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Fall, The Review

Fall, The Trainer
Welcome to our CHEATfactor Game Review of Fall, The. We review the game and then factor in how the available cheats affect the overall game experience.
 

Reviewed on: PC
Developer: Over the Moon
Publisher: Over the Moon
Rated: "M" for Mature

 
CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki
Presentation 7/10 
Sporting a minimalist art style, The Fall is a striking but not overwhelming look at space exploration, despair and hope.
Gameplay 7/10 
When it allows itself to grow organically and be the puzzle solving, platformer that it so desperately wants to be, The Fall is a great interactive experience, but it starts to fall apart when it tries to introduce a shoddy combat system into the game.
Lasting Appeal 6/10 
The Fall ended way before I was ready for it to. It's the first part of a planned trilogy so we're sure to get more of ARID's story, but I couldn't help but feel like the developers saved a major part of the story for the later chapters.
Overall 7/10 
The Fall is not a great game, but it is a great start. It takes a great narrative and inventive exploration mechanic and builds a remarkable framework for the what could be a great saga in gaming.
CHEATfactor 0/10 
 

These days most games have million dollar budget and even bigger promotional campaigns, but not The Fall. The debut game from Vancouver based Over the Moon Studios benefits from something perhaps stronger than any big-budget; word of mouth. Knowing my love for strong narratives, a fellow reviewer recommend the game to me and I've been hooked ever since. It's a great narrative that speaks to hope, desperation and paternal instincts that takes some stumbles with unnecessary gameplay additions, clunky controls and a campaign that ends way too quickly. These all add up to a game that tries to accomplish something great and just barely misses the mark, but it does feel like the great start to a planned trilogy that could become something huge in the coming years.

In The Fall you take the role of ARID, an artificial intelligence system embedded into a combat suit of an injured soldier that's crash landed on an unfamiliar planet. It becomes ARID's job to protect the unresponsive soldier at all costs, against terrain, enemies and even sometimes himself. Make no mistake about it, ARID is easily the star of The Fall and the game, and especially it's narrative benefit greatly from it. ARID is a great character and her paternal instincts make her protective nature an almost endearing quality. The whole female voiced artificial intelligence thing has been done to almost to death in games recently and though ARID isn't quite up to the level of a character like Glados, she is an interesting and compelling way to tell the story.

"...Over the Moon have crafted a unique exploration game..."

 
   

It's a story that will keep you hooked until the end, but it's an end that comes way too quickly. I was incredibly surprised how much I found myself caring about The Fall's story but it ended way too quickly and long before I was ready for it too. Now I get it, The Fall is the first part of a planned trilogy, but I couldn't help but feel like this chapter was cut short in an effort to save some of the most important story beats for the coming chapters. That's all well and good if you know for sure your game is going to seek enough to warrant a trilogy, but we've seen what happened to games like Too Human that didn't do as well as the developers expected.

Luckily, the odds of that happening to The Fall are pretty unlikely. The developers at Over the Moon have crafted a unique exploration game that takes the excitement from the story and manages to create a unique feeling experience. Players are more or less allowed to move through the game at their own pace and most of the game's big moments are built around puzzle and platforming sections, some much more difficult than others. It's refreshing that the game doesn't rely on an endless stream of enemies and feels very confident to let it's own ideas create tension organically. I never really felt challenged with any of the puzzles but I did have to stop and think, which gave the game a great sense of momentum.

"It takes some unnecessary stumbles with its combat and controls..."

 
   

It's just a shame then that the momentum often feels like it gets stopped by unnecessary gameplay additions. The Fall does have combat sections and while they're not flooded with enemies, combat often feels clunky and like it's coming from another game. It ruins the pace of the game and suffers from some pretties grange control issues. The biggest issue is that ARID must toggle between exploration and combat modes, so there's a very distinct change in gameplay that you're sure to notice. I understand that the combat was needed to create part of the game's tension but it feels like a major miss here.

The Fall is not a great game, but it is a great start. It takes a great narrative and inventive exploration mechanic and builds a remarkable framework for the what could be a great saga in gaming. It takes some unnecessary stumbles with its combat and controls that ultimately hurt the experience but The Fall is a game that you may not have heard of yet, but you will in the coming months; do yourself a favor and experience it before it hits the masses hard.

 
 
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