It’s testament to the quality of PC and console gaming that titles such as Deus Ex: Human Revolution can fly under the must-play radar. I’ve never played it myself, but I’m assured that it’s prettaaaay good.
As such, fans of the series are up in arms that Deus Ex: The Fall is exclusive to mobile (out now for iOS and coming soon to Google Play), but are they right to jump in bed with the green-eyed monster?
Well, PC/console gaming and smartphone gaming are two very different things of course, but yes, Deus Ex: The Fall is very good, and lives up to the lofty reputation set by its predecessors. For the most part.
Like Deus Ex and Deus Ex: Human Revolution before it, Deus Ex: The Fall is set in a dystopian future, and does a great job of immersing everything in suitably depressing browns and oranges. It’s brilliantly atmospheric.
For those unfamiliar with the series, we’re dealing with a first-person shooter with RPG elements. In fact, ‘shooter’ is perhaps a tad misleading; the game offers you the opportunity to play through stealthily if you so desire, and there’s as much of a focus on story as there is on action.
In Deus Ex: The Fall, we’re controlling Ben Saxon, an ex SAS Mercenary, who’s found himself wrapped up in a conspiracy involving augmentation (the adding of bits and pieces to your body) and drug addiction.
Unfortunately for Ben, he’s “augmented” himself, and he really needs the drugs to, like, stay alive and stuff. He’s also a thoroughly inquisitive chap (you can choose to play as a nice guy or a douche, incidentally), and as such he’s quite keen to get to the bottom of stuff – even when he’s scored enough drugs for himself.
As you play through Deus Ex: The Fall, you earn XP for taking care of enemies (whether by shooting them in the face or gently putting them to sleep) and successfully hacking things.
With said XP, you can invest in further augments, giving you the ability to – for example – turn invisible for a short while, push heavy things aside, blast through walls, and jog around without being detected.
Deus Ex: The Fall also boasts a healthy selection of weapons, including pistols, shotguns, crossbows and grenades, and there’s plenty to play about with – even if you choose not to go down the killing machine route.
And that sums up Deus Ex: The Fall for the most part. Now to delve into a few minor criticisms.
Firstly, the usual smartphone FPS concerns are here, which means moving around and shooting and targeting can occasionally prove irksome, though Deus Ex: The Fall is probably the least troublesome FPS I can remember playing on a smartphone or tablet.
That said, you might find yourself missing your dual-analogue multi-buttoned controller when things get hot and heavy, particularly when you’re spotted and guards flock to your location.
Speaking of the guards, they’re pretty silly. Hide behind a desk for a few seconds, and they’ll happily forget that they were trying to kill you moments before, turning their backs and leaving you free to sneak up and knock them out. ‘Ah yeah, we were trying to kill someone. Gah!’
I also had Deus Ex: The Fall crash a handful of times, and reading around it seems I’m not alone. The minimum requirements are an iPhone 4S, iPad 3 or iPod touch fifth gen, and it’s recommended that you “close other applications to enhance your experience”. Oh, and you’ll need 1.6GB of free space.
While we’re on a technical note, be sure to avoid downloading Deus Ex: The Fall if you’re jailbroken. Or as Square Enix puts it: “Do not purchase if you have voided your warranty and have Jail broken your device.” Take that, jailbreakers.
However, dig at your warranty-voiding antics aside, Square Enix says it’ll release a patch soon.
But getting back to the actual game, it is good – very good, and definitely worthy of your £4.99. It’ll take maybe… eight or nine hours to wade through, depending how much time you spend exploring and playing side quests and that.
- The dystopian atmosphere
- The array of weapons and augments
- The story
- The controls (can’t be helped on a touchscreen, admittedly)
- The guards are silly
- Occasional crashes
Summary: Deus Ex: The Fall does a great job of bringing the dystopian FPS/RPG/stealth experience to mobile, and (slight spoiler alert) I’m already really looking forward to the next chapter.
Developer: Square Enix
Price: £4.99 @ App Store
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (5th generation), iPad (3rd generation), iPad Wi-Fi + 4G, iPad (4th generation), iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (4th generation), iPad mini and iPad mini Wi-Fi + Cellular. Requires iOS 5.0 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.