Nordic Games’ action adventure first person shooter, Deadfall Adventures is available now on console and PC, but how well does it stack up in a genre filled with Ghosts and Battlefields. Whilst, it’s very much its own game, does it have enough flair to stand out amongst its shooter peers. Take a look at our Deadfall Adventures video review for the full picture.
Deadfall Adventures review:
Today we’re taking a look at Nordic Games’ The Farm 51’s puzzling first person adventure game Deadfall Adventures which is available now on consoles and PC. Players assume the role of bearded character James Quartermain and are joined by sassy sidekick Jennifer Goodwin on an adventure that takes them to the arid climes of Egypt, the icy Arctic wastes, and the Guatemalan jungles. Along the way, the duo uncover many secrets and come up against irritable Nazis and murderous mummies amongst other things. What the game offers is a combination of straight up shooting against some pretty lacking re-spawning AI, alongside, more shooting which involves shining a torch on the enemies to weaken them first – something we’ve seen in Alan Wake. Despite being a little predictable, the combat is fairly satisfying in a more comical way. The game isn’t vying for any realistic slant here, and so enemies hit reactions are pretty exaggerated, but fun all the same. There’s a nice selection of weapons to choose from as well, and what’s neat is the fact that James mostly can rely on his six shooters which boasts infinite ammo, should any of the other weapons run out of ammo.
To differentiate the game from its peers, Deadfall places much emphasis on exploration of the fairly linear levels. There’s always some sort of secret treasure to look for, and with a compass which highlights their locations, makes searching for them pretty easy. Collecting treasures simply means James can upgrade his basic attributes such as health, stamina and reload speed and such like. However, it’s not all plain sailing, as many treasures are shrouded in deadly traps or have puzzles attached to them, with the former most likely resulting in an instant death and a checkpoint restart.
The puzzles also make their presence well felt during the game’s story progression, which requires a bit of lateral thinking, and sometimes looking at the insignificant. Whilst the game’s puzzles can be tailored easy normal or hard in the options, by default, there are some moments where the handy journal from James’ grandfather is rather vague, leaving you wondering what to do next and running out of options to try. Aside from the odd stone wall though, most puzzles are fairly obvious and serve as a distraction from the combat.
Graphically, Deadfall looks pretty good with some solid visual elements and attention to detail especially in terms of its varied locations which encompass day and night, exterior and interior areas. There are moments which provide a good sense of scale, but in some instances, the character does feel like he’s a miniature with the jumping ability of someone standing in mud. Naturally the PC version comes out on top here with its increased resolution although there are a few graphical hiccups and texture loading issues at times. There are also an abundance of invisible walls, and elements that result in death which perhaps make little sense. That said, whilst not the best looking game, the gameplay remains fairly smooth throughout although there are few moments that have lots of things going on at once bar a rather excellent mine cart run.
Audio is rather hit and miss, and to be frank it’s not easy to gel with James and Jennifer as characters. James is performed and scripted as a fairly wooden character, where even his wisecracks fail to inspire. Whilst Jennifer offers a typical supporting role. There’s not a lot of connectivity between the two, despite the game attempting to tell a story here. As for the other cast members, most notably the Germans, let’s just not go there. Aside from the story, there’s some well produced music, and fiery sound effects that work well within the game’s framework.
Deadfall Adventures boasts a fairly lengthy campaign especially if players look for all the treasures in the one sitting. There are adjustments that can be made to tailor the difficulty for subsequent plays, but nothing really screams replay value here. To add to the experience, there are a number of extra multiplayer modes which allow for four player co-op survival against waves of enemies where the use of traps and management of weapons is key to success. Then there are a number of multiplayer versus modes which include the usual Deathmatch, objective based gametypes, except there’s virtually few games going so if you want to experience the full game then make sure you get some friends in on the action.
Deadfall Adventures tells a fairly tame story with larger than life characters and many moments where the action heats up with some cool scripted scenes. The puzzle element is welcome, but in some instances really hinders the pacing of the game. Sadly, the game’s characters are simply not likable enough to step beyond being generic, and as a result the story aspect of the game is largely inconsequential. So, what you’re left with is a fairly competent shooter, that cleverly mixes in puzzles, throws in some multiplayer and co-op and wraps it up in a neat package that plays pretty well. However, there’s simply something lacking from the game in every department, that borders on being dull and uninspiring. As a result, Deadfall Adventures doesn’t reinvent the wheel, or tries to, and merely offers a mediocre but pleasant action adventure, that’s worth a play but is not necessarily an essential purchase, and certainly not up to par with its peers in terms of quality. If you like a bit of puzzle solving, shooting Nazis and are bored of military shooters, then Deadfall Adventures is perhaps worth checking out, although perhaps it would be prudent to wait for an inevitable price drop.
Score 7/10 – Review by Robert Cram