App Reviewed on: iPhone 5/iPad 3
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Deus Ex: The Fall is an iOS follow-up to the pretty freaking great Human Revolution, although it actually takes place before Adam Jensen's trip through the Land of Heavy-Handed Metaphors. It's the same world torn apart by civil unrest, morally dubious corporations, class separations, and gold-tinged everything; it's just a little earlier in the timeline. And I'm playing it on my phone.
Anyone familiar with Adam Jensen will feel comfortable using Ben Saxon. Aside from a few omissions, the armory and skill sets are almost identical. Although since it's an iOS game there are some obvious interface differences in Deus Ex: The Fall. It’s the kind of control scheme any mobile action gamers will find familiar: the left side of the screen is used like a virtual movement stick, the right is for looking, and contextual buttons handle stuff like going into cover, shooting, melee takedowns, etc.
There are a few rough models and awkward animations, but Deus Ex: The Fall is still one of the best-looking iOS games available. Environments are understandably smaller, but they all look fantastic and sport more detail than I would've expected. Surprisingly enough, most of the gameplay elements from the previous installment have even been retained. There are multiple paths to take, dialog choices, secrets tucked away all over the place, computers and keypads to hack, and garbage cans and desks to search through. I can also save at any time almost instantly, which is perfect for mobile gaming.
The one thing that bugs me about Deus Ex: The Fall is that there’s noticeably less to it. There are only a handful of NPC models, which can be extremely noticeable with the civilians. Melee takedowns are also lack variety and get repetitive quickly. There are a lot more blind spots in guards' patrols, which is a great way to make up for the slightly limiting touch controls but skews the difficulty. The same goes for the shop that can be accessed at any time. It's convenient to be able to buy ammo in the middle of an infiltration but it removes a lot of the challenge. It’s also a shame that the game ends as abruptly as it does. I imagine the plan is to offer up all the other major cities on Ben’s itinerary as additional episodes, but despite offering up several hours worth of gameplay it still feels a bit incomplete.
If it sounds like I'm ripping on Deus Ex: The Fall it's only because I care so much. It legitimately feels like someone took the console experience and just shrunk it down. A few concessions had to be made, such as character model diversity and a lengthier campaign, but in the grand scheme of things those aren’t so bad. I honestly can't wait to see what else is in store for the series.