Though the Fate series may not be the cash cow that other anime series are in the United States, it certainly has enough appeal in Japan to greenlight practically any type of title it damn well pleases. Enter Fate/EXTELLA, a hack-and-slasher by Marvelous; unfortunately, like many other anime-based titles, it falls short and fails where other original IPs succeed.
What I Liked
- New Story Includes a Handy Intro: With a rich lore behind it, Fate would be understandably difficult to follow without watching the anime beforehand or playing any of the previous titles. Thankfully, EXTELLA has a new story and explains much of the lore for players who may be new.
- Familiar Faces: Though the game does not require prior knowledge in order for players to enjoy it, fans of the series will be happy to see familiar faces, such as Lancer and Archer from various other Fate titles before this.
- Hack and Slash is a good fit: Quite often, adapted IPs get thrown on whatever genre seems convenient for publishers at the moment. However, the hack-and-slash genre is perfect for the Fate franchise, allowing many characters to showcase their strengths. Furthermore, with a large movelist for characters, including cinematic attacks and transformation sequences, the title offers more actions than most hack-and-slashers on the market.
- Skills are interesting and necessary: As players complete quests and take down enemies, they will receive various skills that can be equipped to servants. Players will notice that servants tend to have little to no “oomph” to them without these skills, so finding ways to utilize these will make the game vastly more bearable.
What I Didn’t Like
- Generic Designs and Enemies: Players will quickly find that the game recycles its enemy designs in pretty much every map, which are equally generic and boring. The action itself feels fine, but with repetitive settings, players will quickly get bored.
- Lack of Autolock on Most Enemies: Though players will be able to lock onto key enemies, like the bosses, in various maps, many targets have to be located manually. A large arrow points players in the right direction, but this is hardly any use considering how quickly enemies fly in different directions after combos.
- Terribly Paced: The action and general gameplay is mostly marred by the game’s slow and awkward pacing. Maps are sectioned off into smaller areas, most likely in an attempt to support the Vita version of the title, but it makes for a terribly paced console or PC title. Furthermore, drops from enemies are never instantaneous, and players must instead wait for an unnecessary animation where items pop up in the air before they pick it up.
- No Movelist: While this seems like a minor concern one of the key things to hack-and-slash titles is obtaining new moves. Though EXTELLA does notify players when new moves are obtained, it does not make the movelist easily accessible and players are left with either memorization or pure guesswork to try out their newly obtained combos.
Fate/EXTELLA had the opportunity to be a worthwhile hack-and-slash title outside of its appeal to fans of the franchise. However, little blemishes add up to make the title a dud for hack-and-slash enthusiasts like myself. On the bright side, it does have a solid foundation with its myriad of options.
Reviewed on: PC; Also Available on: PS4, Switch, Vita; Publisher: XSEED Games; Developer: Marvelous; Players: Single-player; Released: July 25, 2017; ESRB: Teen; MSRP: $49.99, Official site