Brain Teasers And Space Exploration
The Fall – Reviewed
By Julie Morley
I had some very high expectations for The Fall, a moody platformer developed by Over The Moon Games. For those unfamiliar with it, Over The Moon pitched The Fall via a Kickstarter campaign back in September of 2013, aiming to raise only $17K but raised more than double of their goal, thus meeting multiple stretch goals. The reception for The Fall at the time was great and anticipation has been increasing rapidly since the campaign’s conclusion, as evident from our previous coverage.
First off, The Fall is an action platformer with some point and click gameplay. It’s dark, atmospheric, but most importantly, creepy. Everywhere you turn there will be something a little bit unnerving, whether it is a corpse hanging from a cross or rodents skittering all over the place. Over The Moon Games did their job when it came to adding a nice touch of suspense.
Right off the bat, I was sucked into this world. I was ARID. A pilot has fallen onto a strange planet littered with robot bodies, parts, debris, and something startling: pilots and other humans that have been murdered and dissected. When he’s rendered unconscious, the artificial intelligence, ARID, takes control over his body and journey’s through this mysterious world with a graveyard of machinery, strange mutants in the shadows, and an artificial intelligence that has spent thirty years adjusting his voice to mimic human-like tonality and structure.
I found exploration to be the biggest component for gameplay and advancement in The Fall. This ties in that point and click aspect I mentioned earlier. Objects to interact with and pick up, much like a point and click adventure, are all over the place. These items are held in an inventory and utilized down the road when a puzzle chimes in. The more exploration there is, the more items needed to solve puzzles and advance further in the game which steadily increase in difficulty.
To put the difficulty into perspective, I spent probably a good thirty minutes plus whining at my computer screen, stuck in one place at the beginning attempting to figure out how to turn on my camouflage. What I expected to be simple, obvious, and practically dancing right in front of my face, happened to be obscure and punishing to find. The Fall’s puzzles are without a doubt a real brain poker but offer the best reward when completed. I doubt I’m the only person with this struggle.
One of my favorite components of The Fall was the in depth storyline. Follow the rules. Avoid violation. Stick to what you know. These robots and artificial intelligences are programmed to be nothing like humans, to follow as they are set to do without any expansion. However, even these machines find themselves growing. ARID is changing the further we progress and she encounters artificial intelligences that shift our understanding of the barrier between humanity and technology.
As a flaw, some of The Fall is still a bit buggy and in need of work. The controls are a bit difficult to manage and often the animations will either lock up or stop working all together, leaving ARID moving in a gliding motion. Despite how humorous that looks, and boy, it was, it’s a real setback when two enemy robots are shooting at you and hiding isn’t a possibility.
Aside from the small flaw, The Fall is an entertaining and memorable game. The story was captivating and heavily immersive, leaving me feeling I was actually a part of the journey which is key to atmospheric games like this. It’s solid, entertaining, and will keep players interested for the entirety of the game. The Fall is an enjoyable game, but also a frustrating one – but, I stress – in the best way.
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[author image=”http://cliqist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/julie.jpg” ]Julie Morley is a freelance writer and comic artist from Spring, Texas. She attended the Academy of Art University for two years, studying Animation and Illustration. Whilst here, she learned about writing comic scripts, storyboards, and general storytelling. Since leaving college, she has been working on personal comic projects, stories, and illustrations. She aspires to release a self published comic within two years. For the majority of her life, she has been playing console games, typically being third-person shooters and sandboxes. Her favorite game of existence is Dark Cloud II (Dark Chronicle) and her favorite Indie game is Gone Home.[/author]