Reviewed on: PS4
Omega Force’s long-running Dynasty Warriors series introduced the world to the spectacle of Musou gaming—mighty heroes striding around an open battlefield, slaying hordes of low-ranked soldiery and capturing objectives single-handedly while unleashing absurdly pyrotechnic special attacks.
I have not played many Musou titles, in fact I have only played a couple of the Dynasty Warriors games. I am not the biggest fan on the genre, although they can be fun at times as a way to kill time or if you want to zone out while playing games.
Fate/Extella is a full on Musou game. You start with a Hero character in a given section and battle against hordes of enemies with the occasional stronger type called Aggressors. It is a very simple concept. Defeat hordes of foes, aggressors and summoned monsters to tip the tides in your favor to eventually trigger the summoning of the boss servant for the given stage. Just rinse and repeat.
This game follows up after the events from Fate/Extra and the Holy Grail War. Nero and her Master won power over the Moon Cell Automaton computer. Granted one wish after the war they obtain the ring of Regalia. The ring holds immense power to rule over their enemy servants. Unfortunately unaware to Nero, and her Master, she is not the only servant with a Regalia ring. You play the role of a Master with god like powers that can control spirits that act like your servants. Using roman mythology with futuristic technology and you have got yourself an interesting combo.
You have just woken up from your slumber and after the great war ended you realise that something is not right. A servant greets you and you are introduced to the world of SE.RA.PH(SERIAL PHANTASM). Just as all seems to be fine a battle unfolds and after defeating the enemies Nero and her Master find out that another servant also possesses a regalia ring. Thus unfolds a quick 7 chapter main story mode with 3 servants, Nero, Tamamo no Mae and Attila. In addition to the main story, the game also includes side stories focusing on the other servants.
Unlike the Dynasty Warriors series on PS2, I found the stages to be the downfall in terms of gameplay for Fate/Extella as it was very small with teleport gates that transport you to the different sections of the map. This made the game feel really small and to battle endless of foes in a small contained space made it hard to keep up with my character. Whereas Omega Force on a older generation of console still generated a very big open area to run around in and battle hordes and hordes of enemies. We are on the fourth generation of console now and I do not see why we have to be restricted with teleportation gates.
When you encounter a boss servant you have a ‘’lock on’’ function but this is only when you fight the boss servants. For some reason I could not get the lock on function to work on the aggressor enemy types. So you will spend most of your time running around the small map looking for the aggressor enemies. In fairness you do have a arrow that leads you in the direction of the Aggressor and Boss enemy types but I hardly paid attention as there was just too much stuff happening on my screen.
Your servants can be levelled with experience gained from all the various fighting they do. Items can also be picked up during various playthroughs that can be equipped onto your servant later using the function ‘’Install Skills’’ before or after you do a chapter mission that can further boost your character’s power and combat abilities. You also obtain Quantum Points (QP) by either defeating enemies or taking over sections of the map that you may use to craft armor or weapons. All this gives your servants the upper hand in battle.
With side quests plentiful, Fate/Extella will keep you busy for more than 40 hours. There is also a battle mode where you can just pick a servant that you have unlocked during your play through to do battle with other servants if you are just looking for a quick head to head match up.
The graphics is not really impressive and reminds me of the art style of the last console generation. There are loads of dialog that happens during the chapters so prepare to sit and read for long periods of time. This made me feel disconnected from the experience. The master has no voice over dialog so all his dialog is on screen text. It can get a little frustrating at times and well… just boring really. The sound is good and voiceover for the servants are very strong as you can expect from a Japanese title.
What I did not like about the Master – Servant storyline was how cheesy it really was. At one point I found myself in a bath with my servant after battle and picking dialog lines that were completely inappropriate.
Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star is not the best Musou title I have played and I would rather recommend Dynasty Warriors if you are looking for a great Musou title. Unless you just want to space out and not have to do any form of concentration then this is your game.