Fate/EXTELLA LINK is a sequel to Fate/EXTELLA: The Umbral Star, and everything you loved from the first game has been amplified with more Servants, more moves, more content, and more customization. The visuals and story can be uneven, but fans of the original will find plenty of hack and slash goodness and plenty of content to overlook its faults.
The story was bonkers in the first one, and this one picks up after the end of the first, which I would recommend you play if you want to get all the little details in the second. That premise includes a digital world contained in the super computer SE.RA.PH, located on the moon, that continually expands and reshapes itself.
As part of the Fate anime and manga universe, you summon Servants to help you fight against a new extremely powerful enemy who threatens all that you have built. These Servants are spirits based on legendary heroes, knights, and rulers throughout history, such as Nero, Gilgamesh, and Joan of Arc, and they use their unique abilities to fight other Servants to help you preserve your own kingdom and the safety of your digital citizens.
Each Servant can be communicated with and customized in the My Room location. The most obvious is through a new costume. These can be unlocked by meeting certain conditions, but you can automatically unlock it if you played The Umbral Star. Their powers are customizable by your choice of Active Skills, ranging from attack to defensive skills. These can be upgraded over time, and made more powerful when you and another character are automatically linked (shown by a connecting line) in the same area.
When I called the story uneven, you might think I don’t like it. No way. I love the fact that they went so far out with a premise and then doubled down on it for the sequel. It’s weird, and it gives me more of everything I enjoyed. It can be a little overly complicated at times, but I appreciate that it’s something I don’t see everyday. It’s good support for the action, but the writing can be a little flat sometimes.
The story is told between missions. There is a mission selection screen that allows you to select your next fight, often depending on a choice you made at the end of a dialogue screen. New missions require you to meet conditions to unlock, but it’s usually just completing the prior mission.
When you enter The Barracks, you will see the mission level. Levels are divided into sectors that you need to subdue by defeating enough of the enemy and hold once you have them. These sectors are connected with tubes that quickly fly you between them, but only in a certain order. This can lead to some tough decisions based on the time remaining to complete an objective, but you can also use a command seal to fly directly to a certain sector.
The enemy won’t wait around and hope for you to die. They will strengthen their own areas and retake them from you. They will create new missions in a level as you try to stop new devices or enemies in certain areas. Enemy Servants will be called into an area, and they are much more powerful. Often, you will need to have a quick mini battle inside a larger battle by quickly pressing square to increase a gauge before they decimate you.
As a powerful, summoned Servant, you have quite a few tricks up your sleeve to ensure you walk away the victor. Beyond a normal attack that sends scores of enemies flying, you can assign four active skills. They range from attacks to defensive boosts, and each has a cooldown, before it can be used again.
Killing enemies will send particles flying at you to fill up the Moon Gauge. Once activated, your Servants receive a huge boost to attack and defense with a lovely yellow glow. You can burn the entire gauge for a powerful drive attack.
As you kill enemies in Moon Drive or collect boosts across a level, you can fill up your Noble Phantasm gauge. These are the most epic attacks in a game filled with epic characters attacking epically. After a slight pause for activation, Nero (my favorite character by a slim margin) would create an ornate Roman colosseum that inflicted damage on everyone. The Noble Phantasm is powerful and unique to each character, and it’s really cool to watch the animation.
Beyond the active skills, you can customize your character in other ways. The power of each Servant can be boosted by adding Install Skill orbs. After a mission, you will gain new skill orbs or upgrade existing ones. These allow you to tailor your fighter to increase the power of normal or active attacks, reduce damage, or increase how quickly a gauge fills. If you place similar orbs near each other, they will increase in power.
You can raise the level of your Servant through gameplay, but you can also use the Money is Power system to use QP (the game’s currency) to raise them to the level of your highest character. I liked this system, and I never had to stick with one character, just because they had the highest level. It freed me to play with whomever I wanted.
To complete the game, you will see the same Servants multiple times, and you will see multiple versions of the ending. The main quest line provides plenty of content, but the optional EX battles will keep you playing for as long or longer than the campaign, especially if you want to use multiple Servants to max out their bond with you and their general level. EX battles are harder versions of the same battles and new scenarios with new rewards.
I mentioned it at the beginning, but the visuals are uneven. The minute to minute gameplay looks awesome. Everything in the game is designed to look awesome. The opening movie seemed to stutter as it played, but, although the animations during gameplay were less detailed, they were very fluid and looked good. The art in the game, whether it was what looked like hand-drawn images or art design for missions, looked nice, but the textures were very plain.
It may have been a technical choice, because the game ran very smoothly. There were zero problems, even with me zipping across the screen, throwing a hundred enemies around, and blasting an active skill at someone. I did have trouble seeing my character sometimes when all the effects and explosions were going, but the action was smooth.
Fate/EXTELLA LINK is a fast and exciting game while you are playing. The story stays wonderfully crazy, if a little shallow, and your favorite Servants are here and ready for you to save the digital world. The visuals may be a little plain, but the game’s focus on over the top action never misses a beat. If you like the Fate universe or wanted a sequel to Umbral Star, Fate/EXTELLA LINK deserves a look.
Fate/EXTELLA LINK PS4 Review
Fate/EXTELLA LINK gives you a generous amount of content in this continuation of the series. I love the amount and variety of Servants and your ability to interact, the intensity of the action, and the amount of customization. It’s a game that goes out of its way to outdo the first game in every possible way.
Some of the writing falls flat, and, although the art itself is very good, the textures also appear a little flat. Overall, the good still easily outweighs the bad. Fate/EXTELLA LINK captures the feel of fighting as one of your favorite Servants, and, if you like the anime or the previous game, it improves on everything.
The action is very fast and thrilling
There is more of everything from Servants and powers to general content that only unlocks after you beat the game
The story expands the Fate universe
The art and characters look good
The writing can be uneven
The visuals appear flat and lack some texture
Reviewed using PS4 Pro.
Jason became terminally addicted to videogames after receiving the NES at an early age. This addiction grew to include PC gaming and was cemented with the launch of the PS2. From then on, he was afflicted with epic RPGs, tense shooters, and deep strategy games, never becoming skillful, but never able to quit. He continues to play games (poorly) and share his passion for them to anyone willing to listen.