The Fall comes to us from a Kickstarter project but it’s not to be underestimated. The question is, which character are you controlling and is everything as it seems? This is no fast-paced side-scrolling game.
The Fall is a side-scrolling adventure that forces you to be ultra-observant and to think outside the box. It first started out as a kick-starter program and originally released on Steam and has now received a port for PS4 and Xbox One.
First let’s start with your character Colonel Josephs, well actually it’s ARID. So to be clear, Josephs is unconscious and near death but the AI in his suit, called ARID, is controlling him in the tasks required to get him to a medical facility.
ARID has a number of features to its programming but most of these have been disabled by default and cannot be enabled unless the pilot’s life is endangered. This is a clever way to introduce new abilities further in game.
Given that this game is set in a relatively dark environment, noticing interactive objects and information points can be difficult so your suit comes with a flashlight. This flashlight (operated with the right-stick) can be used to locate these items but primarily, it is used to direct your focus and allow interaction, whether that be picking up objects, activating switches or to use an object in your inventory for a particular purpose.
Shortly into the game, you acquire a handgun which is needed to defend yourself from the numerous enemies. I did like the feature that allowed you to change from your flashlight to a laser-sight allowing much more accurate fire.
I really enjoyed the way the game forces you to really look around and search everywhere rather than the usual running from screen to screen paying little notice to the area. As mentioned earlier, you are very likely to miss something if you don’t shine your flashlight at everything. There is a number of information points that allow you to learn more about the facility and this also helps you figure out how to progress. This is not a game that you can skip the dialogue and finish quickly, you need as much information as you can.
The puzzles in the game are quite difficult at times requiring you to think outside the box and figure it out. There aren’t a lot of hints meaning you may find yourself stuck unless you do more exploring or trying different things.
I was surprised by how quickly this game can be completed, especially on a second run which will be required if you are wanting to 100% the achievements, however it is revealed to be only part one of a series, dates on the future episodes is still unannounced.
Although quite simplistic, the atmosphere of the unknown world is quite dark which adds to the experience of gameplay, forcing you to really focus on searching everywhere for objects hidden in plain sight. Adding to this, the environmental and associated sound effects blend in quite well and the character voices are very good as well. I did experience a number of glitches and screen tearing but it didn’t really affect gameplay to a great extent.
The Fall adds an extra element to the usual side-scroller games. The ability to slow down players and forcing them to look everywhere for hidden items has been done very well. It was a fun experience to have to really think in order to solve the numerous puzzles throughout. The biggest downside was that the length was very short and no clear time frame for the following episodes.