Artificial Intelligence is a huge part of the Science Fiction genre, and a growing part of reality. Whether it be fictional fears like Terminator, or real life concepts like Siri, self-driving cars, and more; the technology behind AI is growing every day. In The Fall, you take control of an AI who is on a mission to save the human who inhabits the suit of armor she controls. With an interesting mission, solid setting, and promise of gun gameplay, it has all the makings to be great 2D action-adventure right? Well not all is well in this seemingly promising title, as it disappointingly left me fatigued, uninterested, and ready for the credits to roll early on. Here are my thoughts on Over The Moon’s The Fall, which recently crash landed on to Switch, along with its sequel.
You are A.R.I.D, a Mark 7 Combat Suit, that upon crash landing onto an unknown location, your only objective is to save your human (Josephs) that sits nearly lifeless inside that suit. What follows is a trek in unknown territory to seek medical help, and that journey is quickly hindered by mostly aggressive AI that aim to stop you. They believe you to be faulty, and ARID, in a way, is disobeying the rules. She enables herself to use functions normally only engaged by Josephs, but with him out of commission, she is able to work around this. This triggers an AI known as the Caretaker to question her every action, insisting she is faulty. He is the biggest road bump on her way to saving Joseph, in addition to a variety of puzzle like actions as well as some occasional skirmishes. These firefights are sadly less exciting than the puzzles (typically fetch quests).
Shooting is clunky and dull, to say the least. I almost wished it wasn’t a feature aspect of the game honestly, it took away from the environment and offered little to no excitement. Your weapon has two features, a flash light and a laser sight. When shooting, it auto-switches to laser sight which is fine, but the cover based system is so finicky and drab that you will rarely care about accuracy. Switching in and out of cover does not feel smooth at all, and I much preferred using the cloak ability which allows you to hide in plain sight. In addition to that, the general controls are not user friendly. You have to have your gun out with the flashlight on in order to interact with the world around you, which you do often. When you jump or want to run, your gun is put away, meaning you need to pull it out each and every time you want to interact with something, which is quite annoying if you ask me.
The general gameplay outside of shooting just did not connect with me either. Your fetch-quest like tasks are typically menial and predictable, as was the games story. I was tired of backtracking for solutions that were obvious. That is not to say some situations did not impress, but that was not the case for the majority of the title. The poorly written dialog did not do much to keep me invested either, and even for a game about robots, it still came off as cold and lifeless.
The looks of The Fall were one of its strong suits. I liked the clean, cool colors used to give it the Sci-Fi appeal, and things typically looked pretty smooth. I liked the environments for being on a 2D plane, which really fit the bill for what the story entailed. On the sound side of things, another subpar experience. The voiceover work was solid, but not stand out. The same can be said of the sound effects, with the gun sounding decent in addition to the rest of the world’s zaps, gooey noises, and standard affairs.
I am truly disappointed that I walk away from this title feeling nothing. I can see some finding enjoyment in it, but to hear such good things about the title just to be faced with clunky controls, a predictable story, and just decent features makes this quite the punch to the gut. The Fall has a bunch of good ideas, but the metrics never quite line up. For me, the title most certainly was defective, making ARID not the only one facing such accusations.
*Note: A copy of the game was provided for the purposes of the review
Final Score: 6/10
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