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Review: Deus Ex: The Fall – Almost Spectacular

by Wessel Minnie (Sillicur)  Posted Thursday, February 06, 2014 12:48:00 PM


Deus Ex: The Fall does so well to deliver a true Deus Ex experience to the mobile gaming platform through story, graphics and sound. With these features Eidos Montreal and N-Fusion delivered a mobile game that borders on the spectacular - but for one thing, the most important aspect of any game - gameplay.  Deus Ex: The Fall falls horribly short of being spectacular because of sluggish gameplay and controls.


The game has been released for both Android and iOS devices and costs R90 to download. It can be found on the Playstore here and iTunes here, requiring a relatively large download of 713mb and Android OS version 3.2 and up to play. During my time with the game I used my Nexa Orion 10.1, a powerful yet affordable Quad Core 10 Inch Tablet. Note that even though the game ran superbly on my tablet, I was not able to take any screenshots for some odd reason, so I had to use shots from my Samsung Galaxy S2, which even though old still ran the game perfectly.

The Story – Welcome to Futuristic Panama

The game plays off in futuristic Panama City and is a direct sequel the Icarus Effect, a Deux Ex based novel. You are Ben Saxon, an English mercenary who finds himself working for the Tyrants. If you have played Deus Ex: Human Revolution, you will know them as the group that attacks Sarif Industries at the beginning of the game.

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At first, it seems as if the story will revolve around revenge, as Ben Saxon is hunting the man responsible for the death of his team. It quickly becomes apparent that this is a true Deus Ex game when the story twists, turns and goes much deeper than a tale of revenge.

The main story revolves around a the shortage of a drug called Neuropozine that people with implants need in order for their bodies not to reject said implants. As you uncover details regarding the shortage, a conspiracy unfolds evolving medical companies, government bodies and even private military contractors.

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In true Deus Ex fashion, players have a choice on how they want to progress through the story as they traverse throughout Panama City doing side-quests, speaking to characters and exploring. The story was a thrilling experience for me right up to the cliffhanger ending, yet I can not help but feel a bit disappointed that the entire game took only around 5 hours to complete.

Graphics and Sound – Uncompromising Quality

Deus Ex: The Fall is one of the most graphically advanced games I have experienced on a mobile gaming device, delivering uncompromising graphical quality to the mobile gaming world. Environments are exceptionally well detailed and littered with items to interact with or honestly, just stare at in amazement that a mobile game can have that much detail.

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Lightning effects create a perfect atmosphere, immersing the player within the game world. Explosions look superb while different grenades show off a wealth of special effects during gameplay and cut scenes, rendered beautifully by the in game engine.

With excellent graphics I did expect my mobile device to have some frame-rate issues, yet surprisingly that was not the case. The game ran exceptionally smooth on both my tablet and phone.

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The audio quality is excellent, plain and simple. Guns and explosions sound realistic during firefights while the high quality music helps set the pace of the action. Voice acting, with one or two odd exceptions, is of Hollywood quality and you can hear just how much work was put into the game.

The graphical and sound quality is top of the line, working together well to create a sense of atmosphere and immerse the players and they look and listen to the environment, creating a sense that you are playing the game on a console instead of a mobile device.

Gameplay and Controls – Intricate yet Surprisingly Sluggish

The gameplay is a mixture of First Person Shooter (FPS) action, third person cover and stealth based warfare. Everything you were able to do in Deus Ex: Human Revolution you can do in Deus Ex: The Fall, including hacking, upgrading your character augmentations and guns, purchasing items and leveling up your abilities.  This mixture of gameplay elements creates an intricate system that gives the player option on how to complete missions, as there is generally more than one way to skin an augmented super soldier and their corporate overlords.

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The problem is controls and the way a game plays are of utmost importance yet the game falls horribly short in this department. FPS view movement is sluggish and downright unresponsive while the targeting system really needed some more work. Tap targeting onto enemies is unresponsive while the auto targeting option the game gives you plainly did not work for me.

The third person perspective is plagued by a twitchy camera that sometimes clips into walls and objects breaking immersion during fights. Moving around in third person feels like a chore while the controls set up on screen to make Saxon jump from one point of cover to the next work around 50% of the time, which is just completely unacceptable.  

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The stealth based option of gameplay is almost not an option, which is a knee to the groin of any fan that is expecting a Deus Ex stealth experience. The level of finesse and precision with which you have to move in order to truly make use of stealth based gameplay feels almost impossible with the sluggish controls the game provides.

I tried multiple times to take out a group of enemies in stealth, yet every time controls were just not precise enough and failed horribly during my attempts, transforming every encounter into a firefight which is highly dissapointing.

Closing Thoughts

Deus Ex: The Fall could have been a truly spectacular game. It delivers a story worthy of the Deus Ex franchise that is complimented by superb graphical quality, music and high class voice acting. Unfortunately, the sluggish and unresponsive controls spoil the intricate gameplay elements so completely that it is just not fun to actually play.

After downloading and installing the Deus Ex: The Fall for the first time on both my tablet and phone, the game crashed every five minutes, forcing me to completely uninstall and reinstall before the crashes stopped. These stability issues further lowers the game’s final score. If you want an authentic Deus Ex story on your mobile device and do not mind cumbersome controls that makes for sluggish gameplay, Deus Ex: The Fall might just be for you, but do not expect a fun experience with regards to general gameplay and combat.    

Score: 6.5/10  

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