[PlayStation 5] Granblue Fantasy: Relink Review

by Ceidz, Owner

Granblue Fantasy: Relink from XSEED Games and Cygames is a new action RPG take on the turn-based RPG series. Check out our Granblue Fantasy Relink review!

Engage in real-time combat with a party of four in this character action RPG—choose from a diverse roster of skyfarers, each with their own unique weapons, skills, and combat styles. Teamwork makes the dream work with party-based mechanics such as Link Attacks and Chain Bursts to help you crush foes in spectacular fashion. Tackle quests solo or with the help of others for up to 4-player co-op and take down treacherous foes to score rare loot to further enhance your gear. Every enemy and party formation has its own strengths and weaknesses—the key to victory lies in working out how these pieces fit together.

Granblue Fantasy: Relink from XSEED Games and Cygames is the newest release in the Granblue franchise that has been out in Japan since 2014. In this new action RPG, we will follow a team of Skyfarers on their quest to recover one of their friend who gets abducted as she discovers her new power. This was the first time I played a game in the Granblue franchise, and it was quite a blast.

As the game begins, you can decide to play either as a boy or as a girl as your main character – Gran or Djeeta. Playing as either one doesn’t change the story, so feel free to select the one that looks the most interesting for you. It is worth mentioning that both are fully voiced, and their voice acting was top-notch. The prologue was downright amazing. You’ll be on a flying ship with your friends, and you’ll then witness a pretty crazy sequence and will be drawn into a boss fight. This will set the tone for the adventure. You begin with a team of eight characters and can select whichever ones you want to play as.

One thing that I didn’t like in the first two hours of the game is how the mechanics are explained. You’ll see – and I’m not exaggerating – about 50 tutorials pop up ranging from the simplest to mildly advanced game mechanics. There were so many that I first thought that the game was overwhelmingly complicated, but when I finally got to play without being constantly stopped by tutorials, I realized that the gameplay is somehow standard and nothing much is out of the ordinary.

The game story unfolds as once-docile primal beasts turn against the citizens. Lyria, a central figure of the team, discovers a special power, and as you help her in those critical times, you almost die. Fortunately, Lyria shares her life with you, and as you recover, you realize both of your lives are now linked together. The action-packed journey unfolds in a concise adventure spanning around 15-20 hours, depending on your playing style – with a lot of extra time needed to 100% this one.

The gameplay is mostly quest-based, offline, or online – which requires an active PlayStation Plus subscription. The main story can be tackled independently, and as you progress, you’ll unlock side-quests that can be taken alongside the story. One thing I liked was when I realized my party was not strong enough to beat the chapter 4 boss, but I had already spent 30 minutes getting there. I reluctantly left the main story to tackle some side quests to raise my level, and when I resumed the main story, I got back in front of the boss.

Outside the battles, you’ll explore huge, detailed cities that feel alive thanks to the amount of NPC there. There are shops, blacksmiths to improve your arsenal, and various side-quests givers as well. You can also spend some time upgrading your skills using the skill points earned in the various quests. It is worth mentioning that the skill points are shared between all members, so you have to plan accordingly.

I already mentioned that the first two hours were primarily consumed by tutorials, which made me think that the battle system was technical, but fortunately, once you (finally) get to play it by yourself, it’s easy to get the hang of. The battle system is action-based, with the Square button as your normal attack and the Triangle button set for a stronger attack. Pressing the R1 button with a face button will trigger its assigned skill. There are a few skills tied to linking with other players that are clearly indicated in-game when they are available. The game really had a feel of being multiplayer-based, with all the party members attacking at once. Another aspect that is worth mentioning is the satisfying boss fights, namely the chapter 6 boss that was downright epic.

The game’s presentation is fantastic, and the visual engine is superb. You can play it either in Performance mode (1080p at 60 frames per second) or Quality (4K resolution at 30 frames per second). I played in Performance mode and never saw the game dip below its advertised 60 frames per second. The game also supports the DualSense haptic feedback, and even as the prologue begins, you’ll already see how well it was implemented. English and Japanese voice acting are available. The overall voice acting itself is great, but some character performances felt forced, namely for younger girls in the team and the familiar Vyrn.

Trophy-wise, Granblue Fantasy: Relink has a full trophy list with a Platinum trophy for you. And since this is a Cross-Buy release, you can download both the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 versions of the game, and each version will have a separate trophy list. The lists will have 44 Bronze trophies, 7 Silver trophies, and 2 Gold trophies for you to work on. You’ll have trophies popping as you complete each of the game’s chapters, fill up Lydia’s journal, use an emote, get an S++ quest rank for the first time, defeat primal beasts 100 times, activate chain burst 100 times, and more. You’ll also have to beat the game in the Ultimate difficulty setting, which unlocks after you beat the game. The good news is that you can use chapter select for your Ultimate run, which does save a lot of time. If you want some extra help, you can check out this Granblue Fantasy: Relink Trophy Guide.

I liked playing through the main story of Granblue Fantasy: Relink and can definitively recommend this game to players looking for a Japanese action RPG. I was a little lost at the beginning with the Granblue lore as it was my first experience with the franchise, but ultimately, this game can be appreciated without prior knowledge of the series. I loved its presentation and the battle system, and it definitely managed to keep me coming back for more. Granblue Fantasy: Relink is available as a Cross-Buy title with a $59.99 price tag, so your purchase will allow you to download both the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 versions of the game at no extra cost.

This Granblue Fantasy: Relink review is based on a PlayStation copy provided by XSEED Games.

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