Granblue Fantasy Relink Review | Sky High

This game is what happens if Final Fantasy and Monster Hunter had a baby. Yes, it's as good as it sounds.

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After a loaded 2023 and a more than stacked January lineup for gaming, I didn’t really expect Granblue Fantasy Relink to capture me as much as it did. Sega is having one heck of a release window with Relink, Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth, and Persona 3 Reload. We already know that the latter 2 releases are pretty well known but Granblue sits in an interesting spot where most of the people who are aware of it come from the relatively successful mobile game. Expanding a gacha mobile title into a massive ARPG for modern systems does sound equally daunting and interesting. However, Cygames was able to deliver something truly fantastic. If you’re ever doubting whether or not to pick this one up, here’s our Granblue Fantasy Relink review.

One of the best things about Granblue Fantasy Relink is how it doesn’t require you to know anything about the IP. Prior to playing last year’s Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising, I had no idea such a franchise existed. But the game never made me feel like I was an outsider. I’m not much of a JRPG guy myself nor am I well-versed into the Granblue lore but I thoroughly enjoyed my hours with Relink and I look forward to adding more once the game is out in the wild. This is a fun, accessible, and massive title that can be as deep as you want it to be. The great singleplayer campaign is filled with thrilling set pieces and well-designed boss fights but the real experience comes in the end game, completing various quests solo or with friends while trying to max out each of the highly varied characters. There’s a lot to dig into in Relink. While it’s not anything groundbreaking, it takes in what makes the genre so great and provides a charming personality to it all that makes it so endearing.

A fantasy worth getting into

When I played Versus’ campaign, the story narrative didn’t really connect with me as much as I would’ve wanted it to. Gameplay wise, it was enjoyable as a 2D fighting game but also equally impressive with the number of changes and fixes the developers did from its original release. That was when I first got introduced to Cygames as a talented studio that does put a lot of love and care into their work. This initial impression was further validated with Granblue Fantasy Relink’s campaign.

The main story took me about 20+ hours to complete. I did my fair share of side stuff every now and then but for the most part, I focused on chugging through the primary story beats. That’s not because I wanted to get it all over with. It’s simply because I kept wanting to see what else is next. The pacing of it all moves at a breakneck speed, starting with a visually stunning boss fight and continues to drip feed you with impressive set piece after another. There’s a dude who rides his spear in the air like a skateboard. That’s all I need to say to tell you how awesome and whack this game can be.

The colorful cast of characters make up a lot of my enjoyment with this title. The crew’s chemistry with one another is an absolute treat to witness. While the english voice acting isn’t anything noteworthy, the cast do deliver their lines with just the right amount of cheese to make it all enjoyable.

I do have to mention how beautiful the visual aesthetics of the game is. Environments are brimming with color that reels you in. I always had a strong urge to just explore. Animations are flashy and defined. Phenomenal SFX work during combat as well. The art style of Relink is colorful, unique, and timeless. While it won’t win any visual fidelity and texture detail competition, it’s definitely a pleasant eye-catcher. Special shoutouts do have to be given to character and boss designs. They all look fantastic.

The game does truly open up after the campaign. If you’re the type of person who buys JRPGs because of the extensive story runtimes, Relink will not be the game for you. While there is a lot to love in the main story, endgame is where the game shines at its absolute best.

Game beyond the game

I was initially scared thinking about how tedious the grind must be. Given that Granblue has mobile origins, it would be easy for the studio to just make this a AAA gacha game for PC and consoles. Thankfully, that’s not the case. The main campaign is fully fleshed out with no artificial systems set in place to stop you from progressing unless you level up further.

In the beginning, you are given a full party of characters that each have their own strengths and unique skills. Not a single one felt underpowered to the point that you’ll never consider including them in the party. You initially start controlling Gran, the captain, but shortly after, you are free to control whoever as long as you’re not in combat. The gameplay diversity this system offers kept everything fresh and interesting. After just a couple of hours, you are able to unlock more party members with currency you’ll regularly get by completing missions. Zero grind required.

There are very few cases where one character’s mechanics are similar with another. Despite the wide variety, each one was so enjoyable to try out and learn. Your approach to combat scenarios takes a whole new direction. Do you just stand back and support the party? Charge in and whack away? Or strategically target your shots? There’s a character for every playstyle. Maxing out abilities, leveling up mastery trees, and upgrading weapons and sigils are all gameplay systems we’ve all come to expect. But Relink streamlines all of these to make it less intrusive to get you back into the action.

Speaking of which, the combat in Relink is fantastic. It’s fast, frantic, and fluid. Imagine Monster Hunter but bump it up to about 10 times faster. The key to success is stringing together combos with your basic attacks and skills until you fill up a bar that enables you dish out massive damage with a unified attack with your party. Once you build up enough power, you can perform an ultimate move which you can chain together with the rest of the party members. It’s very easy to get lost in the visual noise of the battle because this game uses a lot of VFX. And they all look amazing. Damage numbers, explosions, spells, sword slashers, you name it, it’s here. The one very minor gripe I have with Relink is the camera system, particularly the lock-on mechanic. This is so aggressively restrictive that I ended up just not using it all together. The combat just feels so satisfying to see in motion. More impressively, I never saw the game drop FPS even in the thick of it all. Truly impressive optimization.

Outside of the main campaign, the quest system is where you’ll be spending the most time in. This is where you can grind to max out your characters and upgrade your gear. There are 6 types of missions: Boss, Conquest, Horde, Survival, Defend, and Explore. Each one has different objectives but also different rewards. So, grinding in Relink is not as random as other similar games. You can target which resources you’ll gain and just work towards that. This is a simple fix to avoid so much burnout and useless filler content work. Building up each of the characters all lead up to more difficult raids and boss fights. All of which are exciting spectacles that never get old. Cygames have stated that there are over 100+ hours of endgame content. While I’m nowhere near those numbers yet, I can say that so far, it’s all been so satisfying and rewarding to go through. Should you prefer to play on your own instead of utilizing the online coop, the AI is competent enough to be very useful in battle.

Granblue Fantasy Relink Review Final Verdict – 9/10

There is a very strong foundation here in Granblue Fantasy Relink. The game was able to prove me wrong with every single worry I had walking into it. It has a very enjoyable story campaign that doesn’t overstay its welcome, a combat system that feels as good as it looks, meaningful and satisfying character progression, and endgame content that takes every high point the single-player has and dials it up to 11.

Considering that a format of this scale is a first for the franchise, I’ll go as far as to say that some of the more established RPG titles could learn a thing or two from what Cygames has done. If you’re already an existing player from either the mobile game or the 2D fighter spinoff, this is an easy recommendation. But if you’re someone who’s completely in the dark about the IP, I’ll still claim that this game deserves a spot to be up there with the greats like Final Fantasy.

This review was made using a game code for the PC provided by the publisher. 


Granblue Fantasy Relink is exactly the type of ARPG that you'd just want to keep playing. Great visuals, strong gameplay, and a colorful cast of characters that bring it all together from a very strong start all the way to an enjoyable endgame.