Fallstreak: Requiem for My Homeland from Centicerise explores the atrocities of war in a sci-fi apocalypse. In a world ravaged by calamities and blanketed in ash, a child soldier called Velour Two-Six travels to the edge of the holy warfront and back. Returning from the shadow of calamity, she’s put in charge of the one thing that might save humanity.
A review for this game was requested through the review request form.
The art is polished, clean, highly detailed, and sets incredible groundwork for an engaging visual experience. There’s very little sprite work, but it’s not a game that necessarily needs it. Its aesthetic approach instead favors what’s best described as the main’s character’s point of view, as though we’re seeing through her eyes for large portions of it. It makes excellent use of visual effects like screen shakes to create a very dynamic visual story. When it breaks into broad, sweeping landscapes, the feel of the story opens into something epic and moving.
It takes its gore very seriously. In a story that’s ultimately about war and the end of the world, there’s of course an expectation that things like death and violence are going to be present. This game does not shy away from that. At the same time, it doesn’t necessarily linger on it, either. It strikes a good balance between being pragmatic in its depictions of war and violence without, generally, being overly gruesome. That being said, there is a considerable amount of gore (including the death of children), so it would not be a good pick for those sensitive to such things.
It doesn’t shy away from these topics in the writing, either. The language is very intelligent. It floats fairly easily from poetic passages concerning the nature of war to tactical discussions of the same thing. When it delves into its harder sci-fi elements concerning multidimensionality and reality bending, it’s very sure of itself. It handles more difficult scenes with care and attention, crafting a very visceral depiction of the more horrific parts of its own story.
It struggles a little with its density, however. It tries to set up something of an in medias res approach to its storytelling, throwing you right in the middle of everything, but instead it just feels cluttered, dense, and hard to follow. It almost feels, sometimes, like the writing doesn’t know what to “show” versus what to “tell.” At the beginning in particular, things are sort of hurried along just to get them out of the way.
To me, this seems like it might be connected to the primary problem with the writing as a whole. The game doesn’t really seem to know what story it’s actually trying to tell. The first half of the game is completely different than the second half, though it does feature the same main character. It reads like the first half was intended to be a prologue for what happens in the second and provide some backstory and motivation for her actions. In practice, though, it just ends up setting up for story that never actually happens then suddenly switching on you out of nowhere. There are characters, plot threads, and major narrative elements that just completely disappear in favor of introducing a whole new set.
A consequence of this, I find, is that neither half has “enough” to really catch you as a reader. I can feel the beats of what’s meant to be very gripping drama, but it just doesn’t strike the emotional chord. The game would have benefited from a more focused approach to create one good story instead of two half-formed stories.
Overall, Fallstreak: Requiem for My Homeland is a very well-constructed game by a team that does seem to know what they’re doing. Despite its flaws, it’s dramatic and compelling as you’re playing it. So even if it feels a little underwhelming on the finish, it’s a very unforgettable experience.