Plenty of people out there do like a bit of Indiana Jones type adventuring in their games. Most of them have played the old Tomb Raider games to some degree of enthusiasm, but they then want more than just staring at a girl’s butt through short shorts for most of the gameplay (not that it’s a bad thing), so games with similar themes are quite welcome. The Uncharted series did that very well for the PS3, but there is now a new title that seeks to do the same for multiple platforms. It does look good at first glance, but the rest of it does need closer inspection for better assessment.
Deadfall Adventures is an first-person action adventure title by The Farm 51 and Nordic Games Publishing that puts players in thrilling adventures against both villainous adversaries and reawakened ancient powers. You play as James Lee Quatermain, said to be the great-grandson of Allan Quatermain from the H. Rider Haggard adventure novels. He is not as talented and competent as his famed forefather, but he does have company in form of a trusty female companion and a scientist. Together, they fight against those who stand between them and precious ancient relics and such. You can basically live out your Harrison Ford fantasies through this game, but only if you end up liking it.
At first glance, this game does look pretty good with the setting in archeological digs and such. You get to explore ancient tombs and temples, so you can get your Lara Croft on if you’re into that kind of stuff. However, everything else is rudimentary at best in this game with elements taken from various other games. It’s not totally a bad thing, but there is little to nothing that gives it more personality, like a quirky villain or truly memorable moments. If you’re someone who had liked playing something like Serious Sam: The First Encounter, then you might be attracted to the setting and gameplay.
The combat is repetitive and tedious, requiring you to go through the motions over and over again without much reward. Using the dual revolvers does look like that of Call of Juarez and Serious Sam, and the rest of the gunplay is much old-school FPS. The enemy AI though makes normal difficulty feel like very easy, so it ends up feeling on-rails at best. If you didn’t enjoy other first person games like BioShock Infinite, then you won’t enjoy the combat here even more. There are also a good bit of glitches and other signs of rushed work like invisible walls, as if this game was not playtested at all. This looks like the result of a “that will do” mindset during development.
In between all the fighting, there are puzzles that you must solve in order to proceed through certain areas. That’s all well and good, but there is a sense that puzzles were put in this game just for the sake of having puzzles, with most of them being there without rhyme or reason. They’re tedious and seem like they don’t add anything substantial to the overall gameplay experience. As for the writing of the story and the voice acting, they are not that good. It is enough to get in the way of immersion as they border from comical to absolutely ridiculous. That’s too bad since this game could have been saved by good characterization and narrative, but it seems that the budget had been dumped mostly on the graphics to make it look good enough for the press kit.
This is quite unfortunate for a game that seemed to have potential at first. It’s not entirely bad, but it’s dull and mediocre for the most part. There will still be players who will get to enjoy this, but it would have been better if it were released around 5 years ago or so than now. If you’re one of those Indiana Jones fans that raged when Crystal Skull came out, then perhaps you should skip this game so you can maintain your blood pressure.
If you actually liked watching Shia LaBeouf, then maybe you might like playing this game somehow. Maybe H. Rider Haggard is rolling in his grave right now as we speak.
Tested in PC. Final Score: 5/10