Deus Ex is arguably one of the most unique franchises around today. Open-ended gameplay has always been a staple of the series, and returned with great critical acclaim in 2011 with Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Deus Ex: The Fall was supposed to be, for many fans, a follow-up to Human Revolution, but much to their chagrin, was revealed by Square Enix to be a mobile exclusive launching on iOS devices and Android at a later date. Press leading up to The Fall’s launched promised a title true to the beloved series; a task that warrants a certain amount of skepticism. Has developer N-Fusion succeeded in crafting a game worthy of the Deus Ex name on mobile devices, or does Deus Ex: The Fall fail to live up to the lofty expectations of the series?
Read on to see what we think is HOT and what is NOT in our review of Deus Ex: The Fall.
Mobile gaming has evolved over the last few years thanks to a constant stream of powerful smartphones and tablet devices that push the boundaries of graphical fidelity. Square Enix has been one of the leaders in the mobile-push, releasing titles that never fail to impress on a technical level: Deus Ex: The Fall is no exception. This game is definitely a looker. Panama City, the game’s variation of a Central Hub, is an incredibly dense setting brought to life to an extent rarely seen on mobile devices. This city is grungy, but beautiful. Light shafts shine off of futuristic advertisements above the dirty city streets in a way that almost makes you forget you’re playing a mobile game. The Gold and Black scheme of Human Revolution is in full effect here, and looks beautiful on the iPhone 5 and retina iPads. Alleyways punctuate the city streets, full of optional opportunities for exploration and alternative methods to accomplishing any given objective. The whole setting just feels like a Deus Ex game, an impressive accomplishment given the obvious technical limitations of the platform.
If you played Human Revolution as a stealth game then you will be right at home with The Fall. Weapon attachments and augmentations allow you to build a character capable of the stealthy approach the Deus Ex series is known for. Virtually every mission objective is open-ended, with multiple points of entry into building interiors and branching dialogue options, giving a great deal of choice in how to tackle each objective. The Fall is a great stealth game in its own right, which is great considering how necessary a stealth approach to really create an enjoyable experience.
The story in Deus Ex: The Fall is rather well-done, and is excellent compared to those typically found in mobile titles. You play as Ben Saxon, an ex-mercenary determined to find the truth behind a shortage in the anti-rejection drug Neuropozine, in a follow-up to the Deus Ex novel: Icarus effect. The story has its fair share of twists and turns, some of which are clichéd, and still few which you won’t see coming. It’s a compelling narrative, and one that any Deus Ex fan should experience. Without spoiling anything, I’ll say that the narrative will take you around 4-6 hours to complete depending on your approach, and concludes with a cliffhanger that’s all but guaranteed to leave you wanting to know more.