Review: Malicious Fallen (PS4)

Formats:

  • PlayStation 4

Format/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
Title: Malicious Fallen
Format: PSN (11.3 GB)
Release Date: February 21, 2017
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Developer: ALVION Inc.
Original MSRP: $29.99 (US), €29.99 (EU), £24.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: T
PEGI: 12
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

I have never played any of the older Malicious games that came out on the PlayStation 3 and Vita, there was always something else that demanded my time and meager funds. Then Malicious Fallen landed on my lap (pun intended) and I apprehensively grabbed the controller and leaped right in (okay that was the last pun).

Gameplay:
It was not what I was expecting. In fact, I didn’t know what to expect. Was it some kind of role-playing game? Was there going to be hours of cutscenes with poorly dubbed voices? I clearly had no idea.

It turns out you can jump into any of the five levels laid out before your character in the ethereal white space that you inhabit. I picked one at random and was surprised to be faced with a huge boss character. I thought I had accidentally jumped into the final area. I was wrong again as they all feature bosses that surround themselves with various minions, all intent on your destruction.

Thankfully, the small opponents can be dealt with quickly and help to build your Aura, but they never stop coming. When you dispatch a group of them, more soon spill out of a door or crevice. You also have to contend with some medium-sized adversaries who take more of a beating and deal a fair amount of punishment if you are caught in their path.

One such lumbering oaf impaled my character with the end of his spear and flung her over his shoulder only to be caught in the hands of the deadly boss, who dealt an agonizing blow. I was shocked, I had just been tag-teamed and in a painfully awesome way. Luckily, I got away but with another limb lost. Oh, did I not mention? Your character loses limbs, and if they are all gone, it’s game over.

You can grow the appendage back by getting to safety and using a chunk of the Aura to heal, minus the clothing. You cannot grow fabric back, that would be silly. The loss of limbs does not slow your character down as he or she floats and, if you manage to defeat one particular boss, even fly.

… gain new abilities from your fallen adversaries …
Each boss vanquished gives you one or some of their abilities and you also improve a current attribute. It also makes the subsequent enemies stronger, so there needs to be some strategy involved.

Do you face off against the more difficult boss first as meeting it later would be even more of a pain, or do you gain some cool new moves first, by ridding the world of the easier opponents?

You start off with a basic and strong attack that can be strung together to form combos. You soon gain new abilities from your fallen adversaries which have their own combos too. Along with the jump and block moves you soon have quite an arsenal at your fingertips and will be chaining moves on the puny minions with glorious abandon.

Bigger combos mean you fill the Aura at a greater pace. This can be used to heal or unleash, making your little floating character stronger. The faster you let it go, the more powerful you are. This is great when attacking the insanely powerful bosses.

… my main criticism has to be the lack of help …
Some of the weaker enemies will often make a break for an exit when they witness their friends and cohorts being decimated so you have to be quick if you want the big combos. Obstacles, cover, and maybe even furniture, depending on the level, might get in your way and slow you down. However, most of it can be destroyed by you and the enemy.

You can opt to slowly kill the boss with constant, time-consuming, weak attacks if you don’t mind receiving a low rank and time for the level. But finding weak spots and even removing some armor or weapons makes life much easier and is definitely more rewarding.

Knowing what kind of attack is best and when to use it is what makes this game so fun. The discovery and carnage you cause from studying the bosses is enormously enlightening.

However, my main criticism has to be the lack of help the game affords you. Admittedly, you can learn some things in the level select area if you ask one of the strange Elders who linger in what is apparently called The White Room.

I suggest having a chat with the strange Elder, as I happened to stumble upon the option to change costumes. Not only does this give you an assortment of new clothes to try on, but it also changes your character attributes. You can find out some useful tips and practice some moves and combos in the safety of the room.

Visuals:
Malicious Fallen is beautiful considering it’s a remaster and the combination of a PlayStation 3 and Vita title. The framerate and action both blaze along at a silky smooth rate.

Considering the amount of action going on and stunning effects from explosions and attacks, it’s remarkable. Enemies shatter into many pieces in a marvelous spectacle and some look quite funny as they attempt to high-tail it once you make short work of their friends.

… it’s something quite special when you finally fathom how to effectively dispatch a gigantic boss …
All of the attacks and projectiles are made from a long and ragged cape that almost looks as if it has been dipped in liquid as the end diffracts and melts away. This morphs into gigantic fists, a painfully sharp blade, and much more.

Every enemy and boss has been lovingly crafted and oozes with intricate details. The same goes for the varied stages they inhabit, from a large multi-leveled flying battleship to the dusty old library, they’re something to behold.

Audio:
Dramatic music makes a big impact and accompanies all manner of action-packed sound effects during the heated boss battles that add to the sense of danger and overwhelming odds. You also hear many grunts and groans as your delicate vessel takes damage.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is singleplayer only with no online component.

Conclusion:
Malicious Fallen is just that, malicious and unforgiving. Only the naive or masochistic will ignore the convoluted text of the elders to glean an idea of how to survive in the difficult game. That being said, it’s something quite special when you finally fathom how to effectively dispatch a gigantic boss who, at first, seemed unstoppable.

My apprehension and uncertainty eventually gave way and I found it to be an exciting and intriguing action game that I hope becomes a series which garners more attention in the future, even if it has to succumb to the tutorial and hand-holding obsessed generation.

Score:
8.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook