Ever wondered what it would be like if your phone’s AI assistant could do more than just answer silly inquiries and minute tasks? What if it could protect you? What if it could have the ability to even kill you? Boy, you sure could use some of that good old sci-fi story action, huh? Then I suggest you get yourself The Fall right now. It scratches that itch real good.
The Fall originally released on consoles a couple of years back (2014). It’s a side-scrolling metroidvania platformer, with adventure elements blended in. The game’s sequel, subtitled “Part 2: Unbound”, was released on the first quarter of 2018, with a third game in the works.
Platform Reviewed: Nintendo Switch
Platforms Available: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Developer: Over The Moon
Publisher: Over The Moon
Release Date: May 10, 2018
This review is based on a review code provided by Versus Evil.
The Fall starts the journey a bit too literally with its title – you are falling through the sky, to an unknown planet. When you come to, it is revealed that you are not the person falling to his doom but is actually the suit that protected him. And Siri is your name. Sorry, I meant A.R.I.D, short for Autonomous Robotic Interface Device.
Siri ARID is a female-voiced artificial intelligence built into a space suit. She answers to her owner’s commands and does everything to protect them. As long as what she’s doing is in the limitations of her programming.
During the fall, of all the luck, ARID and her pilot, Colonel Josephs, crashed through a dark, weary industrial facility. With her pilot injured and unconscious, ARID must look for help to revive him. As she traverses the new area, she slowly uncovers the story about its inhabitants.
The Fall’s gameplay reminded me of click and point adventure games, the likes of the Monkey Island series, BUT instead of clicking with a pointer, we use ARID’s aim to inspect mysterious areas in the game. And instead of pointing to where the artificial heroine should go, we move ARID with the joysticks. I originally thought I would hate this configuration, but I immediately felt at home, even with added right-stick clicking to change weapons. Kudos to Over the Moon Games for this one. Some games are just annoying with these controls. Hmm, or maybe I just really haven’t enjoyed them.
You see, The Fall’s strongest suit is its story and the world the developers have created. Even at the start screen you’d feel how dark this game is going to be. That feeling is made even greater when you actually start the game. Don’t get me wrong, the scenes are stunning and truly convinces players that the unknown planet is mysterious with the game’s artstyle.
ARID and the other characters she meets also have phenomenal, well, characterizations. Being the AI that she is, ARID has no idea how she is slowly breaking free from her programmings while trying to save the colonel inside of her. Her own journey is like a metaphor to motherhood, only darker and scarier.
NPCs also have amazing scripts and the voice actors are on point. Playing The Fall feels like watching an interactive sci-fi movie.
The puzzles in The Fall requires ARID to push through her boundaries as a program. In order to do so, her pilot needs to be in danger. For ARID to gain aid for the man inside her, she has to manipulate not just herself, but also the things around her. This sometimes becomes the reason an animal’s body bursts into a shower of blood just so our dear robotic heroine could gain access to a gun.
Overall, The Fall has me intrigued and scared and amazed at how the twists and turns are presented. The gameplay could use a bit more smartsy action, but the whole narrative pulled me through. It was a shame ARID’s adventure ends in just a couple of hours. Hey, at least The Fall Part 2: Unbound is now available, right? Just be prepared to cash out for Part 2. You’d definitely want more of ARID’s adventures. Hey, don’t say I didn’t warn you.