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The Fall [Wii U] - Review
The Fall is the first entry in a triology of action/adventure atmospheric puzzle games developed by Over the Moon. It's set in a dark, distant sci-fi universe and is story driven and eerie throughout. The game is certainly a welcome addition to the Wii U eShop, hit the jump to find out why.
Platforms: Wii U [Reviewed] | PC | Mac | Linux
Developer: Over the Moon
Release: August 26, 2014
Press Copy provdided by Over The Moon
Enter ARID, an artificial intelligence on-board a futuristic combat suit. Her primary concern is to protect her human pilot from danger of any kind. After arriving at a mysterious location and finding that her human pilot sustains some serious injuries, you take control.
ARID is on a mission to get medical attention for her pilot. Armed with a flashlight and a variety of suit features that are unlocked as the game progresses, you set off. The Fall is based on interactions. Shining your flashlight on certain things gives you information about whatever it happens to be and give you the option to interact with it. Sometimes you can pick up things you interact with, and then you can use those to interact with new things. ARID is also equipped with the option to network with certain computers and AIs that she's compatible with. That's really all there is to it. Most of the gameplay is solving puzzles and figuring out the right way to interact with things. The puzzles can be quite difficult at times, but can usually be solved by taking a step back and thinking how you'd accomplish this task in real life. You'll eventually get a gun and you'll have to fend off enemies, but combat isn't really a focus of The Fall. The combat that is present feels like an afterthought, mere fluff to add to a relatively short game. I might be early to judge given the episodic nature of the game, but after a few upgrades killing droids becomes way to easy and seems rather pointless. The final boss is really the only aspect with a focus on shooting that's actually fun.
The Highlight of The Fall is the excellent and engaging story it tells. If it was a movie, I'd see it in a heartbeat. Story elements are revealed whenever ARID has dialogue or interacts with other AIs or Wooden People. You'll also come across notes that can be read and stored in your log for later use that not only hint at what you'll have to do in the future, but add to ARID's epic memoir. The Fall is a little hard to follow at first. In the beginning I wasn't really sure what was going on; you're thrown into the game with little explanation. This is not a bad thing, however, it actually made me want to know what would happen next even more. As you near the end of the game, the story really picks up pace. I'd go as far to say as this is one of the best endings I've ever seen in a video game. No really, it's that good. The dialogue between characters is also well implemented, and I actually found myself laughing out loud at a few parts. Sometimes the game can be shockingly gross as well, namely in what you'll need to feed a wooden child. Blegh. I'll let you decide if that's a good or bad thing.
Being an atmospheric game, it's no surprise that The Fall is also very well presented. The visuals aren't incredibly fancy or detailed, but they don't need to be to get the eerie, mysterious vibe that the game gives off so well. Strange sound effects and white sound are present in place of background music for most of the game. Nothing magnificent here, but it is quite fitting. One of the things that makes The Fall absolutely stand out to me is the incredible voice acting. ARID sounds either incredibly robotic or human when she needs to be, and the rest of the characters follow in her footsteps. The game honestly wouldn't be the same if the dialogue was read-only. Crisp sound and emotion make the voice acting incredibly powerful and meaningful. Although it's not a huge deal, it should be noted that The Fall is kind of buggy. I floated through the roof into another room at one point; antoehr time the game actually froze my Wii U once. The controls are also less than perfect, but work well enough once you get used to them. The developer has been made aware of these issues, so it's likely that a patch will come and it won't be relevant for too much longer.
Wii U The Wii U version of The Fall is visually on par with the PC and other versions of the game. There's nothing that makes the Wii U version different from others in terms of gameplay. It does feature full Gamepad and Wii U Pro controller support. The Gamepad doesn't add much to the experience aside from off-tv play.
The Fall has potential to be one of the best games on the Wii U eShop. With a stellar story, delightful voice-acting, and an eerie atmosphere The Fall comes to life on Wii U. However, the gameplay could be improved on, and the combat system probably needs a complete overhaul. Hopefully those issues will be fixed in the next two episodes in the triology, but I'll be eagerly awaiting them either way.
- Engaging story
- Great atmopshere
- Incedible voice-acting
- Combat feels pointless
- Fairly buggy
Great games are generally good buying decisions and are recommended for those with an interest in the genre. There might be a few flaws that detract from the gameplay, stories, controls, presentations, or value, but the game is still an enjoyable experience that justifies a full playthrough.
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