Granblue Fantasy: Relink review: a visually elegant but limited action RPG

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A visually impressive, imaginative JRPG pinch an fantabulous combat strategy and nosy co-op. Let down by shallow broadside quests and constricted endgame modes.

For

  • Elegant, anime ocular design
  • Stylish and nosy combat
  • Enjoyable co-op

Against

  • Shallow RPG gameplay
  • Endgame could beryllium much complex

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Granblue Fantasy: Relink details

Granblue Fantasy Relink; anime haracters successful a grouo

(Image credit: Cygames)

Publisher XSeed Games
Developer
Cygames
Platform
PS4, PS5, PC
Release
Out now
Price
$59.99 / £49.99

Let’s nip thing successful nan bud early on, Granblue Fantasy: Relink is not Monster Hunter: World. The comparisons were commonplace for this beautiful anime-style RPG but successful each reality, this is excessively stream-lined, excessively nonstop to really beryllium compared to Capcom’s analyzable deed JPRG. I waited until I'd vanished nan main run to constitute this review, arsenic it's important to judge really Granblue Fantasy: Relink useful successful its endgame, and why those Monster Hunter comparisons aren't helpful.

That’s not to opportunity Granblue Fantasy: Relink is immoderate worse disconnected for being little than Monster Hunter. Cygames action RPG places much accent connected action and little connected roleplaying, and it’s much contiguous and nosy for it; playing done nan game’s main quest is conscionable a geelful joy. A breezy story, easy to grasp combat and a plethora of quirky, unsocial characters to party-up pinch ensures each quest is an explosive sensory overload. 

Cygames conscionable wants you to person nosy successful its world; it loads you up pinch nan devices of demolition needed to flooded immoderate imaginative and often towering leader battles, it pats you connected nan backside and ushers you mildly into nan strikingly art-directed chaos. The main communicative is astir 12 hours long, and it’s conscionable fun.

Gtanblue Fantasy Relink review; anime characters guidelines successful greenish writer overlooking mountains

The islands successful Granblue Fantasy: Relink are large-ish, person concealed chests to find for loot, but often very linear. (Image credit: Cygames)

I tin spot wherever immoderate of nan Monster Hunter comparisons stem from; Granblue Fantasy: Relink does dainty its main communicative mode arsenic a training campy for nan main contented you unlock post-credits - pinch a refocus connected co-op mini-quests and grinding for XP and wealth to upgrade your characters. 

The quality is there’s a batch little grinding successful nan main communicative mode and nan solo-campaign is enjoyable arsenic a standalone experience, akin to a action-melee escapade pinch ray RPG stat-tweaking. More truthful because Granblue Fantasy: Relink is little method than Monster Hunter; bosses for illustration person basal elemental weaknesses and immunities that can, connected replay, make you see your statement and skills successful much detail, but really it’s thing for illustration Monster Hunter’s analyzable load-outs, traps and tactics.

Gtanblue Fantasy Relink review; anime imagination characters fight

Combat successful Granblue Fantasy: Relink is accessible but unfastened to nuance, particularly successful co-op. (Image credit: Cygames)

Even though this is simply a nonstop sequel to nan Japanese mobile and PC crippled fewer person played successful nan West, you needn’t person played Granblue Fantasy before. The crippled picks up aft nan events of a crippled you’ve apt not played, and just, well… runs pinch it. The squad is set, nan escapade is connected and really you’ll conscionable beryllium gladsome to beryllium on for nan ride.

Cygames really does a really bully occupation of onboarding newcomers to this imagination anime universe. There are recaps of who characters are - called Skyfarers - during nan little loading screens, on pinch explanations of nan Sky Realm Zegagrande - a world of floating imagination islands successful nan clouds that neatly fresh into themed biomes specified arsenic desert, snow, wood and more. 

One series embraces Space Invaders while different leader confrontation is simply a love-letter to Shadow of Colossus

Getting betwixt islands takes spot connected nan sailing vessel nan Grandcypher, captained by protagonist Gran and side-kicked by a unit of misfits and nan Lyria, a woman who tin power a 'Primal beast' successful battle. This expertise catches nan oculus of nan mysterious Church of Avia, who kidnap Lyria and truthful a thin title crossed Zegagrande's entity islands follows suit.

The communicative mode is simply a coagulated solo-campaign and perpetually changes up its approach; while for nan astir portion maps are reasonably linear runs to an epic leader conflict immoderate stages do propulsion retired nan norm book - 1 series embraces Space Invaders while different leader confrontation is simply a love-letter to Shadow of Colossus - this monolithic rock-made god-thing really is simply a beautiful creation, for illustration a Mayan monolith travel to life. It's conscionable 1 of nan galore moments erstwhile Granblue Fantasy: Relink's creation squad show their talent.

Gtanblue Fantasy Relink review; an anime cutscene

The guidance often surprises pinch elegantly framed moments of precocious drama. (Image credit: Cygames)

Gtanblue Fantasy Relink review; an airship docs pinch a city

The watercolour ocular style of Granblue Fantasy: Relink is incredibly impressive, and difficult to propulsion disconnected successful 3D. (Image credit: Cygames)

There are broadside missions to return connected but these are shallow fetch-quests that tin successful each honesty beryllium completed randomly by simply sidesplitting enemies and collecting their loot. If you're expecting narrative-focused broadside questing you'll beryllium disappointed. Further to this each of nan 20 playable characters person Fate Episodes to play through; these uncover each hero's backstory and play retired arsenic narrated illustrations pinch a mates of leader fights to thatch you a peculiar character’s moves and abilities.

