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The Fall Review


The Fall is an atmospheric sci-fi side-scroller that's a unique mixture of action, point and click adventure, and puzzle genres with a touch of platforming all in one game.

Developer: Over The Moon
Publisher: Over The Moon
Genre: Action, Adventure
Format: Xbox One
Release Date: July 14th, 2015
Copy provided by publisher
Dark and Atmospheric...

That's the impression I got out of watching the trailer for The Fall. And ever since watching said trailer, I've had high expectations for this game. And not only did it meet my expectations, it surpassed them. I expected a cool sci-fi adventure with a decent story but what I got was much more than that. What I got instead was a great story set in a cool atmosphere in a game that mixes more genres than I've ever seen in a game, that I can recall at least, and it does it well. All of the games mechanics work great and not one of them feels out of place. From the shooting to the platforming, from the point and click aspects to the stealth, they all blend together seamlessly.

As for the story, it's as engaging as they get and the twist is something most won't see coming but I'm not going to spoil it. A games story is an important part of the experience for me and one thing I don't do is ruin that for other people. But I will tell you what you learn in the first few minutes of the game so you can get an idea of what you're in for.

You play as ARID, the on-board A.I. of a combat suit that is activated after crashing on some planet and the human pilot in the suit is rendered unconscious. ARIDs main goal is to find medical attention for her pilot before it's too late. If you want to know anymore than that, you are going to have to play it. Or google it but I strongly recommend playing it. Although I will say that as you progress through the game, you'll notice that the story is much deeper than that. Not only will you learn about ARID, you'll learn about the mysterious planet that you have crash landed on. Which is a whole other story in itself but still very relevant to the main story. Or at least it seems to be so far, I won't know the answer to that until the remaining episodes are released and the story is complete. The game also features a full voice cast and the voice acting is very well done.


The other thing that stood out to me besides the story was the puzzle solving. Besides the fact that I didn't expect there to be puzzles in the game in the first place, they played a role in helping tell the story of the game which was kind of mind blowing to me. I can't remember the last time I played a game where the puzzles actually had a hand in revealing the story, usually they're just...there. Now that's most likely because I've played so many different games throughout my life, I'm sure there are a few, but the fact that I can't remember them tells me that they didn't do it as well as The Fall does it. And not only do the games puzzles help with story telling, they are fun to solve. They're not very hard to figure out with a little exploration and some of solutions are even a bit humorous.

The action sequences were also not what I expected. I knew the game had cover and stealth mechanics from the trailer but they're not as run and gun as I thought they'd be. Making use of cover and stealth is the best way to get through these sections. You can run and gun a little bit if you're trigger finger is fast enough but the enemies also make use of cover so a lot of the time that's the best way to get yourself killed. The action isn't constant either. These sequences are in the game just enough to give you a nice break from the adventuring and puzzle solving. Shooting an enemy in the face also feels pretty good.


The artwork and sound design are also both worth noting. Even though the artwork isn't the most detailed, it gives the game a unique and cool look and the sound design only enhances an already engrossing sci-fi atmosphere.

The only thing that I didn't like about The Fall besides it being short, which I don't see as a bad thing, I can't knock a game for leaving me wanting more, is the occasional chop or glitch. Every once in a while there'd be a slight freeze after I pressed the jump button and I'd go from being on the ground to being at the top of my jump without ever seeing that motion take place. While climbing ladders on two occasions, I was whisked across the screen and had to make my way back to the area I was just in. These instances weren't too much of a setback though, it took less than a minute to get back to the area I was in. And although those things weren't enough to take me out of the game experience, they did happen just enough to be noticeable. I consider these to be minor problems with an otherwise amazing game though.

The Fall is easily one of the best games I've played. Not just on the current generation of consoles but one of the best period. Definitely worth checking out.

*Update*

I would like to point out that the lag issues that I described in this review for the Xbox One version of The Fall were not present during my time with the Playstation 4 version. If you have the choice of which platform to play it on, I recommend the PS4 version.

Second Opinon
I was intrigued by The Fall after seeing the trailer and hearing the high praises it was receiving. My expectations were too low. The Fall has instantly become one of my all time favorite indie games. I love how the story, dialog, and even the puzzles are all from the perspective of an A.I. that has to obey protocols. The last puzzle game that I remember with this quality of story/puzzles is Portal 2. John Warner did an amazing job. Now I just hope episode two releases on consoles! 9.5/10
- MR BLACKMAGIK
Summary:
+ Story
+ Puzzles
+ Atmosphere
+ Artwork
+ Game mechanics 
+ Voice acting
+ Sound design
-  Some issues with lag

Score: 9.5/10 "Amazing" 

What I played: 5+ hours completing the game 4 times and unlocking all 17 achievements
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