mon 08/08/2022

Deus Ex: The Fall | reviews, news & interviews

Deus Ex: The Fall

Deus Ex: The Fall

Plenty of choices but not much control

Each mission presents you with a series of objectives - kill the guards, find the code, disable the computer

In Deus Ex: The Fall you play Ben Saxon, a cybernetically-enhanced mercenary out for vengeance against a global conspiracy responsible for the deaths of his comrades. Saxon's plotline is a continuation of Icarus Effect, a tie-in novel to the PC/console game Deus Ex: Human Revolution. The two games share background more than plot, but that background is well drawn and makes for an immersive world full of assassins, hired guns and cyberpunk conspiracy.

Saxon is aided in his mission by former US Secret Service agent Anna Kelso - another character from Icarus Effect - and by an array of cybernetic augmentations that can provide temporary superpowers or permanent boosts to your abilities. By carefully selecting the right augmentations and weapons for any given mission, you can improve your chances and give yourself more options.

The Deus Ex games are all about options. Each mission presents you with a series of objectives - kill the guards, find the code, disable the computer - but it is up to you how you tackle each one. You could power up and go for a direct assault, stealth your way to success or use the environment or your equipment to achieve the seemingly impossible. Although somewhat more restricted than its PC and console forebears, Deus Ex: The Fall does not disappoint in this respect and you are rarely funneled into a single course of action.

The game's biggest flaw is sadly one of its core elements - combat. Touchscreens rarely handle first-person shooting well, and despite some obvious effort being put in by the developers, the DE:TF user interface is just too cluttered to use comfortably on an iPhone screen at any great speed. Having two fire buttons, one on either side of the screen, may seem like a useful addition, but when one is so close to the virtual joypad it's as much a hindrance as help.

Things are a little better on an iPad, but even there it is tricky to manoeuvre at the kind of speeds you would like. Some things that do work well are the optional tap-to-aim system and the auto-cover mechanic that will stick your back to the nearest wall at the tap of an icon and generally behaves as you would hope.

The fiddly combat means that more often than not you will try for the stealthy approach, sniping from cover or creeping up to guards (perhaps using a handy cloaking augmentation) to strike with a grisly takedown quicktime event. On those occasions, when facing off against multiple foes it's inevitable you will find yourself making heavy use of the quick-save behind the pause button.

Combat aside, the game is of excellent quality. The plot is twisty and well written, and environments are well designed with enough extraneous detail to make them feel lived-in and not simply a series of checkpoints.

Your current objective is always indicated by a subtle range-finding HUD to guide you where you need to be, although actually getting there might require you to negotiate increasingly tricky hacking mini-games unless you have a handy autohack tool or an appropriate augmentation. Enemy AI is a bit hit and miss although, again, this is probably for the best, given how hard it is to handle a squad of goons gunning for you at once.

Despite its flawed combat there is much to enjoy here. If the control issues can be patched then Deus Ex:The Fall will be a top notch shooter. As it is, it's still worth a look, especially if you are a fan of the series.

The fiddly combat means that more often than not you will try for the stealthy approach


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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