The archaeological wise-cracking adventurer has been a staple of the entertainment industry since George Lucas’ vision came to life in Raiders of the Lost Ark. We’ve seen the trend come and go, well in recent years it’s been back with a bang. The Uncharted series making waves over on the Playstation, and Tomb Raider surprisingly rebooting with one of the outright games of the year. Nordic Games decided to have a crack at the genre, and man did they ever fail. Deadfall Adventures just might be one of the worst games this year, even worse than the Activision Walking Dead. Oh, how much I loathed this game, let me count the ways.
You play as James Lee Quatermain, grandson of legendary adventurer Allen Quatermain. Quatermain decides to aid the US government in the retrieval of a powerful artefact. James spends the majority of the start of the game speaking of his grand pappy’s ‘ridiculous tales’ of mummies and supernatural artefacts. Boy is he about to have a rude awakening. He shortly finds that these tales are in fact not quite as ridiculous as they first seemed. So from being a brash douche that couldn’t care less about the power behind the artefacts he was sent to obtain, he quickly becomes intrigued about such things and decides to carry on with the adventure. What with this being a game set in the 1940’s, it of course includes what has become a staple in this genre, Nazis! As if it wasn’t already a cheap Indiana Jones knockoff. The swastika on the armbands has been replaced with a funky black X, however. Full disclosure here, the story is nothing spectacular. Actually, it’s not even good…like, at all.
I’ve never heard voice acting as bad I’ve heard on this game. You can see exactly what they are going for with Quatermain. They mean for him to be a wise- cracking, loveable man’s man much like your Indiana Joneses or your Nathan Drakes. But the voice-work is so canned and unlikeable that it make every cut-scene a chore. A special shout-out goes to the hilariously bad and stereotypical Germans in the game, “YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND ZIS POWER” is a phrase from ze game…ahem, the game that constantly echoes in my head.
Let’s talk graphics, or lack thereof. We’ve all heard the classic saying ‘you can’t polish a turd’, well they haven’t polished it, it’s just a turd. All the characters have dead eyes and even the shadows have jaggies. Now I have no problem with a game looking cartoony, but not when that is clearly not the intention. The environments aren’t so terrible, they’re not that good either, just not terrible. I’d go as far as to call them adequate.
Time for gameplay. Deadfall is a first person shooter, so it handles like Call of Duty. If Call of Duty was developed in a war-torn gulag. I need to clarify this, the gameplay itself is not that bad. It’s just that it suffers from horrific frame-rate issues that hinder any kind of fun you could possibly have. Much like Uncharted, there are puzzles that are solved by looking in a notebook that was handed down by the protagonist’s grandfather. These aren’t so much puzzles than they are ‘look at this thing, put it inside there’. There isn’t any kind of challenge whatsoever. There is other equipment that you can access via the d-pad. Such as the compass, that knowingly points towards your destination as if it were handed down by Captain Jack Sparrow himself. There is also a flashlight that you need to beam towards mummies as they cannot be affected by bullet damage without it.
What would a game be without horrific tacked-on multiplayer? Deadfall adventures is no different. It controls just as badly as the single player game. It also features modes such as Classic Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Treasure Hunt Mode, and Co-op Survival Mode. There’s nothing to be said about the online aspect of the game that I haven’t already said about the single player. Of course, the game isn’t out yet so I couldn’t get much playtime due to a lack of players. However, I believe I had enough time to form a valid opinion about the multiplayer, and it’s just as bad as single player.
To sum up, the story is meh. It’s tolerable but really not worth shouting about. The gameplay is also adequate but not without its problems. It looks pretty bad, there is no emotion in the character’s faces as well as their voice acting. Multiplayer is not a welcome addition to a game that quite frankly is already boring. Deadfall Adventures isn’t worth anyone’s good time, and I’d recommend staying away from it.
At this point in the current generation’s life-cycle, it really is a case of play hard or go home. When even games as big as Call of Duty, Battlefield, and Assassin’s Creed aren’t doing as well as they should due to the run-up to the next generation, time fodder like this really has no place on the market. Steer clear of this one folks, it’s a real shit sandwich.