Granblue Fantasy: Relink brings online co-op to one of the most popular JRPG franchises of all time

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During our session, our dragon knights battle monsters through lush grass and loose catwalks through sky canyons, before meeting a massive ancient dragon in front of the crashed airship. Due to its massive health bar, the beast takes a while to beat, forcing all of us to make the most of our full range of abilities and charge attacks. If an ally goes down, we can revive them by running them over and spending a few seconds helping them to their feet.

Going up against a creature this size, Relink almost feels like Monster Hunter going through Devil May Cry. The link-based content even extends to special moves. After building the charge meter, we use special attacks (pressing both analog sticks), chaining them one after another to deal a final burst of higher damage. Just slay the dragon and uncover treasure chests, but what bigger beasts can we expect on the other islands?

The good thing is that despite the spectacle, this co-op mission is representative of the kind of side missions you can take on in addition to the more scenario-based main campaign. On some islands, you’ll find towns where you can wander around, adjust your gear, and connect with other players, using these hubs as a kind of lobby. Speaking to us, Cygames calls it an “on-the-fly co-op system” and teases a lot of side quests.

If Cygames can make the sleek, stylish action work in a continuous online context as well as single-player story, it could become one of our favorite ways to spend evenings with friends. After all, his work on the mobile game shows that the developer has the skills to keep players engaged for the long haul. We’ve yet to see a developer actually launch a Devil May Cry-style online game, but we’d be putting a lot of money into Cygames being the one to do it. Alongside the great fighting game Granblue Fantasy Versus (check out the latest issue), it looks like the Granblue franchise is ready to take PS4 by storm, and we’re ready to set sail into its heart.

(Image credit: Future)

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