Deadfall Adventures Review

Platform: PC, Xbox 360
Released: November 15th, 2013
Developer: The Farm 51
Publisher: Nordic Games
Genre: First Person Shooter

Reviewer’s Note: I played this game on the PC. There may be differences between versions.

There is nothing wrong with trying to reuse and prefect elements that other games have gotten down. Deadfall Adventures is an attempt to take Call of Duty, Uncharted, and Alan Wake and mash it into one bigger game. Unfortunately, it seems little was done to try and actually perfect the elements and instead they are just mashed up into a lazy mess.

Story

Deadfall Adventures places the player in the role of James Lee Quartermain, the great-grandson of Allan Quartermain (yes, the same one who is the main character in H. Rider Haggard’s book series). Taking place in the middle of World War 2, James signs up with an American expedition to find an ancient temple and a mysterious artifact, battling Nazis and Russians along the way to keep them safe. There’s romance, betrayal, and some supernatural in play.

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Sadly, Deadfall Adventures’ story doesn’t really do anything noteworthy and is a mostly predictable tale. All the betrayals are really obvious (you mean the blond haired blue-eyes guy with a German accent was… a Nazi!?), and none of the adventure is really interesting. The best I can say is that the game does bring you around to see a really good chunk of varied locations, but that really doesn’t help it be any more worth seeing.

Presentation

Deadfall Adventures looks decent enough, but doesn’t really push any sort of boundaries. The biggest problem is really the animations, as each character looks extremely awkward and flails their arms about in unnatural ways during cutscenes. The game also isn’t helped by some awful voice acting. Every character either sounds bored or confused, and gives the impression that they couldn’t get decent enough actors for the game. The accents also sound silly and forced, I’m not entirely convinced that the German accents are real. The best part of the presentation is the game’s varied locations, with Quartermain visiting Egyptian temples, arctic wastelands, and Mayan jungles.

Gameplay

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At its core Deadfall Adventures is a first person shooter that plays close enough to Call of Duty games. Quartermain will find a list of World War 2 weapons and will go through levels shooting at Nazis or Russians depending on who feels like trying to kill him this week. Aiming, shooting, and throwing grenades all work about how I expected it to. Notably, temples are full of traps, and there were places I could shoot that would activate traps. I didn’t really get to use this often enough to really enjoy it, but a few times I could hit a panel that would burn a group of enemies.

Yet not all enemies are human, and not long into the game I would run into undead enemies as well. Similar to Alan Wake, I was given a flashlight and could shine a beam of light on them that would make the enemies more vulnerable to attacks. It’s a decent change of pace, but outside of a rare encounter these guys only seem to show up at the beginning and the end of the game. One neat thing is that they would also attack normal enemies, and there were a few rare moments I was able to pit them against each other. But this was few and far in between so not really worth noting much.

Similar to the Uncharted games I was also stopped by various puzzles. Quartermain always carries a notebook with him and it contains some basic hints on how to solve the puzzles. Yet most of the game’s puzzles feel like busywork. They involve turning levers, pressing switches, and walking along specific paths. Nothing that isn’t immediately solvable, but often something that requires more work than necessary to solve. There’s also an occasional awkward platforming section, but those at least only show up maybe once or twice total.

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Exploration is at least sort of important in Deadfall Adventures, as there are hidden treasures that can be collected to boost Quartermain’s stats, along with treasure maps that give vague ideas where the treasures in each level are. It’s not a bad idea, but I honestly didn’t notice any difference between an unleveled and a leveled up Quartermain. The game tells me he can reload faster or sprint longer, but I just never noticed it.

Really the biggest problem with Deadfall Adventures’ gameplay is that I’ve done everything before in other games. There’s nothing wrong with this if it was made better, but everything Deadfall Adventures does is done better in other games. The puzzles and story are better in Uncharted, the shooting is better in Call of Duty, the “use flashlight to weaken enemy” mechanic is done better in Alan Wake… the list goes on.

If you do enjoy the gameplay, there’s a four player survival mode where you have to survive against waves of enemies. There’s also a competitive class-based multiplayer mode. I couldn’t play either as both of them were empty. This could probably be considered a dead game.

Conclusion

Deadfall Adventures is just so middle of the pack that I’m having difficulty saying much else. It does things that other games do and it puts them together vaguely competently, but that’s about it. There’s no real reason to get into this game outside of seeing another mediocre shooter.

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