Bulwark: Falconeer Chronicles Review – No Mistakes, No Challenge

In a world where no mistake is dangerous, you feel empowered to create whatever you like. Build structures freely, create links to resources, and expand your influence all over the world. Bulwark: Falconeer Chronicles is a city builder that lets you build the empire of your dreams. Do you wish to peacefully co-exist with other nations or conquer them all? Or do you just want to create tall buildings with elaborate structures? The world is your oyster.

However, the freedom and lack of mistakes is a double-edged sword. A world where no decision is truly a mistake lets you express your creative freedom. But on the other hand, it also means the stakes are incredibly low. You must deliberately put yourself in an unwinnable situation and that is difficult to do. Without the threat of failure, you rely on your creativity to keep you interested.

Bulwark Falconeer Chronicles Construction
Construction looks complex but always starts small.

There isn’t a big story, but Bulwark: Falconeer Chronicles puts you through a detailed tutorial for its campaigns. You learn the importance of harvesting resources, making connections with buildings, and setting up proper endpoints for harbors. There’s a lot to cover and it’s intimidating if you forget anything. Fortunately, it’s easy to refer back to anything you miss. It’s also a world where you can’t do anything wrong, making it easy to learn what you need.

This is especially true when you start expanding or creating tall buildings. You must set a foundation and think about how you transfer resources over. Buildings have a cost even if it is difficult to quantify. It’s not always clear how much you need or whether you have enough to build the structures you want. But this isn’t a game where you rush to the end. Everything you do has a purpose and is a stepping stone for something greater.

Bulwark Falconeer Chronicles Alert
You can respond to events or focus on your development.

Your creativity extends to your vision as you are not alone in the desolate landscape. This is a post-war world where the survivors are trying to make something for themselves. Your sprawling creations or bid to decorate the world with fancy towers will clash with other factions. Do you negotiate a peaceful co-existence or do you wipe them out to expand your empire? There’s no right or wrong answer and the choice is yours.

The world of Bulwark: Falconeer Chronicles is beautiful in two ways. The first is that the environment is detailed, with every landmark unique in its distinct way. It’s clear what everything is from the start and you can visualize your creations. Even when you start out with a simple foundation, working your way up is rewarding. Your small outposts and towers become massive skyscrapers that look like they came from a science-fiction novel. The second is the desolation of the world and how you rebuild it. It seems odd to point out the beauty in desolation, but it never escapes your mind how fragile the world is. Every building, every faction, every resource is part of your world now. Like growing a seed and watching it bloom, there’s something magical about making your creations come to life. Bulwark: Falconeer Chronicles captures that magic well and it helps you appreciate what you make, even if it doesn’t look impressive.

Bulwark Falconeer Chronicles Exploration
There’s something majestic about the exploration in a desolate world.

This is especially prominent in the game’s Freebuild mode where resources don’t constrain you and other factions don’t “exist”. The world is yours to do as you wish, letting you build whatever you like without any restrictions. If you thought co-existing with other factions was difficult, you won’t need to worry about it. Your creations can really come alive without the threat of someone trying to attack you. But, as wonderful as Freebuild mode is, you can’t reliably save your progress. That means your experiments remain experiments and your creations only last in Campaign mode. While Freebuild mode isn’t a cheat code, it’s sometimes nice to create when you don’t have restrictions or threats. Making your heart’s desire come to life and seeing all that disappear can be disheartening. Some functions don’t work the way they are intended, such as hiring captains for your boats or finding commanders for towers. There’s no resource transportation or combat necessary, but it also prevents players from using Freebuild mode as a way to practice. Even if you can’t truly make mistakes, getting some practice helps you imagine what could be.

The biggest drawback to Bulwark: Falconeer Chronicles is ironically its biggest selling point: you can’t make mistakes. There is no decision that topples everything you built, your empire never stays ruined, and you can always redesign something. It’s great to know that everything you do is working towards a larger vision. Even if there are bumps along the way, it’s nothing you can’t fix. But in a world where nothing is a mistake, there’s no pressure. There are no constraints to work with. Nothing is truly irreparable. Even if something doesn’t go the way you want, there’s always a way to fix it. As comforting as that is, that also means there is no challenge. It’s a giant sandbox whose only limitation is that you can’t build towers and walkways on deep water. Without a need to be careful or pay close attention, there’s nothing pushing or constraining you. While constraints aren’t the only way to encourage creativity, it also feels like nothing bad will ever happen. This drains your motivation quickly because as nice as it is to create, there’s nothing driving you towards a specific goal. It’s easy to become aimless because once the tutorial’s done, you can just do nothing.

Bulwark Falconeer Chronicles Decisions
There’s no good or bad consequence, and thus no decision matters.

If you were looking for a game with a challenge of keeping a large city afloat or dealing with multiple pressures, this isn’t it. This is a game for those who want to express their creative freedom without getting knocked down by anything. Any challenge seekers who want the pressure of keeping a city alive would be best served by another game.

Despite its peaceful nature working against itself, Bulwark: Falconeer Chronicles is great for letting your creativity fly. The world is your canvas and there’s nothing you can’t do to rectify a mistake. Create those massive structures and expand your vision the way you have always dreamed of. Expand your empire without a fear of failure. It’s a relaxing city builder great for a casual player who struggles under pressure.

Victor played Bulwark: Falconeer Chronicles on PC with a review code.

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