Bulwark: Falconeer Chronicles review

by on March 26, 2024
Release Date

March 26, 2024


The Falconeer was such a wonderful game that felt fresh in its approach, cementing Tomas Sala as one of the most creative developers of the modern era. I don’t say those kind of things lightly. I played almost every version of The Falconeer and never got bored of exploring The Great Ursee, but it always felt like there could be more to come from that world. Enter Bulwark: Falconeer Chronicles, set 40 years after a great war, you’re responsible for building your own legacy in its wake, forging allegiances, and creating trade routes to make sure you thrive in this new world.

Bulwark: Falconeer Chronicles is a city builder without the familiar restrictions that many within the genre are bound by. There are main resources you’ll need to improve your settlements and outposts, but once you have access to workers, wood, stone, and iron, you’ll never run out as long as you have access to them. This alone takes away a lot of the stress of whether or not you can build a new harbour or command tower, instead giving you the means to build almost anywhere you want.

You can build some incredible looking structures. The outpost is what you’ll build first, which can then be turned into a citadel. Towers can be turned into command towers for protecting your settlements, which can also be built outwards with various platforms and floors. When you start connecting skybridges to your towers, they look amazing, adding to the already stunning visuals that are reminiscent of The Falconeer, except it is you who are responsible for these incredible fortresses.

This freedom is what makes Bulwark: Falconeer Chronicles so good. This allows you to focus on exploration of The Great Ursee without having to ferry goods back and fourth, scour the lands for resources because you’ve ran out, or manage any kind of currency. Even in other aspects of it, you’re often relieved of the stress of creating trade routes as they’re so easy to manage, and when it comes to hiring captains or commandeers, it’s simply a case of discovering them on the seas and welcoming them into your faction.

You do so by piloting your aerial surveyor across the ocean and following any question marker to see what’s there. Sometimes it’s a bunch of refugees looking for a new home. Other times, it might be a faction’s stronghold which you can either attack, or build a trade route. Making friends and enemies is all part of the fun, allowing you to be a dishonourable pirate or an honourable leader. Whatever you do, there are plenty of ways to improve your standing in Bulwark: Falconeer Chronicles, and there’re plenty of opportunities to strengthen your network of a living, breathing civilisation.

That exploration or lack of focus when it comes to objectives might put off some people, but it’s abundantly clear from the beginning that finding your own way is the best way to enjoy it. The open world is ripe for opportunity, and after you’ve started to grasp those fundamental concepts, it’s ultimately refreshing. Building a settlement starts off with having a place for workers to live and access to wood. Once you have those, you can build places for them to live and towers for them to thrive, connected by bridges that span large areas on mountains buried deep within the ocean.

If there’s a quarry nearby, you can start upgrading wooden structures with stone, and the same with iron. Building a harbour between different locations create trade routes, and after assigning a captain capable of ferrying resources around, you’ll soon have different settlements across the continent. Sometimes you’ll be attacked by your enemy, but those enemies all come about from the decisions you make when interacting with them. Politics come into play by the decisions you make, but be warned, as everything you do can have consequences that might see you come under attack.

Battles aren’t controlled by you, although you can use your surveyor to get involved. You don’t press any button to fire at the enemy, but by being in the vicinity you’ll shoot down airships and other enemies. Achieving victory leaves you to fight another day, but you can lose ships if a particular fight is a tough one. Unless you have the right preparations, taking on a nearby faction leader can result in failure, but that trial and error adds to the excitement. If you’re ever lost with who you’ve hired or what captains can carry what resources, the Soul Tree helps to provide the information you near in a clear way. Tomas Sala wants you to have fun building your empire, and these little features do the game a great service.

While the freedom might put off players who enjoy more direction, I loved having that freedom to play Bulwark: Falconeer Chronicles however I wanted. With different scenarios available for you to jump into as well as a free-build mode that offers zero restrictions, the hard work put in to make it a stress-free city builder is more than impressive. The visuals are breath-taking and the random encounters you’ll have make every playthrough different. If you enjoyed The Falconeer, this is just as smart despite it being a completely different genre.


Gorgeous visuals
Wonderful sense of freedom and exploration
Accessible to everyone


Some might want more guidance

Editor Rating
Our Score


In Short

Bulwark: Falconeer Chronicles is a refreshing take on the city builder genre, offering a wonderful sense of freedom and exploration.