Deadfall Adventures
Gameplay 8
Graphics 6
Sound 7

Deadfall Adventures is not without its flaws, but overall it is a solid and enjoyable game with some nice locations and tricky puzzles. There is nothing here that hasn’t already been done before, but it blends all the elements together for an action packed experience that isn’t afraid to tax your grey matter either. Hopefully this isn’t the last time we join the adventures of James Lee Quatermain.

Gameplay: A nice mixture of action and puzzle solving.

Graphics: Exotic locations and great attention to detail.

Sound: The voice acting could have been better, but the music and sound effects are solid

Summary 7.0 Good
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

Deadfall Adventures

Developer: The Farm 51 | Publisher: Nordic Games | Release Date: 2013 | Genre: First Person Shooter / Action / Adventure | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

James Lee Quatermain is a man that is not too impressed with the legacy of his great grandfather, Allan Quatermain, but not above using the illustrious name to his own advantage either. While he followed in the adventuring footsteps of his forebearer, he isn’t exactly a believer in the fantastical tales associated with the expeditions of Allan Quatermain. This all changes when he is hired by a former colleague to escort her to an Egyptian temple for simple artifact retrieval.

The game is set in 1939 and inspired by the Quatermain universe created by H. R. Haggard so it should come as no surprise that the artifact has magical properties and some Nazis are very keen to get their hands on it as well. James is plunged headlong into a globe spanning adventure that takes him from the temples of Egypt to the cold wastes of the Arctic and the humid jungles of Guatemala. The storyline immediately conjures up memories of Indiana Jones, Uncharted and indeed the adventure novels by Sir Haggard.

Deadfall Adventures is played from a first person perspective, but it is more than just a straightforward shooter. The exotic and dangerous locations are not just filled with enemies and traps, but some puzzles as well. Every once in a while, James will have to take a break from all the gunplay to solve some conundrum that is hampering his progress. These sections make for a nice change of pace and while many of the puzzles are rather straightforward, there are a few that can leave you scratching your head. You can set the puzzle difficulty before starting the game and James has a handy notebook that can be whipped out for clues so nobody should be stuck on these puzzles for too long. Your companion, Jennifer Goodwin is also fond of providing hints if you are really stumped which is helpful, but a little annoying.

The highlight of the game is the visuals with some striking digital representations of ancient temples and exotic locales. The three main areas that you explore in the game are very diverse and each was created with painstaking attention to detail. Everything from how the light filters through trees or cracks in the ceiling to the flickering torches and ancient statues inside the temples contribute to the excellent atmosphere of the game. It is not just eye candy either as those stalactites in the Arctic can be shot to drop on to unsuspecting enemies while the deadly traps can be activated with a well timed bullet in order to catch your foes in the crossfire.

Unfortunately there are a few issues with the visuals as well. The game uses the Unreal engine to great effect and the texture detail is incredible, but there is also a bit of texture pop-in that is by now synonymous with the engine. It doesn’t detract from the stunning looking locations too much, but it is quite noticeable at times. Enemies range from typical video game baddies like Nazis, Russians and Arabs to more supernatural foes like mummies and temple guardians. The human enemies look rather generic but the supernatural ones are pretty cool.  The problem with the humans in the game, which is especially noticeable during cut-scenes, is the awkward, puppet like animations that they all have. It is not a deal breaker, but definitely an area that could have used a bit more polish.

James has a selection of weapons fitting to the time period that he can use in battle but has a carry limit of only three. This is usually not a problem as the weapons dropped by your enemies are plentiful. His default weapons, a set of pistols have unlimited ammunition which can seem a bit odd, but is necessary due to some of the puzzles that require you to shoot switches from a distance. While none of the weapons, apart from the sniper rifle are what you would call memorable they do pack quite a punch and get the job done. The enemies are not exactly the smartest foes that I have encountered in a first person shooter and most of the human ones were content with taking pot shots at me from behind cover. There are usually some exploding barrels nearby to flush them out and tossing grenades or dynamite also causes them to scatter like cockroaches. Using the environment to your advantage is the most fun however, as you can activate traps that burn, impale or crush your enemies. You can even goad enemies into fighting each other while you pick them off from a distance if encounter areas with opposing factions.

The supernatural enemies are the highlight of the show and unlike their human counterparts they don’t go down easy. Your guns are useless against at first, but fortunately they have an aversion to light. You can use your flashlight, lure them into sunlight or set them on fire with the traps to weaken them before putting them to rest permanently with a few well placed bullets. The flashlight as a weapon tactic has been used before in games such as Alan Wake but it is still a nice touch and provides some variety in combat. Later in the game you get mobbed by undead foes, leading to epic battles where you have to make full use of the environment in order to stay alive. This includes activating traps and using reflecting lenses, usually reserved for puzzles to fry your foes like ants under a magnifying glass.

The levels undoubtedly look good, but are a bit more linear than what I would have liked. James has a magical compass that points him towards the nearest treasure, but you can also find treasure maps that mark all the treasure locations. These treasures are usually not too far off the beaten path and when found can be used to upgrade your skills. Skills are divided into “Warrior,” “Light” and “Life” paths with upgrades such as more health, stamina, less recoil, shorter reloading times and more. The treasure hunting is a nice touch, but I would have liked to see larger skill trees with abilities that make a bigger impact on the gameplay. Another issue that is worth pointing out is that the game uses a checkpoint based save system. This generally didn’t bother me too much, but the checkpoints are spaced apart quite far at times and dying can set you back a bit. This can be annoying as the game doesn’t save the treasures you already collected and if you are not paying attention you can blunder straight into a trap spelling instant death. It definitely made me watch my step and pay attention to my environment so that I don’t accidentally trigger a trap and become part of the temple decor but I know not everyone appreciates checkpoint based saves.

