Developer(s): The Farm 51
Publisher(s): Nordic GamesPublishing AB
Platform(s): Xbox 360, PC
Review Platform: Xbox 360
Release Date: November 15, 2013
It’s a little surprising that H. R. Haggard’s 1885 novel King Solomon’s Mines and its various sequels haven’t made its way to the gaming sphere until now. With the success of Uncharted and Tomb Raider, you’d think publishers would jump at the opportunity to reintroduce Indiana Jones’ adventure-brethren. But the truth is, much like Richard Chamberlain’s cheesy performance as Allan Quatermain in the 1980’s films, this poorly constructed spinoff featuring his great-grandson James Quatermain is just as forgetful. From broken shooting mechanics and a throwaway plot to some of the worst dialogue in recent memory, Deadfall Adventures is a sloppy mess of catastrophic proportions. It’s a shame really, because underneath the thick layer of bad game design and cringe worthy writing is a game that could have been quite fun, if not even great, had it been handled by a more passionate and talented team.
Despite my affinity for tomb raiding adventures, my excitement for Deadfall Adventures was diminished as soon as I booted the game. From the sluggish menu screen to the very first spoken words, Deadfall Adventures is not so much a sad result of the obviously low budget, but rather the talentless people behind it. In essence, all elements that make up a fundamentally functioning game are there, but Deadfall Adventures feels like a project abandoned mid production only to be carelessly slapped together last minute for a quick release.
There’s a plot there somewhere…hidden behind charmless cardboard characters and the developer’s lack of interest. It’s about retrieving pieces of some ancient heart…oh and there’s a lot of mumbling about Atlantis. Everything is clichéd in the worst way imaginable making it impossible to care for anyone or anything. Deadfall Adventures wants to be a first person Uncharted, but unlike Naughty Dog’s team of tremendously talented people sweating over a project they passionately care for…Deadfall Adventures sadly feels like a belated school project that’s barely getting a passing grade.
If there’s one thing I can compliment the game for it’s the varied and oftentimes interesting environments. While nothing groundbreaking by any means, Deadfall Adventures is filled with lush jungles, dark temples, and icy caverns. Unfortunately, the gameplay is infuriatingly linear and there’s really no way of exploring the detailed world…even though every loading screen encourages exploration to uncover hidden collectibles. It’s usually a matter of walking into a clearly visible room or path where a treasure sits comfortably in plain sight, removing any sense of discovery and wonder. Despite the occasional environmental awe, the animations are so stiff and robotic; they completely ruin any kind of immersion. It’s disastrous. Talk about disastrous; the voice acting is some of the worst in gaming history. The writing is unbearable…and the horrible voice-overs make the cringe worthy one-liners even more intolerable.
Treasures are used to upgrade your character, but quicker fire rates and loading times don’t make the clunky gameplay any more fun. The shooting is imprecise and feels like you’re spraying enemies with a water hose. I got a chance to play the PC version as well and the mouse controls don’t fare any better. The puzzles are even worse. They’re absurdly easy requiring no critical thinking to solve.
|Final Score||“Absolutely Disastrous”||2.5|
While some of the environments are quite nice, the horrible robotic animations are outright laughable. It's 2013, I thought we left these visuals behind a decade ago.
Barely functional. The shooting is so loose and imprecise, it makes playing a real chore. All guns feel the same and the insultingly easy puzzles get old very quickly.
There's no reason to ever replay the campaign…heck, there's no reason to ever play the campaign in the first place. There's also a multiplayer mode…but good luck trying to find any players on there.
Some of the worst, if not THE worst voice acting in the history of gaming. Maybe the game is worth playing just to laugh at the horrendous dialogue.
Review by Tin Salamunic
Tin Salamunic is the founder of The Game Scouts. He is a VideoGame Journalist during the day and illustrator by night. He's been obsessed with video games since the early NES days, collecting every major system and game on the market. Video games are the reason he pursued the illustration career and he hopes to be creative director for a video game company one day. All Articles by Tin.