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

SteamWorld Dig

SteamWorld Dig

SteamWorld Dig makes the transition from 3DS to PC flawlessly and loses none of its addictive charm along the way. Carving out your own mining tunnels while avoiding or killing the enemies is loads of fun and there is always one more upgrade or power to tempt you back. Gameplay: Polished, entertaining and incredibly addictive. Graphics: High definition 2D. Sound: Some western flavored tunes and spot on sound effects.

Pharaoh Rebirth+

Pharaoh Rebirth+

Pharaoh Rebirth+ is a Metroidvania style platformer that oozes charm and playability. Even with the low resolution visuals the pixel art remains brilliant and each location is packed with detail. The story is another surprising highlight and you’ll encounter plenty of humor along with interesting twists. You really can’t go wrong with this title if you are a fan of the genre and it manages to shine despite some technical limitations. Gameplay: The game has a surprising amount of depth for a platformer and plenty of replay value as well. Graphics: The resolution is rather low, but this doesn’t diminish the brilliance of the pixel art visuals. Sound: Catchy tunes and decent sound effects.

Quest for Infamy

Quest for Infamy

Quest for Infamy offers an authentic 90s era point & click adventure experience infused with role playing elements. It has a very offbeat sense of humor, interesting cast of characters and tons of locations to explore. The voice acting is a bit uneven and lack of hotspots can make some puzzles harder than they should be, but overall this is a game that all fans of the genre will appreciate and enjoy. Gameplay: Very true to the point & click adventures of the 90s. Graphics: Packed with detail and animations despite the low resolution. Sound: Features a great soundtrack and full voice acting for all characters.

Melissa K. and the Heart of Gold Collector’s Edition

Melissa K. and the Heart of Gold Collector's Edition

If you are not a fan of the genre then Melissa K. And The Heart of Gold is probably not going to change your mind, but it has plenty to offer those that do enjoy these type of games. Considering its mobile origins the visuals are actually pretty good and the gameplay is diverse enough that you are not only spending your time scouring screens for hidden objects. The story didn’t have us complete hooked, but as a whole we can recommend this title to anyone that enjoys a polished casual gaming experience with plenty of replay value and extras. Gameplay: A nice blend of adventuring, puzzle solving and hidden object scenes. Graphics: Very detailed and featuring some exotic locations. Sound: Good music, nice sound effects and solid voice acting overall.

The Old City: Leviathan

The Old City: Leviathan

With a game such as The Old City: Leviathan where the story is such an important focus it can be hard to explain why it is worth experiencing without spoiling any surprises. The visuals are certainly very pretty and the audio very good, but by the developers own admission, everything is secondary to the story. The lack of interaction with the gameworld means that some players will dismiss this title as a “walking simulator”, but anyone that can appreciate the immersive experience instead of trying to compare it to something else will find a lot to love about it. Gameplay: Plenty of exploring to do, but the focus is squarely on the intriguing story. Graphics: The Unreal engine is put to good use to display some detailed environments. Sound: Quality voice acting and a haunting soundtrack that matches the melancholic atmosphere of the game.

How to Take Off Your Mask

How to Take Off Your Mask

How To Take Off Your Mask is an otome game with a cast of likeable characters, an interesting scenario and plenty of humorous moments. It also features a couple of choices that branches the storyline, which along with the Steam Achievements, adds to the replay value. The writing is also good enough to draw in players who are not normally into otome titles, but check out the free demo first to see what the game has to offer. Gameplay: Fairly linear, but well written and with a branching storyline. Graphics: The game features charming visuals with plenty of detail for each character. Sound: The soundtrack is great and the game also features full Japanese voice acting.

Leave a comment

1 × 5 =