First person shooters are the order of the day; you get them in all sizes, locations, art design or even time period, and thus it is vital for any aspiring game to break through this genre to have something which stands out. Deadfall Adventures feels like an Indiana Jones simulator sometimes, which is a good thing, and incorporating interesting mechanics surely helps its case while not making this an instant classic.
Deadfall Adventures stars James Lee Quartermain, grandson of famous big game hunter Allan Quartermain, who is initially helping a duo of explorers only to end up going on the adventure with them, convinced after an ambiguous chat with them. The game then opens up in Egypt around the 1930s, where our heroes are searching an ancient relic. After getting away with traps and puzzles set by ancient population before, you discover that you are not the only one looking for the treasure, but there are also Nazis and later on you also discover Russians, all seeking to get their hands on the mysterious artefact before you do. There are also creatures from out of this world who seek to preserve the treasure for themselves.
Gameplay is that of standard first person shooters, featuring sprinting crouching and other normal controls. The game also features a number of puzzles based on the historical traps placed by ancient Egyptians to protect the pyramids and other structures of their history. At the start of a new adventure mode, the game asks the player separate difficulty settings for both puzzle and shooting sections, so players may decide to focus their experience on either one or the other, or opt for the full package and set both settings on hard, which is the most rewarding of all, naturally. One of the specific features of the game is a notebook which James inherited from his adventurer grandfather, which contains secrets about multiple locations, and which are of great help on your quest. The game usually gives clues as to when one needs to use his notebook, even though they can become pretty annoying when a puzzle takes a little long and there are constant prompts to open the notebook. This notebook only contains scribbles and thus does not spoon-feed the player, which is good so as to leave a bit of work for the player to do. Quartermain also has a compass which gives the game a more explorer feel. Deadfall also incorporates innovative mechanics which are appreciated but which leave user confused as to their limited use. For example mummies in the game are very resistant to gunfire, so by focusing the torch towards them, guns become much more effective and can kill in two or three hits. While being a good idea, the torch does not do anything against human enemies, when this could have been an opportunity to make the torch blind humans for a second or two. The torch’s enhanced brightness does run out after a couple of seconds and has to recharge which makes it a balanced tool, not overpowered but neither under.
Deadfall Adventures has an upgrade system which is fairly linear but which serves its aim. There are three type of upgrades in the game, being Path of Light, Path of Life and Path of Warrior. Each of these serves a particular set of skills. The Path of Light focuses on combat effectiveness, the Path of Life focuses on increasing health and stamina, and the Path of Warrior enhances weapon abilities, such as better rate of fire and less recoil. The upgrades are accessible only upon finding different treasures, varying between gold, silver and blue, and each treasure only serves one path and thus making it more difficult to rack up enough points to upgrade a whole section. After performing upgrades, the player will be asked if he wants to make the changes final, thus the chance of mistaking an upgrade for another is reasonably minimized.
The game also has other modes apart from the story, being Survival mode and online Multiplayer. In survival mode, which can also be played online, you have to survive waves of enemies which spawn one after the other in increasing difficulty. Different maps may also mean different gameplay features, for example a certain map has you having to activate generators around the map while others just need you to kill all the enemies to advance to the next wave. Between waves there is the opportunity to refill all the ammo needed to keep the game fair. As what regards online multiplayer, this follows the standard online games with a progression system to unlock weapons. There are a couple of unlocked weapons at the start which will be handy to begin with so beginners will not be disadvantaged that much.
Graphically, the game is as you would expect it to be for a 1930- era shooter; a general dominance of the colour of the environment, for example light brown when in Egypt, white in the arctic and so on. The guns are recreated faithfully and are also the actual weapons of that part in history, so the game is even more believable for history enthusiasts. The game’s soundtrack is also a good match and outlines the ambience of the game well. Gunshots are loud and clear, and while dialogue is a little bland and unoriginal, voice acting complements the parts of the characters well.
As what regards the negative aspects of the game, there is one thing in particular which is very annoying, being that when the game autosaves during story, the game lags for a second or a fraction of a second. While not a huge delay, it may put you on the wrong foot when facing a boss. Generally though it is frustrating and being a game which autosaves quite a lot, it can become a bit of a nuisance in the long term.
Deadfall Adventures is one of the few Indiana Jones lookalike games which are perfect for lovers of the genre. It mixes good shooting with a series of puzzles which take a little time but are never too complicated for one’s tastes, on moderate difficulties at least. Having also the handy option to limit the puzzle’s difficulty at the start of the game also lets in casual gamers who are just looking for the core experience of adventuring in the mid-1900s, while also incorporating a very fun Survival Mode and Online Multiplayer, which take the game up a notch, all in the same package.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.