A few years ago, Over The Moon released The Fall upon the gaming public, with their science fiction effort garnering quite a modest share of attention and praise. Unlike what many would have thought, you didn’t control a human being, rather the AI that resides in the suit named ARID, that was concerned about the unconscious human inside, and set about finding a way to help him. A cool twist added, with an engaging story, fun puzzles and a cliff hanger that promised more. Now, we are ready for The Fall 2: Unbound.
First things first, you will benefit from playing The Fall and this is not some PR stunt to get to part with money, but rather a necessity to fully understand the story and ARID’s predicament. So once you’ve done that, come back and we can continue. Right, The Fall 2 is a totally different kettle of fish when compared to the previous game. This time around, ARID is in a completely new set of locations, and meeting far more characters, and interacting with a trio of vastly different AI robots. The butler, a lone fighting robot and a sex-bit worker. Yes, that’s right. Just don’t expect such sordid scenes though.
One issue I have regarding The Fall 2, is that unlike the original, it’s far more vague and ambiguous when it comes to story progression. A lot of the time you may well spend wandering around clueless as to what you need to do in order to advance, and this in turn becomes frustrating. The first section with the Butler caused me quite the headache before figuring out the one action that needs to be performed before advancing. In fact, each scene is like that in some form or another. Although nothing grated me more than the voice of the Butler. Oh my ears were almost bleeding after that onslaught.
The game plays out in much the same way as before, and can be a little awkward when attempting to highlight objects to interact with. Much in the same way as before really. Selecting the appropriate action for said object is also convoluted as well, making it tricky to select the correct one, which is exacerbated if you accidentally move the analogue stick so you’re out of range from said object. A problem that has been brought over from The Fall.
One point of note is that each character is voice acted, and aside from ARID and one other character who I won’t name, so as to save spoiling the game, they’re not that well voiced. Yes, it’s a game with a limited budget, I know. But it doesn’t feel as though there’s any passion coming from within, and they just read the script and called it job done. A shame, as the atmosphere just feels like it’s been stripped away, and replaced with a dull monologue.
The Fall 2 does feel like it’s been fleshed out more, and in turn has created a bigger game world to explore. A large portion of which is set inside an area that is inside the network, with a lot of it looking the same and becoming confusing given that direction is done away with, and being left with guess work left me feeling like my motivation was slowly slipping away. This continued and grew exponentially the further I advanced through the story.
Visually, The Fall 2 is of a good standard, and not an area of the game I feel needs attention. For an Indie game it looks good. But when that’s the only real highlight of a game, you need to start asking questions, even more so when you take into account that the previous game in the series was just so damn good. Where did it suddenly go so wrong for a series I was fully invested in after The Fall? This is something I’d like to know, as I feel that too much changed which kept the game fresh and exciting. Here’s hoping that if the final entry in the trilogy comes our way, it will rectify the current issues and turn in an ending worthy of ARID’s story.
Overall, The Fall 2: Unbound does indeed suffer a fall. Not a fatal one mind you, but a nasty one nonetheless. The problems that hampered the first instalment are present again, and while not massive, they are noticeable. Voice acting left a lot to be desired too, as did the general confusion around how to progress. I loved the first game and was pumped to get playing this, but it left a fairly sour taste in my mouth, but I’d be prepared to give another in the series a try. If only for ARID.
Overall Score 4/10
Developer: Over The Moon
Publisher: Over The Moon
Release Date: 13th February 2018
File Size: 1.07GB
Xbox One copy provided for review purpose.
Available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 & Steam