The Fall Part 2: Unbound looks to address the concerns of the first while continuing A.R.I.D.’s story. Over The Moon Games has decided to rework some of the complaints 2014’s The Fall received while introducing new elements to the game. The original was an extremely enjoyable experience, so lets see how its sequel follows up.
Release date: February 12, 2018
Approximate Size: 1.07GB
Genre: Action Adventure Puzzle
Developed by: Over The Moon Games
Published by: Over The Moon Games
Reviewed On Xbox One, Available Also On PlayStation 4, PC, And Nintendo Switch
A sequel from the 2014 release, The Fall Part 2: Unbound places you in the role of an A.I. referred to as A.R.I.D. and who has seemingly been infected with a virus by a user. With no longer trapped in the digital realm of computers, it’s up to use to inhabit other robots and find a way to save yourself.
Now what that translates to is that you are spread across different robots and over time and discovery, more if the mysterious plot is revealed. The plot is the strongest aspect of the game and acts as a reward of sorts as you accomplish goals and proceed forward, learning more of the plot. The game is more about just finding a way to survive, these other robots you inhabit have responsibilities and tasks that they must complete and it’s up to you to figure out a way to modify them and go out of the way.
It’s surprising sometimes how much of an impact a small game can have with a deep story, it’s almost unexpected. Those coming from the original will be impressed with how much is here and new players will get a sense of satisfaction as they move forward in this rich story. All in all, I really liked the story and can’t wait to see what the third part will have.
I’ll be the first to say that I expected one thing from this game and instead got something completely different, in a good way. The Fall 2 uses different types of gameplay elements and uses them to prevent monotony. The main element is that of the puzzle variety. As A.R.I.D. you inhabit different robots in your attempt to proceed forward, these robots have set paths and tasks that they do. This is where the game takes on the skin of a point and click adventure as you interact with various items. These items become clues on how the A.I. interprets the world around her and allows her to change the way she can have these robots interact with the world as she learns more and gathers more knowledge. All of this will help you solve the puzzles in the game, puzzles that are well constructed and will never have you feeling overwhelmed. That’s what I liked most about this section of the gameplay, its different and it doesn’t feel like other games. It doesn’t ever insult your intelligence or become so difficult that there was no way for you to figure it out. In other words, all of the puzzles are solvable if you’ve been paying attention and have gathered the necessary knowledge.
Another element of the gameplay is the combat, which takes on two forms. The first is where you’ll be attacked by these black blobs representing virus and use must use your gun. Ranged combat. Now its very simple and, unlike the magnificent puzzles, lack any sort of challenge. All you do is jump around to dodge their projectiles as you wait for them to get closer in range, so you can fire some of your own. Now the game does switch it up with types of enemies and such, but I would have liked something a little more deeper than this. Not a game breaker, just something I hope is addressed in the follow up. The other side of the combat is the melee side. It’s a ton of fun and almost like a different game in terms of approach and style. Essentially what it is, is you stand in the middle as enemies come from both sides to attack. Time is crucial as you switch offense to both side and every so often you’ll pull of something close to a cinematic finish. As you go deeper into the game, you’ll find that enemies get stronger and learn to block, thus making this section of combat more challenging.
All in all, from a gameplay perspective, this game is vastly superior to its predecessor. I loved the puzzle aspects of it, that sense of discovery as you tried to figure out how to proceed forward and how to break the preset tasks these robots were compelled to complete. The gunplay wasn’t spectacular, but it worked and carelessness was punishing but I felt being able to do more would have benefited this area. The melee combat is fantastic and more of this is more than welcome in the third installment. I loved that sort of rhythm style of gameplay, switching from one side to another, and not only was I getting better but so was the A.I. The Fall Part 2: Unbound is a nice, fun, and unique at times indie darling that was less about a job to review and more of a privilege. I truly had a great time with it and can’t wait to see what’s next from the developer, whether that be a third one or not.
Indie games have been known to do more with less, their inability to compete with triple A titles with their seemingly endless budgets has them become creative with how their games are crafted in all facets of gaming. This is most notable in graphics, with some titles opting to replicate the 8bit and 16bit eras. The Fall Part 2: Unbound doesn’t take this approach and instead builds upon the art style from the first. It’s a simplistic art style but it serves it’s purpose. The environments come across as scenes from an artist’s book, I loved it. I was even impressed at how they were able to vary the sceneries, locales reminiscent of classic noire and others that remind one of Tron make up many of the levels.
The designs of the robots are also simple and are likable overall. Only a few of the character designs clashed with the games esthetics, most notably the human characters and the sex robot. Creepy. I really liked the design of the butler and of A.R.I.D. the enemy designs are varied but I wished they would have gotten a little more touches and attention, there is nothing wrong with then per say but I just wish they had more. Some might complain about the dark environments and I almost did but the games utilization of light balances it all out. I enjoyed it.
Graphically, this game will not wow you or set industry standards but there is something special in these indie games and their simplistic approach to gaming. Players returning from the first will find that the game improves upon it graphically and it runs with no issues. There are still some areas that can be improved upon and I’m sure they’ll be addressed in a sequel, much like the complaints of the first were addressed here. The Fall Part 2: Unbound looks and feels like one would imagine a sci-fi art book would.
Let’s start with the voice acting. I found it overall passable. There was nothing academy award winning in the presentation of dialogue but there also wasn’t anything overall terrible. The voice acting serves its purpose, moves the story along, and accomplishes what it sets out to. If you take the game as a whole, instead of separating it like as is done for a review, it works. You only notice the lower quality when you are searching for it because it only became obvious to me that something wasn’t to standard when I went looking for it to review. This also adds more praise to the story as I was engaged in it to the point that I didn’t notice when something was up to standard.
The sound effects in the game all work and offer the audible clues the player needs for discovery and to enhance the gameplay. Even though the sound of the game is weak, it’s at it’s weakest when discussing the soundtrack. If the game even has one. I had to actually go back and remind myself that there was an actual soundtrack. It’s very unremarkable and unimpressive and this needs to be addressed in its eventual follow up because a games soundtrack is one of the most important pieces to the game, the audible sensations that tie the game together.
The Fall Part 2: Unbound is a must own to anyone out there that loves puzzle games with a unique twist and varying gameplay elements. The story is interesting and never something you can predict where it’ll head and A.R.I.D. is great as the protagonist. I loved the art style, the presentation, and most of the gameplay elements but found the weak soundtrack, or lack thereof, to be extremely disappointing. The shooting engagements in the game weren’t exactly challenging or deep and something that should be reworked in any follow ups. All in all, The Fall Part 2: Unbound is a great game that only stumbles in certain aspects but never so much so that I felt ruined my experience. This is a great game and a great experience, and I recommend it to anyone who finds it interesting, I doubt you’ll be disappointed.