Deus Ex: The Fall
This was the Deus Ex series' first foray on to mobile platforms. It managed to successfully transfer the series' trademark blend of cyberpunk and open world roleplaying gameplay into a mobile FPS which is no mean feat.
In fact, it was successful enough for it to warrant making the jump over to the PC as a downloadable title on Steam to sit alongside the rest of the series.
For those unfamiliar with the game from its appearance on iOS or Android, Deus Ex: The Fall's story follows on from the end of the novel Deus Ex: The Icarus Effect and focuses on the novels main characters Ben Saxon and Anna Kelso.
After they make their escape from the clutches of the Tyrants, the same mercenary outfit that Adam Jensen tangles with in Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Saxon and Kelso are hiding out in Costa Rica. As both are augmented but lack the genetic compatibility of Adam Jensen they need to locate a regular supply of the anti-rejection drug neuropozene.
Saxon heads to Panama City for to locate a steady supply of neuropozene he gets drawn into a conspiracy that is causing a world-wide shortage of neuropozene and flooding the market with an illegal underground supplement called riezene.
The game begins with a little prologue from Saxon's time as a member of the Tyrants. It gives players what is quite possibly the most patronising game tutorials in the history of game tutorials. It's not the fault of the gameplay though. It almost entirely down to the awful ponderous voice over. It sounds like a stereotypical English woman shouting slowly at a foreigner who doesn't speak any English in the futile attempt to get them to understand. It's also unskippable.
It does introduce the game mechanics which have been remapped to mouse and keyboard and gamepad quite effectively. Having recently finished Deus Ex: Human Revolution automatically slipping back into the control system when playing Deus Ex: The Fall on the PC might leave folks feeling a bit disappointed as all of the analogue features have gone as well as the ability to look down the sights of your gun.
It's not all bad though. The control scheme still works fairly comfortably and the lost features don't detract too much from the gameplay.
The game's story is completely in keeping with the kind of techno-thriller storylines of the previous big releases and it is enough to keep you playing to its cliffhanger conclusion. It's worth remembering that Deus Ex: The Fall is very much an experiment for the series. Not only is it the first Deus Ex game to be released on mobile platforms it's also the first part of an episodic series.
All of the action takes place in Panama City with Saxon scouring the whole city from the slums to the penthouse of a high end hotel and some other interesting locales for a solution to his neuropozene problem. It has all of the hallmarks of a Deus Ex open city gameplay section. There's a whole load of missions aside from the unfolding plot mission thread that offers players the kind of moral conflict we have come to expect from the series.
There is one other issue that plagues the game from start to finish. It's not just the tutorial that suffers from an awkward voice over. The voice-acting is pretty poor all throughout the game's cast. It is clear that, as it was an experiment Square enix Wanted to keep the game's budget down.
While the visuals and gameplay haven't suffered all that much it is pretty obvious that they paid as little as possible for the voice-acting. It's awful, and at times its unnecessarily hammy and it makes the story feel a little awkwardly handled in places. In a story driven game this is a fairly frustrating mistake and it kills the overall immersive experience.
That said. Deus Ex: The Fall is not a bad game. It was better on mobile devices but that doesn't mean it isn't a worthwhile experience on the PC. If you are a devotee of the Deus Ex series and you want to continue to dive into that world while waiiting for the next big game in the series to come out of Eidos Montreal. Just remember that it was made on a mobile budget.
Deus Ex: The Fall is out now on PC, iOS and Android.