GAME REVIEW | Fighting the Sickness in Second Part of "The Fall"
The first part of The Fall originally released back in 2014 for a handful of platforms including the Wii U. How odd then that the sequel has landed on the Switch, but there weren't any announcements regarding the first title hitting that platform. This is rather important, as Part 2 takes place immediately after the first game's cliffhanger. Thankfully I'm here to talk about the PS4 version, with this entry being more interesting plot-wise, although it drops the focus on puzzles a bit to be more of an action game. The results are a bit wonky, but The Fall Part 2: Unbound delivers a bit more enjoyable game as a result.
The Fall was originally about an AI in a combat suit that was trying to resuscitate their human operator, where you had to do a lot of puzzle-based adventure game segments, with a smidge of cover based combat. It ends with the the AI A.R.I.D. learning the truth about their existence, becoming disheartened by the news and losing the will to go on. They are then thrown into a Domesticon dump somewhere on the planet. Now in Unbound, the plot continues, and A.R.I.D. finds herself still alive, but is convinced to keep on going and get her body back, as she's been separated from it. She needs to do this quickly, as she's slowly being infected by a virus.
The rest of the game is about trying to get back to A.R.I.D.'s body and solving puzzles while fighting her infection. Fighting actually takes more presence in the game this time around. As a result, the game's combat mechanics are tweaked, with you finally being able to jump. Jumping replaces the cloak cover button from the first game, and you get the ability to absorb shots from the virus, and shoot them back like a missile. To aid in defeating your foes, you can lock onto enemies. All combat takes place within cyberspace, and the game does bear echoes from Metroid's design in a number of ways, but this game far from controls this way. The biggest reason is that the jumping is quite wonky and actually looks very silly.
Unbound is a good follow-up to the first part of The Fall, but the issues with the game other than the wonky combat have mainly to do with the fact that there is no Part 1 on the Switch as of yet, so new players there are lost. The other issue would be the voice acting is a bit off. In general, the game is an improvement. The story is a nice commentary on the nature on AI and respecting other's autonomy and consent. I can't wait for the conclusion of the story in Part 3, and I hope the combat gameplay is refined further. Just remember that if you haven't played Part 1, then go pick that one up first.
The Good: The story is a lot more interesting this go around.
The Bad: The voice acting is a swing and a miss much like the first game.
The Ugly: The terrible jump animations.
SUMMARY: The Fall Part 2: Unbound is a great follow-up to the first game, although the shift to be more action-oriented is a bit wonky.
Promotional consideration provided by Jeff Matulef of Plan of Attack PR. Reviewed on the PS4.
Eric is a freelance writer and has a podcast called RPGrinders, and you can support their Patreon page here.