The audio is good with some suitably stirring music, but the voice acting is a bit of a mixed bag. The voice actor for James definitely has the right type of voice but not all his lines are delivered with conviction. Sometimes he nails it and sometimes it sounds like he is just phoning it in. The uneven voice acting extends to the other characters as well and while it adds to the cheesy B-movie feel of the game it could have been better. The awkward animations just add to the problem making some of the cut-scenes lose their impact. I didn’t have any issues with bugs or crashes and managed to complete the game without any hiccups. The game also has quite an extensive multi-player component that I was sadly unable to fully test due to the lack of players. It is definitely something that I will return to if there is a larger player base.

Deadfall Adventures isn’t perfect and if you are going to nitpick there are plenty of faults to find. On the other hand it is definitely not as bad as some reviews might have you believe and well worth checking out if you enjoy the genre.

*Review originally published November 2013.

System Requirements

  • OS:Windows XP SP 3, Windows Vista/7/8
  • Processor:Intel Core 2 Duo @ 2 GHz / AMD Athlon 64 X2 equivalent
  • Memory:2 GB RAM
  • Graphics:NVIDIA GeForce 9600GT / ATI Radeon HD 3830, 256 MB VRAM, Shader Model 3 support
  • DirectX®:9.0c
  • Hard Drive:6.5 GB HD space
  • Sound:DirectX Compatible
  • Additional:Initial installation requires one-time internet connection for Steam authentication, Software installations required (included with the game): STEAM Client, Microsoft DirectX, Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable, Visual C++ 2005 SP1 Redistributable
  • OS:Windows 7/8
  • Processor:2.6 GHz Quad Core processor
  • Memory:4 GB RAM
  • Graphics:NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 / ATI Radeon HD 5850, 1 GB VRAM, Shader Model 3 Support
  • DirectX®:9.0c
  • Hard Drive:6.5 GB HD space
  • Sound:DirectX Compatible
  • Additional:Initial installation requires one-time internet connection for Steam authentication, Software installations required (included with the game): STEAM Client, Microsoft DirectX, Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable, Visual C++ 2005 SP1 Redistributable

Related posts

Kraven Manor

Kraven Manor

There's no denying that Kraven Manor can be completed rather quickly, but it packs a lot of scares into its short runtime. The story could probably have benefited from it being fleshed out a little bit more, but the creepy antagonist and sinister atmosphere of the manor itself makes for a memorable experience. The game doesn't go overboard with the scares, but knows how to mess with you which makes for a startling experience, at least the first time through. Graphics: Nice visuals and excellent use of light. Sound: Great audio and creepy sound effects. Gameplay. Creepy and absorbing, but a little too short for my liking.

Knee Deep

Knee Deep

One suicide, three investigators and a whole town of shady characters to question. That about sums up Knee Deep, but the focus on conversations, intriguing story and unique visual presentation definitely make it worth a second look. It is more of a visual novel than a typical point & click adventure, but will definitely hook anyone who loves a good story and memorable characters. Gameplay: The focus of the game is on the story and not puzzle solving, so expect plenty of conversations. Graphics: Character models look a little stiff, but overall the visual style works well. Sound: No voice acting, but the soundtrack is very good.

Unrest

Unrest

If you value interesting dialogue and moral choices more than loot gathering and monster slaying then you will enjoy Unrest. The game dares to do things a bit differently and for the most it works quite well. The lack of puzzles or any real combat means that the pace of the game is very slow, but just like a good book you will want to know what is going to happen next once you are hooked. Gameplay: The focus is very much on the story, so action junkies might become bored of all the reading. Graphics: The hand-painted visuals give the game an unique look. Sound: Outstanding tunes, but no speech.

fault milestone one

fault milestone one

Thanks to its great setting and characters, fault milestone one is a very enjoyable and gripping kinetic novel. The story is pretty self-contained, but it does dedicate a lot of time to explaining the unique concepts of the science fantasy world the characters inhabit. The game also features quite a mature storyline, but without resorting to nudity or fanservice which is quite refreshing. If you enjoy kinetic novels with interesting characters and deep storylines you will enjoy fault milestone one. Gameplay: There is only a single choice in the game, but the gripping storyline will keep you interested. Graphics: Great character art although the backgrounds are a little limited. Sound: The game doesn’t feature any speech, but has a really good soundtrack and sound effects.

Surgeon Simulator 2013

Surgeon Simulator 2013

One thing is for sure, Surgeon Simulator 2013 is not going to appeal to everyone. I had a blast with the unwieldy controls and the accidental mishaps is just as entertaining as finally nailing the surgery. A lot of patience is required if you want to become good at this game, but it is worth the effort. Gameplay: Either utterly brilliant or utterly frustrating depending on how patient you are. Graphics: Good in a gory and darkly humorous way. Sound: Has a nice synth-laden soundtrack.

Vertical Drop Heroes HD

Vertical Drop Heroes HD

Vertical Drop Heroes HD is simple enough that you can instantly jump in and have fun for a few minutes, but addictive enough to keep you hooked for hours. All the procedural elements keep things interesting and there are tons of skills as well as traits to unlock. The game offers a lot of value for money and will keep you coming back again and again for "just one more go." Gameplay: Simple, but very addictive. Graphics: Cartoonish visuals with some nice 2-D artwork. Sound: Catchy tunes.

Leave a comment

fifteen − thirteen =