Review: The Fall (PlayStation 4)
- Release Date (NA): July 14, 2015
- Publisher: Over the Moon
- Developer: Over the Moon
- Genres: Puzzle, Point-and-Click, Adventure
- Also For: Computer, Nintendo Wii U, Xbox One
Single playerLocal MultiplayerOnline MultiplayerCo-operative
I Fell :(
That's right, folks, in this perfectly titled game The Fall...you fall. That's how the game starts out, anyways, with the image of a lonely figure randomly falling from space for reasons. You see your main character plow through the earth, and eventually you pop out in a robotics factory unconscious and without a hope in the world...that is, until your A.R.I.D. onboard a Mark-7 combat suit AI activates. You start the game as this AI in a combat suit, with the AI's sole purpose to keep it's human pilot alive and kicking. It activates it's life support system, and then you're on your own finding a medical facility to tend to your passenger.
We're Off To See The...Doctor?
Exploration is the number 1 priority in this game. If you aren't twirling your right thumb stick every which way, you're not getting anywhere. The Fall has a pseudo point-and-click styled gameplay, using a flashlight as your pointing device. You can simply interact with objects by picking them up or activating buttons, you can use those items you pick up in various situations, and you can "network" with select systems as well, which is mostly used for anything out of reach. As with most fictional AI systems, yours is gimped with a human verification element. Unfortunately, your human is sort of unavailable at the moment, so you'll have to make due with what you start with...or do you?
As you progress in the game, your AI has the :ability" to "circumvent" those restrictions by causing "impending harm" to its human character. Using these tactics, you gain access to various upgrades for your suit including networking access, camouflage systems, semi-automatic firing for your pistol...Oh, yeah, you have a pistol. Your AI possesses some basic combat functions and you're armed with a basic pistol used for taking out rogue security bots, disgusting monster slugs, and occasionally for accessing certain areas throughout the facility. Combat in the game is especially useful when, as you go through, you discover a crazy robotic care-taker is looking to cleanse your entire being from the decrepit facility. While figuring out the puzzles in The Fall, you'll find the occasional security bot looking to take your head off and prevent you from getting to the medical facilities.
But What About the Puzzles Tom??
**** THE PUZZLES. For real. The first 2 hours of the game have some of the most convoluted, boring, "why does this work?" puzzles I've encountered in a game. When you pick up a gold coin on the ground (that you conveniently find after shooting some slugs in a near invisible glass panel in the corner of a store), the first thing that comes to mind isn't "Hey lets stamp this and make a wire to put in that panel that is missing a wire". And how am I supposed to know I needed to put some slug blood on a mushroom to make a vacuum pump eat a baby? In my own opinion, this is where the biggest flaw of the game presents itself. The convoluted nature of the puzzles feel like they were designed simply to make the game last longer, not to present any challenge to the player. The story parts in the game are interesting when they happen, but with the unfortunate way Over the Moon is presenting this series, it doesn't seem nearly long enough to hold the player more than an hour without these poor puzzles. The game itself took me around 3 hours to complete, which includes all the time I had to spend on each puzzle, and ends up disappointing experience when all said and done.
M. Night Shyamalan Maximum Twists
The story in The Fall at least gives you enough drive to see through to the end. As you progress through the facility, you also discover how the facility became a decrepit pile of garbage, how there are random bodies, both robotic and human, casually hung on crucifixes made by a robotic caretaker. You meet another AI system, one without any name (that I've noticed), that helps you along with your exploration and is vital to getting through some early puzzles. To avoid spoilers, I will only mention that, as you get towards the end, you will discover an interesting (and, in my opinion, predictable) twist towards the end and a cliffhanger ending that will really make you want to play the upcoming games in what will be a trilogy, and myself as well as long as they fix the damn puzzles.
+ The story was quite interesting, and the ending made me want more.
+ Voice acting was surprisingly high quality, for an Indie game.
+ The game was rather short, so I didn't have to suffer through boring puzzles.
- Poorly conceived, convoluted puzzles.
- The game was rather short, being lengthened by rather poor puzzles instead of interesting content.
- The point and click style was, sadly, poorly conceived when using a controller
The overall presentation of the game is quite nice, the environments are well done and convey the "creepy dark old factory" feel that they're supposed to. The voice acting, while sparse, was also very well done along with the story of it all.
The game starts out rather well, the gameplay itself is rather solid and the controls work well enough. The puzzles, unfortunately, ruined the experience for me. Having to look at a walkthrough because your puzzles are poorly thought out simply doesn't make for good gameplay.
The game had 0 replayability, there were no choices, no separate paths, no alternative ways to solve puzzles. There weren't any secrets that I found, nothing. The only reason I gave it anything higher than a 1 was because, with the way the game ended, it made me wish for more.
out of 10
(not an average)
The Fall makes you want more. That much is clear. I want to see what happens with A.R.I.D, I want to see how the ending of The Fall continues on in it's sequels. But I don't want to play those puzzles, nor anything like it again. I'm not happy with how short the game is, nor with the way it's split into separate games. The Fall should, in my opinion, be avoided until all three of the games are out there.