While combat is mostly templated - each characteristic tin execute a basal attack, a powerfulness move, artifact and dodge, on pinch a prime of 4 skills and metered 'Burst Attacks', including Link strikes that tin beryllium banked and timed arsenic devastating squad attacks. How this transfers to each characteristic is what keeps things fresh. During nan communicative run you only play arsenic leader Gran, truthful things are rather vanilla, but erstwhile nan endgame starts I statesman experimenting pinch really different characters play, and Granblue Fantasy: Relink originates to show its hand.

One characteristic for illustration tin power-up into a caller shapeshifting dragon form, different specialises successful parries alternatively of powerfulness attacks, meaning my timing needs to beryllium wholly different to different characters - get it correct and she bounces, somersaults and cartwheels astatine enemies and avoids damage. Others autumn into modular RPG templates - supporting mages, gun-wielding distant and sword-toting melee styles.

Nuances aside, combat is conscionable a joyousness to bash astir in; moreover astatine its astir expressive and explosive, erstwhile nan VFX squad has been fto loose, you still consciousness successful power and are capable to block, parry and react. The game’s director Yasuyuki Kaji, antecedently worked connected Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Bayonetta 2, and NieR: Automata, and I tin spot nan power of those games successful Granblue Fantasy: Relink; successful truth arsenic comparisons go, those action games are a amended fresh than Monster Hunter.

Gtanblue Fantasy Relink review; a stone creature

At times playing Granblue Fantasy: Relink is akin to experiencing an anime TV series. (Image credit: Cygames)

Gtanblue Fantasy Relink review; a elephantine stone statue successful a desert

The monolithic goliath is simply a leader conflict pinch echoes Shadow of nan Colossus. (Image credit: Cygames)

With its accessible combat it's easy to bask Granblue Fantasy: Relink, but that approachable quality comes pinch immoderate drawbacks. This crippled isn’t a analyzable JRPG and nan role-play elements that are successful present tin beryllium a small confused, pinch aggregate sellers and dealers, weird treasures and various ways to select though levelling, limb upgrades and more. It tin beryllium confusing conscionable to activity retired a guidelines to an upgrade if you attack levelling tactically. Instead, conscionable whack a fastener and spot what comes retired nan upgrade slot machine.

Granblue Fantasy: Relink is enjoyably shallow, and I mean that arsenic a compliment. Just experiencing its vibrant world and creation guidance is simply a elemental pleasure. The beautiful characteristic design, nan watercolour-like world position and nan sublime animation really needs to beryllium dwelled upon. 

The textures successful nan game’s scenery person been hand-drawn and location are immoderate awesome inheritance illustrations; nan characteristic models person nan tactile consciousness of being 2D illustrations, too. At times it feels for illustration I’m playing done a painting, only 1 that explodes into chaos astatine immoderate moment.

Gtanblue Fantasy Relink review; a world lights up successful an anime game

Gtanblue Fantasy Relink perpetually delivers ocular surprises. (Image credit: Cygames)

Gtanblue Fantasy Relink review; an anime characteristic stands astatine a marketplace stall

Once nan communicative mode is complete you tin sojourn this quest-giver to return connected caller co-op missions. (Image credit: Cygames)

I'm gladsome I held backmost my reappraisal until I was capable to acquisition nan endgame and co-op, arsenic this is wherever nan crippled shows its existent hand, for bully and bad. The post-story crippled refocuses astir co-op, pinch elemental online quests taking nan shape of six halfway styles, including leader fights, a horde mode, endurance and more. These are short quests that past betwixt 10-20 minutes, truthful if you're expecting analyzable quests akin to Monster Hunter: World of moreover Destiny 2 you'll beryllium disappointed. 

Yet nan paper of elemental and accessible, short-lived online quests fresh nan attack to combat successful Granblue Fantasy: Relink; it's fast, lively and rewarding successful short bite-sized chunks. Developer Cygames is promising broad post-launch DLC too, truthful expect caller characters, islands and apt immoderate much in-depth quests.

The different positive constituent for maine personally is nan simplicity of crippled creation leaves much room to sorb conscionable really visually arresting Granblue Fantasy: Relink is to play; astatine times I'm happy conscionable to guidelines still and return successful nan lush watercolour scenery, and erstwhile it does detonate nan lively VFX and bouncing animation conscionable drips pinch class. Simple and possibly shallow, but Granblue Fantasy: Relink is seldom dull.

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Granblue Fantasy Relink (PS5)

A visually impressive, imaginative JRPG pinch an fantabulous combat strategy and nosy co-op. Let down by shallow broadside quests and constricted endgame modes.

Ian Dean is Editor, Digital Arts & 3D astatine Creativebloq, and nan erstwhile editor of galore starring magazines. These titles included ImagineFX, 3D World and starring video crippled title Official PlayStation Magazine. In his early profession he wrote for euphony and movie magazines including Uncut and SFX. Ian launched Xbox mag X360 and edited PlayStation World. For Creative Bloq, Ian combines his experiences to bring nan latest news connected AI, integer creation and video crippled creation and tech, and much to Creative Bloq, and successful his spare clip he doodles successful Procreate, ArtRage, and Rebelle while uncovering clip to play Xbox and PS5. He's besides a keen Cricut personification and laser cutter fan, and is presently crafting connected Glowforge and xTools M1.

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