Set in the near future of 2027, a former British SAS mercenary by the name of Ben Saxon makes his way around Panama in order to secure Neuropozyne from a local source for both himself and his associate, Anna Kelso. However, he is ultimately led into uncovering a drug conspiracy behind his previous employers distributing a new and untested drug called Reizene, and a mercenary group known as the ‘Tyrants’ after he runs into an old squad mate that was presumed dead.
Deus Ex: The Fall is a mobile game for Android and iOS devices that was recently ported to the PC. Deus Ex: The Fall is based around the events of the novel Deus Ex: Icarus Effect, and serves as a sequel to the novel itself. The game takes place during the same time as Human Revolution, following Ben Saxon as he searches for the truth behind a drug conspiracy involving a new alternative anti-rejection drug called Reizene and its illegal distribution through Panama and its slums.
When it comes to the story of this game, it seems rather fitting and somewhat appealing for a Deus Ex game when you read about it. Unfortunately, actually playing the game seems to show that it’s the exact opposite; with a storyline that’s difficult to follow without losing interest along the way, as well as boring dialogue and rather uninteresting characters, you’ll honestly have a hard time following what’s going on. The conversations between NPCs, whether they be related to side missions or the main story, are drawn out quite a bit with some unnecessary information that could’ve been easily skipped. On top of that, the game seems to rely more on literally telling you everything it can about one particular moment in the game, instead of letting you find the information yourself along the way. This kind of breaks away from the norm people expect from the Deus Ex series, which takes away from digging up necessary information and replaces it with extended dialogue that could very well make the player lose interest in the game.
In terms of visual quality, this game is a bit mixed in terms of quality, but ultimately comes off as a bit sub-par for a PC title. Deus Ex: The Fall runs on the Unity engine, demanding very little to play on its highest quality and allowing players with a low-end system the ability to play this game without worry. The Fall also makes use of the assets from Deus Ex: Human Revolution, giving it a more fitting appearance for a Deus Ex title. However, this is about as far as the game goes in terms of positive remarks on its appearance; although the environments look good, the lack of shaders seen in the game tends to take away from them, leading to a somewhat dull appearance when comparing it to Human Revolution. Male and female NPCs are also very low quality and seem like something you’d expect from an older game, and are extremely limited in terms of variation; at most, you’ll see one or two models that look different from each other based on gender alone, while every other NPC will literally be using the same model and a maybe variations of the same textures. There’s also the matter of the weapon models having noticeable smoothing related issues that give them a lower quality appearance when compared to what you see in Human Revolution.
You will literally see these two everywhere you go. It’s like they managed to clone themselves!
The sound quality isn’t exactly the best either, but there isn’t much to say about it since a majority of the sounds used in Human Revolution were re-used for The Fall. Although most of the ambient and weapon sounds seem to be taken directly from Human Revolution, some of the sounds you’ll come across sound really poor in quality when compared to others you hear throughout the game. The voice acting itself is also not that great either, with little to no emotion being present whenever someone is speaking and making it seem like the actors themselves weren’t even interested in their lines. There’s also no variation between voices used for generic NPCs like there was in Human Revolution. There’s also a couple of issues with the sound where certain audio clips seem generally out of sync, such as when you speak with NPCs and they end up doing a sort of puppet-style chatter movement. There’s also no pauses between lines in conversations, so everything seems like a rushed conversation whenever you talk to someone else.
In terms of gameplay, this game is just a horrible mess of unbalanced combat, poor controls, and buggy AI. Not only were the controls for the PC and controller setups rather buggy and unpolished, you also don’t have the option to re-map your bindings to something more fitting to your own style of gameplay. The combat system was also rather clunky and unbearable at times. The AI used by enemy NPCs was also a bit lacking in terms of being intelligent, considering that you can literally walk right up to an enemy and shoot them a couple times before they or their allies even noticed you. The game’s difficulty is also heavily unbalanced, being a bit too easy in areas where the difficulty would need to be increased and being overly difficult in areas where it shouldn’t be difficult at all. The Fall makes very little use of the available weapon models from Human Revolution, only using a select few and re-purposing them with very minor tweaks to provide a larger “selection” of the exact same weapons with slightly different stats; considering that you can go through the entire game with two of the cheapest weapons available and not have to worry about running out of ammo, this system is highly unnecessary and rather pointless. There are also various points in the game where certain functions or prompts won’t appear where they are needed, such as when you are hacking a computer or door panel and need an auto-unlock device; the prompt simply doesn’t show for the item that’s needed, and you’re pretty much forced to either hack certain devices manually or find ways to slow down the security system when hacking. This can be very aggravating at times, especially when it involves important parts of the game. The only positive thing I found in terms of the gameplay was that the inventory system was re-vamped, removing the need to play “inventory Tetris” and just buying or equipping whatever weapons/items you need at the time. While it does partially take away from the feel one would expect from the iconic inventory system that’s been used since the first Deus Ex, it does provide a bit more relief in terms of how much of a single item you can have stored away for later use.
You supposedly only need one AUD (Auto-Unlocking Device) to open a security panel or have access to a computer without having to manually hack a device. I ended up having to mod the game to create a debug mode just to give myself a bunch of AUDs, and I still couldn't use any of them until I completely restarted the game.
Overall, Deus Ex: The Fall was a rather shoddy port of an already sub-par mobile game. The visual quality is decent enough to still look good on a low-end system, but there’s a large amount of room for improvement on the PC version. The sound quality is also nothing special due to the re-used assets from Human Revolution, and also suffered from rather low quality more often than it should be. The gameplay itself is just atrocious, having more problems than it honestly should and just being a pain to work with without taking some time to calm down mid-play. In all honesty, this isn’t a game worth buying for the PC; if you’re really wanting to spend ten dollars on a game, it really would be in your best interest to spend it on something else.