very fun builder with lots to explore and many relationships to form or break, but at its core, it is a game that allows you to go into a new world and simply reflect.

It does not pose any big, existential questions, but I found myself meditating on many things during my time with this game. It’s tranquil, constructive nature put me in the same headspace as games such as Abzu and Journey.

To me, there are few games that are able to do that as well as Bulwark.

Bulwark: Falconeer Chronicles is now available on PS5 and PS4.

Review code generously provided by publisher.



The Final Word

Tomas Sala has created another great game with Bulwark: Falconeer Chronicles. The ability to expand and experiment without worry makes it very accessible for those unfamiliar with the genre, as well as it being a thought provoking adventure even for genre veterans. While it may not be for everyone, there is something special here for those that connect with it.