REVIEW: ‘Fate/Extella LINK’ Improves on its Predecessor with Action (PS4)

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Fate/Extella

History is judged by its greatest warriors, but among those heroes lie villains. Adversaries on the battlefield, warriors clash with might and conviction. In the world of Fate, history repeats itself. Legendary warriors are summoned as the classic tale of good and evil commences once more. Fate/EXTELLA LINK, developed by Marvelous games, the team that brought players the cult-hit Senran Kagura franchise, Assault Gunners HD, and the Earth Defense Force franchise, is a sequel to 2017’s Fate/EXTELLA: The Umbral Star. This sequel promises to place players into the world of the anime and the biblical war raging on within the core of the Moon.

Fate/EXTELLA LINK takes place sometime after the events of Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star and within the world of Fate/Extra and Fate/Stay Night, two series within the Fate anime series. In the year 2032, astronauts discovered a strange object known as The Moon Cell, a strange computer system left by an unknown civilization and has studied all known human history including the Holy Grail War, a recurring tournament of life and death. The winner of this war is granted one miraculous wish that can defy the rules of the universe itself.

The teams in this tournament are made up of Masters and Servants, with the former gifted with mana to command their Servants, who are heroes and villains from the halls of history. Wielding great power and skill, these servants fight in The Holy Grail War, but in between battle and war, come to learn and teach one another. The events of the wars can be viewed in the main Fate Series.

In Fate/EXTELLA LINK, the Holy Grail War has been recreated in a digital universe called SE.RA.PH, which resides within the Moon Cell. SE.RA.PH is a cross between the giant VR worlds of Sword Art Online and the digital frontier of TRON, with humans interacting with NPCs and the servants inhabiting the world. The peace that had been established in the previous game has been shattered with the rise of attack programs and various servants looking to usurp peace-serving servants and their masters. With a new war waging across SE.RA.PH, new heroes, and villains will emerge to save humanity and preserve history.

Fate/EXTELLA LINK, like it’s predecessor, plays like an action game with RPG elements set across an open battlefield. You play as the Master, a generic character that can be named by players, assigned a gender fo male or female, and narrates the events around them. As the Master, you have summoned Servants to help him wage war against Rex Magnus, the villain aiming to end the peace. Players will start with the Fox Goddess Tanemano No Mae, newcomer Charlemagne, and Empress Nero Claudius, having been reincarnated as a woman.

Each Servant is known by their class, such as Saber, Rider, and Berserker. Each class yields specific strengths and weaknesses for combat.  Players can hold conversations, customize their combat load outs with code casts, and choose their support Servants. The conversations you have in the game are important as they will increase the bonds with Servants and allow for new abilities to be unlocked in combat. Across a lengthy campaign, players will wage a massive digital war both with and against histories great villains and heroes.

There is an online 4v4 mode, which allows for players to take to the battlefield and wage war amongst each other on open battlefields, using their selected servant in open combat. However, the campaign is the core of Fate/Extella LINK, especially as it allows you to unlock more characters and special missions.

Fate/EXTELLA LINK is a wild and fierce action experience that not only looks and feels like the anime series it is inspired from but is a very refreshing battle experience. As these Servants are larger than life figures. These heroes fight with flair, style, and sheer strength.

The combat in Fate/EXTELLA LINK is easy to learn and not terribly difficult to master. Fighting with these servants yields top-notch anime action, where bright explosions and particle effects fill the screen. Combat happens while you are surrounded by enemies, one swipe of the blade can easily defeat several dozen of them. The enemy is accompanied by stronger enemies such as Aggressors  and boss servants making the battles wild and challenging.

Tapping into sheer power, enemies burst and explode and an array of powerful effects litter the battlefield. With swiftness, lightning fast reflexes, and an array of dynamic action, the combat of Fate/EXTELLA LINK is phenomenally polished and incredibly engaging. The ability to use special attacks and even build their unique abilities with the Moon Drive makes for a very versatile and varied game. Compared to the game’s predecessor, the combat is much more refined.

Fate/Extella

Some of the enhancements to the combat involve getting locked into duels with different Servants. At any one moment players can get locked into melee combat where they will need to repeatedly smash the square button to maintain the advantage. Enemies can be paralyzed and repeatedly attacked in airborne combo moments. In these moments, the camera angles and special attacks have been refined to be much more weighted and immersive.

Among the most powerful abilities in the game is the use of the Noble Phantasm. Also featured in the anime, Noble Phantasms are immeasurably powerful attacks that draw massive amounts of mana and therefore initiate devastating power. In the last game, players had to find circuits to use their Noble Phantasms, which are scattered across a battlefield. In Fate/EXTELLA LINK, the player needs to keep attacking and using their Moon Dive attacks to build the Noble Phantasm. Victory hinges on these Noble Phantasms, especially when facing Boss Servants at the end of various levels.

Visually, Fate/EXTELLA LINK is every anime lovers’ dream. The action explodes on-screen with intense music and vibrant visuals. The game runs at 60 Frames-per-second for an incredibly smooth gameplay experience. The music also underscores the universal high stakes excitement of the scenario of the game. There is more than just diverse level design and combat, but also in playable characters as well, with more characters from the Fate franchise enters the battlefield. The more players play, the more they will come to unlock some of these heroes and villains.

I’d have to say that playing Fate/EXTELLA: The Umbral Star is not required but suggested. The original game isn’t impossible to play, but as it plays as a visual novel spliced with action, it may take a bit more patience to play. Additionally, several characters and story elements do make their appearance in Fate/EXTELLA: The Umbral Star that leads directly into Fate/EXTELLA LINK. If possible, definitely play the former to better understand the latter, but if you are unable to do so, that is fine.

Vibrant, enthusiastic, and passionate, Fate/EXTELLA LINK is a battle worth fighting for all players, and for masters that have fought before, this review should serve all the more reason to summon your servant and fight once more. Fate/EXTELLA LINK  is a fantastic action game.

  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL; DR

Fate/EXTELLA LINK is every anime lovers’ dream. The action explodes on-screen with intense music and vibrant visuals. The game runs at 60 Frames-per-second for an incredibly smooth gameplay experience. The music also underscores the universal high stakes excitement of the scenario of the game. There is more than just diverse level design and combat, but also in playable characters as well, with more characters from the Fate franchise enters the battlefield.