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Deus Ex: The Fall Review

By James Gilmour, on July 16, 2013
Last modified 9 months ago


Deus Ex: The Fall
Download on the AppStore
Rating

PROS

  • Gorgeously detailed world.
  • Violent and non-violent ways to approach missions.
  • Customisation via augmentation is satisfying.

 

CONS

  • Control interface is clunky.
  • Campaign is a tad short.

VERDICT

Though somewhat hamstrung by its control scheme, Deus Ex: The Fall is a handsome diversion for franchise fans.


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Shoot or sneak? Hack or attack? Immobilise or kill? These are the choices you are confronted with throughout Deux Ex: The Fall. Taking its lead from the console-based Deus Ex: Human Revolution, this iOS spin-off sticks very close to its heavily augmented gold-tinged roots. On the plus side, this means you get a some stellar visuals, and narrative-driven campaign featuring missions which can be completed using either aggressive or non-aggressive tactics. On the downside, it means you have to tolerate another touchscreen FPS with slightly awkward controls, and an interface which is often cluttering your display with context-sensitive buttons.

You are Ben Saxon, an augmented ex-military agent who is trying to track down a steady supply of Neuropozyne, the drug which the cybernetically-enhanced require to function. To do this, you're going to have to barter with dodgy dealers, infiltrate gang territory, and face off against a procession of trigger-happy henchmen and robotic drones.

Developer N-Fusion has done a pretty terrific job of bringing the world of Human Revolution to iOS. Though the lighting and character models aren't as impressive as Human Revolution's, The Fall's dirty yellow colour palette and detailed environments look fantastic, and evoke plenty of fond memories.

The series trademark tactical flexibility returns, too. You can charge all guns blazing into the middle of a group of hostile gangbangers. And, if you've upgraded the right augmentations and have a massive bag of massive guns, you might survive. However, take the time to survey your surroundings and you'll find ventilation shafts, security codes, and other subterfuge-friendly methods to avoid detection altogether. As always with Deus Ex, the stealthy route is always the most satisfying, though gun nuts are catered to via the tooled-up virtual shop.

Upgrading augmentations lets you tailor your character beyond your weapon loadout. You can spend upgrade points to increase your strength and combat shielding. Alternatively, you can pour your resources into improving your hacking skills, and powering-up your invisibility cloak. As always with this series, the choice is yours. Putting your chosen augmentations to use is very satisfying, allowing you to leave your own personal stamp on the battlefield.

Unfortunately, it's not all good news. While this is certainly one of the better FPSs on the App Store, the game's controls leave something to be desired. You can use a touch-to-travel system, but you'll probably fall back on the functional (if underwhelming) dual stick system. However, when the context sensitive buttons begin popping up all over the screen, you really start to feel the absence of a physical controller. Silent takedowns, switching cover positions, interacting with objects: all are triggered by buttons which appear and disappear when required. While the buttons do their job, it's not a very comfortable system to use, forcing you frequently change your grip at sensitive moments.

However, if you can see past the control issues, you'll find Deux Ex: The Fall offers a healthy injection of open-ended cyberpunk action. It not without its problems, but this first episode in a promised series will be a shot in the arm for franchise fans.

Screenshots

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Comments

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istako 9 months ago

It's oblivious to me why iPad 2 doesn't support this game. It's blasphemy! Also oblivious to me is why even Square Enix has agreed to publish yet another iOS-only FPS/TPS which has no place there and just cannot work on a touchscreen. This, to me, is stupidity in it's most pure form - people should just understand that FPS/TPS titles have no place on touchscreens. Take a lesson from Sony - Killzone is an FPS, we released a PSP, we want to make a Killzone for the PSP, is the PSP capable of running an FPS as it's meant to be played? - NO, therefore we change the formula: twin-stick shooter it is, released, praised, PLAYABLE. Same should have happened here. But still I would play this and give up after the third level because it's unplayable. Blasphemy!...

PS: The only TPS I have played on the iOS and enjoyed immensely was Dead Space, but I don't consider it a TPS. In that case, the touchscreen just helps. In the Survival-Horror genre you are meant to be more defenseless and the touch-controls just help to bring more atmosphere to the formula. Nice move, if you ask me. Also, Dead Space on the iOS has the best Dead Space story as far as I'm concerned - it's the best in the series.

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Djrella659 8 months, 4 weeks ago

Well, good to know it doesn't work on iPad 2. I was gonna give this game a try, but not anymore. xD

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Djrella659 8 months, 4 weeks ago

Oh, and as for Dead Space, I'd disagree. I think the original Dead Space on the 360 is the best. The iOS version isn't scary at all in comparison, and combat is definitely easier. I have only died twice in the iOS Dead Space, whereas I have died about a dozen times in the original console version- maybe the iOS version's health regeneration has something to do with that, alongside your guy practically autotargeting an enemy when you use your plasma saw.

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Djrella659 8 months, 4 weeks ago

^(Ugh, I keep forgetting things. That's what I get for staying up until 6am) The story in Dead Space on iOS didn't match up quite well, either, in my opinion.

I guess it made sense with the church betrayal, but I still didn't quite follow what was going on half the time. All I knew that I was doing was sabotaging things, cutting power, restoring power, cutting power again, and shooting off necromorph limbs during seemingly random lockdowns and quarantines.