The game opens with you crash landing in an alien world. The atmosphere is dismal and dark and everything you encounter is foreign. You play as an AI controlled suit named ARID that houses a human soldier by the name of colonel Josephs. After the crash things are looking grim for Josephs and its ARID’s top priority to seek medical attention for him. Unfortunately unbeknownst to her they’ve crash landed in an android repair facility that’s all but abandoned except for the caretaker, security androids, and a mainframe. The facility is littered with robot parts, decommissioned droids, alien mushrooms, and acid-spewing slugs.

The majority of the game revolves around solving puzzles that range from obvious to obtuse so be aware if you’re not a fan of solving puzzles you might not enjoy The Fall. That’s not to say you’ll use your grey matter to solve puzzles from beginning to end though as I stated before there is the caretaker who isn’t keen on your arrival, especially when you start thinking outside the box to progress through the game and he’ll throw all his working security robots he has at you. When you encounter firefights you’ll need to be tactful since ARID’s shields are relatively low and take quite a while to recharge. None of these moments are notably difficult and only last a few minutes in length. Part of the fun is unlocking previously restricted abilities for your suit. From the start you can network with certain interfaces but that’s about it as everything else is restricted to you as it requires authorization from a living being. ARID can, however, override and enable these features if a situation arises that jeopardizes the life of Josephs. One such instance has you mess with a security door in order to enable your suit’s cloaking ability. Cloaking really comes in handy during future droid encounters, although it can easily feel like a crutch.

To be honest the action focused gameplay can feel redundant and uninspired and the control scheme can feel odd. But thankfully the clever writing, rich environments, and interesting characters make up for it. When you first land you come across the mainframe AI and it becomes apparent he hasn’t interacted or had any meaningful connection with anyone in decades. His voice and demeanor are more human than computer because all he wants is to be treated fairly by humanity. On the other side of the spectrum is the Caretaker who destroys both droids and humans alike due to a lack of reasoning,  empathy, and rigid programming. What really makes ARID fascinating is she falls somewhere between these two extremes. When she first speaks it seems like she’s following her preprogrammed routine of finding aid for Josephs, but as time escapes her and Josephs comes closer to death desperation and raw emotion burst through her programmed shell. I haven’t liked an AI character in a video game this much since GlaDOS in Portal. All three characters are really fantastic and the voice acting is spot on.

It’s worth noting the The Fall isn’t over and ends with a cliffhanger ending. It’s pretty solid and at an asking price of $9.99 I can’t find any reason not to recommend this, unless you’re not a fan of puzzle solving. With that said I do hope the next act has refined controls and tones down the puzzle difficulty. 

Published
Categories PC PS4 Wii U Xbox One

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