Nordic Games – The Farm 51 – Released 15th November on PC and Xbox 360
Deadfall Adventures is an FPS with a difference. In a genre that is over saturated with ‘realistic’ war shooters, it’s a refreshing change to come across something that not only satisfies an itchy trigger finger, but also puts the old grey cells to the test. Deadfall is a globe trotting adventure that is as much about puzzle solving as it is ridding the world of the least offensive Nazi’s you’ll ever see. Following the exploits of Indiana Jones-a-like, James Lee Quatermain, descendant of the legendary Alan Quatermain, who is employed by the US government to find a precious, potentially dangerous artefact, before those darned Nazi’s get to it. Sound familiar? Absolutely, and the only thing missing is a whip! The references to the Indiana Jones movies are plentiful, with nods to each of the films in one shape or form, from the 1930’s setting to the fedora.
Although it’s an FPS, with plenty of gunfights and action, there’s an equal amount of puzzle solving, from the basic hit the switch in the right order, to collecting certain artefacts that unlock doors, and the classic sliding puzzles we all remember from when we were kids (which even an achievement acknowledges). The puzzles can range from the standard video game fare which most gamers could do in their sleep, to some real noodle scratchers, which had me on the verge of giving up! As far as the action side of things go, it is pretty straight forward. With an array of weapons from the period, there’s quite the arsenal to choose from, including the default dual wielding of Quatermain’s revolvers, rifles and machine guns, which again, is pretty standard until you meet what’s been lurking in the ancient temples. Not only does Quatermain have to contend with facists, but with these temples being disturbed after centuries, its guardians have arisen to protect its treasures, mainly in the form of mummies and Egyptian creatures. Fans of Alan Wake might be pleased when they find out how to fell these ancient buggers. Torchlight concentrated on the enemies weakens them, with a few blasts from your gun to finish them off. To be honest, it was quite nice to see this implemented in another game. Alan Wake was a unique experience, and it’s great seeing Deadfall paying homage to it.
The game takes place across locations from the Egyptian pyramids, Arctic wastes and the Guatamalan jungles, adding some diverse scenery to the action, that rewards exploration, with hidden locations dotted around that contain taxing puzzles and treasures to collect. Collecting the various treasures contribute to your stats. Collect x amount and you can increase health, stamina and accuracy, among other attributes making easier work of some of the bad guys you encounter. Deadfall’s script and voice acting come straight from the Resident Evil school of craptacular performance, which only adds to its charm, with the only thing missing being a Barry Burton type character. From suspicious Nazi defectors, to annoyingly British sidekick Jennifer Goodwin, who in true adventure tradition, is not only the occasional damsel in distress, but also kicks arse as good as the rest of them too. Deadfall Adventures, is quite the breath of fresh air in genre that has really gone quite stale over the last couple of years, however, with it being released during silly season, and the same week as one of those new consoles or whatever, I fear this one may slip in unnoticed, which is a shame as this game has really come as a welcome surprise.
However, despite the above all sounding positive, it’s not without its annoyances. The save system can be as frustrating as some of the more difficult puzzles, as the environments contain some traps that are more trial and error than anything. And when that results in your doom, and you reload 2 puzzles and 3 gun fights ago, it can feel rather cheap, but then it wouldn’t be a challenge, would it?
The single player campaign will probably clock in between 8-10 hours on normal, so there’s a couple of multiplayer modes thrown in for good measure, too. There’s Survival mode which sees you and others fight against waves of enemies, and then there’s the more traditional deathmatches. Both of which incorporate the environments and traps which you encounter in the main game, which may add a little longevity for achievement hunters and those hoping to get a little more out of the game.
It’s a fun game, but won’t go toe to toe with the big budget releases that flood the market at this time of year, nor does it have the content in comparison to its blockbuster counterparts to justify paying full price for it, but it’s still damn good fun, but maybe a few years too late to compete with the big boys.