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Fate/Extella Link

Platform(s): PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
Genre: Action
Publisher: Bandai Namco Games
Developer: Marvelous
Release Date: 2018


PSV/PS4 Preview - 'Fate/Extella Link'

by Chris "Atom" DeAngelus on June 15, 2018 @ 12:30 a.m. PDT

Picking up where the story ended in Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star, Fate/Extella Link expands the roster of playable Servants with 10 legendary heroes added to the original selection of 16.

At its core, Fate Extella Link is very similar to the original game, Fate Extella: The Umbral Star. It's effectively Dynasty Warriors with a different cast of characters — but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. The eccentric cast of Fate makes for a very interesting group of fighters for such a game. We're told the entire original cast of Fate Extella will return in addition to 10 new characters exclusive to the game. XSEED was mum about who the new characters will be, but fans can at least expect a variety of historical figures.

The basic gameplay will feel familiar to anyone who played the previous game (or any of the mass-battle style of games). You have quick attacks and strong attacks, and you can chain them together to perform special attacks. Some of the attacks are good at single targets, and others are good for clearing out a bunch of foes. Your goal is to take over areas in the game by defeating boss characters that inhabit them. Each area is connected to other areas, and your overall goal is to take over as much space as you can while also defeating enemy Servants.

The first noteworthy change to Fate/Extella Link is in special skills, which are now accessible at the press of a button. It's rather similar to Dragon Quest Heroes, if you've played that before. Holding down the R1 button and pressing one of the face buttons instantly uses one of your special moves. These moves are powerful screen-clearing attacks or buffs. Each one has a cooldown, so you can't spam them, but the cooldown is short enough that you don't have to be afraid to use your special moves.

Every Servant also has a second super bar, which fills up as you fight, and when it's full, you can press the Circle button to activate a special mode where your character becomes more powerful. This gives you a lot of bonus strength, and you can use a powerful final attack by pressing Circle again. An important thing to note is that using this mode also fills up another gauge, which fills up about 25% every time you do. When it's full, you can use Noble Phantasm, which is a character-specific special attack. Charlemagne can basically nuke an entire arena of enemies, while Tamamo can buff allies to have almost no cooldown on their special attacks.

The "Link" in the title comes from the ability to team up with allies. If you're close to an ally on the battlefield, you'll see an electric line string between the characters. While you're doing this, certain attacks are buffed. For example, you can knock an enemy into the air and follow it up with a button-mashing combo. If you have allies nearby, they'll join in for more damage. Likewise, they may help break an enemy's combo on you, so  it's important to help your allies rather than going it alone. The game will also have a 4v4 online multiplayer mode where linking will be a very important part of success.

All in all, Fate Extella Link looks like a solid sequel to the original game. It looks better, plays better, has a larger cast, and is an improvement in every way. Fans of the original should be delighted, and anyone who found it to be slow or awkward will want to give the sequel a shot. Fate Extella Link is coming to PS4 and Vita later this year.

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