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Deadfall Adventures Review

by Diogo Miguel November 18, 2013

The Farm 51 and Nordic Games are back with another attempt at the first person shooter genre. This time it’s set in the 1930’s when a adventurer is taking on his biggest challenge.

As expected, there is a lot of shooting involved in this adventure. Most of the enemies faced consist of Nazi soldiers hell bent on stopping main character, James Lee Quatermain, from getting to precious artefact pieces.

Human soldiers aren’t so difficult to defeat – although there are quite a lot of them popping up throughout the different levels. However, the more interesting enemies are the ones that come back from the dead.

It’s the undead that make the fight more exciting. This is because they are only defeated by shooting them after they have been made vulnerable by focusing a flash light on them. An interesting concept that is very similar to what was used in the latest Alone in the Dark title. There’s even moments where these formidable foes can overwhelm the character – especially since there are different types of undead enemies to face.

The sheer number of weapons found as characters progress is nothing short of impressive. Each weapon is designed to look like it belongs in the 1930’s. It’s entertaining to try each weapon and see what works best for each enemy and different situations.

The character is resourceful and is capable of taking care of enemies in close combat. In fact, his knife attack is extremely useful when it comes to quickly taking care of vulnerable undead enemies. There are times where special equipment, like a signal light, is used and it works really well.

Shooting isn’t the only way to pass time when playing Deadfall Adventures. The protagonist also spends a lot of time exploring the different exotic and remote locations. The areas to explore are reasonably wide and make it feel less like a guided tour.

Every once in a while he manages to find himself in more extreme situations. One of them involves attempting to find a path in the middle of a blizzard. It does seem far too over the top at times, but it’s a reminder that this isn’t a trip to Disneyland.

It’s a shame that the very few boss battles that the character faces are not memorable for the right reasons. Unfortunately, they are not only unimaginative but also don’t feel like much of a challenge.

One of the more interesting aspects of this adventure are the puzzles that are found in each of the levels. Initially, they may feel too simple and like they won’t prove much of a challenge. However, they naturally become more intricate to the point that players will resort to using the diary left by the protagonist’s grandfather, Allan Quatermain. The diary contains hints for solving each of the puzzles.

It’s a shame that there aren’t more puzzles to solve since it’s fascinating to solve them in later levels. Even more so as they require interacting with the environment and trying to find the logic behind them.

It’s even necessary to solve puzzles to obtain most collectibles(treasures) which makes finding them more meaningful. It’s a better way of ensuring that players aren’t just collecting treasures for no other reason besides getting everything. The collectibles found are also used as currency to upgrade the character’s skills.

The story is like a tribute to adventure films such as those that iconic adventurer Indiana Jones starred in. It certainly makes use of material from these films, but the dialogue lets it down on a few occasions. Some of the dialogue feels broken and unintentionally funny. But on the bright side, the main character does seem to have a strange fascination with dynamite that his companion, Jane, often makes fun of.

It makes great use of the different locations to show off some inspiring views. The last locations in particular provide some great views. It feels inspiring to be given the chance to explore unusual environments like Mayan ruins.

It’s worth mentioning that dying on several occasions resulted in losing a substantial amount of progress. It’s really strange as it even resulted in having to complete puzzles(mostly to do with collectibles) again before attempting to defeat enemies or shut down traps blocking the way.

It takes a decent amount of time to get through the main story. There is also a fully fledged multiplayer section for those that wish to try it. There are various modes to pick from. Each has a set of different rules like matches with traps or no traps, death matches, treasure hunts and so on.

It’s quite a selection to go through, but it feels like it could have been more tempting to play if the maps were more varied. At least there are different classes and even characters to unlock by playing matches.

There is also a survival that is quite enjoyable. It involves obtaining new rewards after defeating a certain number of enemy waves. There’s even difficulty levels to accommodate for different players.

It’s clear that Farm 51 worked very hard on this title and it’s easily an improvement on the developer’s previous first person shooter effort. Despite a couple of flaws, Deadfall Adventures is still an enjoyable take on the genre, and the addition of puzzles makes it worth playing through to the end.

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