The Fall is a 2D sci-fi puzzle-solving action game set on what appears to be an abandoned space station of some sort, it looks like The Swapper which came to Xbox One recently although The Fall balances up the “puzzles” with more action scenes, giving you control of a weapon and its more about exploring the environments and connecting the dots between the different moments using your items to progress and not being a heavy puzzle focused title.
You play as ARID, an artificial intelligence which has been activated by your crash landing on this unknown place somewhere in space. The landing has left your suits functions impaired and you must get to a medical bay to help the injured human inside your suit.
I enjoyed The Fall, it’s a fun game which requires a bit of exploration on your environments and some of the puzzles provide a decent challenge to complete, some more difficult than others, I liked the style of the game and its story which I found to be interesting but the gameplay isn’t always so good which lets it down in parts, I would also say at the middle point in the game there is a section which I didn’t enjoy too much generally either.
You use the flashlight on your gun to look at environments, anything you can interact with has a magnifying glass symbol and when the light shines on it description appears, pressing right bumper button brings up a menu of network link, close menu or interact and on this final option any items you have in tow are listed but you need to hold the button down for this and whilst that doesn’t sound bad the way its done can be a bit frustrating and needs retooling for the sequel (Its the start of a trilogy).
When the game because more action focused by shooting robots it felt a bit forced, it wasn’t bad but I thought the game would have been better if it had stayed about the exploration and puzzle solving because it just wasn’t a strong part of the game. At the beginning of the game you can knock a robot down with one headshots or two, they will cover behind objects but its easy enough to just wait for them to pop out and later on they take a few more shots to knock down and have an alternate form which takes even more shots.
I liked the atmosphere of the game, as with most of these abandoned space/planet games (The Swapper and Lifeless Planet) there is this creepy unknown element to them and whats waiting for you round the next corner, the story is told via interactions with various things and you can find notes scattered around which will give you more detail. As part of a trilogy it’s obviously not concluded in this instalment but the potential is there for an interesting story.
Some of the puzzle solving can be quite clever, there is a moment early on with an elevator which will stump a few people but the puzzles and exploration are the best part of the game and Over The Moon should focus on that aspect of the game and the story more for the last two chapters.
You can probably get through it quite quickly if you know what to do immediately or don’t do some trial and error but I think for most people who will want to explore around a bit and some of the more challenging sections of the game will make sure you get a fair few hours out of it. There is also a developers commentary and achievements to collect as well, I got 525/1000 of the gamerscore on my first play through which was 9 out of the 17 achievements.
The Fall is an enjoyable puzzle action game, as part 1 of a trilogy its a good start and the foundations have been well set in the story, atmosphere and puzzles which I enjoyed a lot, the action sections have their use which you will see in the story but are also the weakest part of it. Its worth the $10 entry price despite the bits I enjoyed a bit less and hopefully they will fix the “interact” controls as well.
Formats: Xbox One (Played), Playstation 4, WiiU, PC
Developer: Over The Moon Games