Review: The Fall (PS4)

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Title: The Fall
Format: PlayStation Network Download (359 MB)
Release Date: July 14, 2015
Publisher: Over The Moon Inc.
Developer: Over The Moon Games
Original MSRP: $9.99 (US), €9.99 (EU), £7.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: T
PEGI: 12
The Fall is also available on Xbox One, Wii U, and PC.
The PlayStation 4 download version was used for this review.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Everyone at PS Nation dislikes spoilers and you can be assured that this review contains none.

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Gameplay:
The Fall begins with an unknown character plummeting through space and into the atmosphere of an unknown planet. The suit this unlucky person is wearing has an artificial intelligence that activates a protection field moments before impact significantly limiting the damage that would have been caused. The suit runs some diagnostics and evaluates the current situation. Things aren’t looking good for the unconscious person enclosed and they’re in need of medical attention. So the suit decides to seek out help, and the game begins.

Yes you read that correctly, you play as the suit. Well A.R.I.D, the artificial intelligence that’s embedded in the high-tech combat suit to be exact. You quickly realise the locale you’re in isn’t too friendly and almost void of any kind of life. Through exploration and a few simple point and click style puzzles you encounter a few more artificial intelligences in the form of some robots and an automated help station.

The often amusing voiced communication with these other intelligences are scripted brilliantly and carry such wit and plausibility that you want more of it. Not only does the question of how you ended up on this desolate solitary planet pull you toward a masterful conclusion, but the excellent writing makes it a pleasure to play.

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It isn’t often that the writing in a game is its strongest point but The Fall captivated me and I loved it. Sadly when you remove all of the exploration and the trial and error puzzle solving you aren’t left with as much content as I would have liked. Maybe greed was getting the better of me but I just wanted more. Aside from the great story, The Fall also has some decent shooting and cover mechanics that come into play more than I expected.

I tend to use the directional pad with menu selection in every game I play but sadly I cannot in this one. It isn’t a big deal but it was bothersome as I would constantly forget and then have to move to the analog stick. There were also a few strange camera moves when I would run into a wall. I’m not crazy, just like ‘Joshing a game’ (i.e. exploring every inch of the area).

… chilling and unsettling moments throughout …
Countless background saves mean you’ll never have to retrace your steps should you die, which would only really happen during the fire-fights anyway. Difficulty stays at a constant as the puzzles in this adventure are quite logical and you don’t ever find yourself with more than one or two pointless collectables in your possession at any one time. Once an item has served its final purpose it vanishes from your inventory so you never feel bogged down with a load of junk.

The pace of this game suits Remote Play on the PS Vita very well and the simple controls make for an excellent way to play. I only managed to obtain around half of the trophies for The Fall and was saddened to see a distinct lack of the coveted Platinum.

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Visuals:
The Fall borrows the look of Limbo whilst adding moments of color and depth that add to the experience allowing for a more distinct environment in each area. Darkness and light play a big part in the whole ensemble forcing your gaze upon often chilling and unsettling moments throughout the game.

Animation and visual effects are admirable as is the detail in certain areas. Parallax scrolling is used continually and works very well. A recurring visual theme is present throughout the entire game and adds to the experience and even story, you will notice it but to mention anything more would spoil it.

… a layer of excitement and danger …
You will encounter one type of enemy that doesn’t look quite as good as the rest. This enemy isn’t bad, just not as oleaginous as I would have liked. I never thought I would ever use that word in a review. Again this isn’t detrimental to the game, I’m just being finicky.

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Audio:
Voice acting is top-notch and deserves high praise. Music is infrequent and sparse but comes into play at just the right times to add a layer of excitement and danger when it truly needs it. Sound effects such as gun-fire and various robotic noises do an adequate job.

I glossed over one of the best parts of this entire game and just want to reaffirm my feelings on the voice acting. I believe there is a fine line between a cheesy robotic voice and a stale lifeless and often feeble attempt at the computerized voice. All of the voices are right on that line, the sweet spot, and they sound great.

… brilliant and compelling narrative …
Online/Multiplayer:
This game is single-player only with no online components.

Conclusion:
The moment A.R.I.D converses with another artificial intelligence you will begin to appreciate the brilliant and compelling narrative that will pull you through this excellent little game with only some devious but sensible puzzles delaying the next great piece of writing and excellent voice acting.

The Fall encapsulates a great storyline that weaves throughout a charming and unique adventure that could easily be turned into a wonderful short story or even a film, but I suggest you don’t wait for Hollywood to get their mitts on it and enjoy it now, in the original and brilliant form.

Score:
9.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

Written by Chazz Harrington

Chazz Harrington

You can find me on everything: PSN, Twitter, Wii U, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

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