Granblue Fantasy: Relink review

by on January 31, 2024
Reviewed On
Release Date

February 1, 2024


I’d be lying if I said Granblue Fantasy: Relink was one of my most anticipated games of 2024. Not because it looked bad or it wasn’t my type of game because on the surface it’s quite the opposite. It quite simply flew under my radar as some games do, and one such game that did something similar three years ago was Scarlet Nexus. However, it became my favourite of 2021 due to its stunning visuals and satisfying combat, and after spending hours with Cygames’ latest, I have that same love and appreciation for this stunner of a game.

Granblue Fantasy: Relink is a fully fledged RPG where you play as the captain of the Grandcypher, an airship that travels across an expanse of islands in the sky. The story takes you across the Skydom of Zegagrande, involving huge creatures known as primal beasts and a mysterious organisation known as the Church of Avia, and after your friend Lyria is kidnapped, it’s up to you and your crew to get her back. It has such a big heart where you’ll feel a deep sense of connection with your crew, and that bleeds into the main campaign’s missions.

Each character has a backstory, and simply playing through the story you’ll start to learn more about each one of them. Naturally, you’ll gravitate to some more than others, but each has their own personality. You can also complete Fate Stories from the town where you’ll be able to explore their history and learn about their motivations and more. They offer a nice reprieve from the constant battling and intensity of slaying huge monsters and waves of enemies, and mix up the formula of taking on standard missions.

As much as I loved guys like Rackham and Eugen, I couldn’t help but be fascinated by Katalina and especially Rosetta. Whoever you warm to, there’s plenty of work gone into character development. On top of developing relationships, you’ll spend a fair bit of time upgrading weapons and unlocking new abilities for everyone, equipping Sigils that offer permanent buffs like additional rupies earned and better damage done when stamina is high, and more. All of these factors play into how important your party is to you, and after a difficult battle, there’s nothing more satisfying that spending time choosing where you want to improve your party.

Over time, you’ll be able to add new party members to your team, properly fleshing out your crew and giving you a wealth of customisation regardless of the mission you’re about to undertake. Each character has a range of moves and abilities, along with different elemental attributes that work well against particular enemy types. For example, some will be weak against fire or wind, so making sure you include those particular party members will help you more than others. You get tanks, long range, and healers to name a few, and on top of equipping the right Sigils and special moves, combat can be tons of fun.

When you’re in the middle of a battle, Granblue Fantasy: Relink is thrilling. You use standard attacks by pressing the Square and Triangle button just like many similar style action-RPGs, however, combat is layered and never gets boring. You have special moves that can be triggered easily with R1 and corresponding buttons, and the more you attack successfully and fill up an enemy’s stun meter, you will be able to initiate a Link Attack by pressing Circle. On top of that, the more Link Attacks you do, the higher your party’s link chain builds until it reaches 100% and everything slows down allowing you to thrash the hell out of your enemy for a short period of time.

Perhaps the most satisfying moment of a battle comes when you unleash your Skybound Art. As you fight, the orange meter under your health bar fills up, and once full you can press the two analogue sticks down to execute a powerful attack. If every member of your party has their Skybound Art readied, they’ll all begin to use them, and if that happens, a Full Burst attack will initiate which not only looks fantastic, it can do plenty of damage to whatever you’re facing. While you have plenty of options during a fight, certain bosses can take along time to wear down.

Granblue Fantasy: Relink is intense during these boss battles, and there are a lot of them. Just as you’ve taken out one, there’s sometimes no respite at all and you’re thrown into another one. You whittle down their health like carving wood by throwing everything at them. I fought so many different types of bosses that have such a wide range of attack patterns and moves, meaning you never know what you’re up against. At certain points in the battle, they’ll enter into Overdrive where they become harder to hurt and do more damage against you. If you’re wanting to play on the standard ‘action’ difficulty, get ready for a challenge.

While not thoroughly difficult, you’ll be pushed to mix up your attacks and make use of the sublime three-dodge manoeuvre. You can always change to the easier difficulty if it’s a struggle, as well as playing around with the assist options where combat can play out automatically if you’d rather just enjoy the flow of the story. It can get busy on screen with everyone attacking and unleashing moves, with an abundance of flashing lights and colours. The camera moves around frantically on occasion, and while not a massive issue, using the lock-on is a must.

I was constantly impressed with how beautiful Granblue Fantasy: Relink looked. Each location looks hand-painted, giving you that same joy when entering somewhere new in Octopath Traveller II. Whether lush forests or snow-capped mountains, everything looks delicately created, as if Bob Ross was on the development team. Some of the character animations aren’t as crisp during cutscenes, but the artistry is genuinely breath-taking. There’s a gorgeous soundtrack accompanying you on the journey and I adored every step of it. Cygames has managed to make a thoroughly enjoyable game in every sense, and there’s always motivation to complete side quests.

As mentioned earlier, there are Fate Episodes that provide background to your crew, but there’re also side missions that can be undertaken from people around town, as well as quests where you can take on tough bosses, hunt for resources, and more. While the game isn’t co-op, these missions can be completed with others and play out like multiplayer in Monster Hunter. It makes sense, as the massive boss fights against huge monsters are a slog, but with others they are much more enjoyable.

Granblue Fantasy: Relink is a stunning game to look at, with beauty in every little detail. Environments look like a painting, and the music is excellent. As for the story, it’s enjoyable enough to make you want to keep playing, but it’s the character development that stands out. You grow fond of your crew and want them to succeed, and thanks to a dense level of skill and ability customisation, there’s plenty of reason to experiment until you find the perfect three companions in battle.


Beautiful environments
Great mix in combat
Lots of options when customising your party
Loveable characters


A lot going on during combat

Editor Rating
Our Score


In Short

Granblue Fantasy: Relink is not only a gorgeous game, the combat is satisfying with plenty of experimentation when it comes to your party.