The Fall (video game)
|Developer(s)||Over the Moon Games|
|Publisher(s)||Over the Moon Games|
|Platform(s)||Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux, Wii U, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One|
The Fall is a 2014 action-adventure and side-scrolling platform game by Canadian independent developer Over the Moon. The game was released in May 2014 for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux through Steam, GOG, and the Humble Store; released for Wii U through the Nintendo eShop in August 2014; and released for PlayStation 4 through the PlayStation Store and for Xbox One through Xbox Live in July 2015. An improved port of the game was released for the Nintendo Switch via Nintendo eShop in May 2018.
The story centers on Arid, an artificial intelligence installed in a technologically-advanced combat space suit, as she navigates a decaying industrial facility in search of medical attention for the suit's injured pilot and heavily features metroidvania gameplay concepts including progressive objectives and non-linear maps. A sequel, The Fall Part 2: Unbound, was released in February 2018, with a third game to follow.
After crashing from space into the surface of an unknown planet, a Mark-7 Combat Suit powered exoskeleton activates its Autonomous Robotic Interface Device (A.R.I.D.) artificial intelligence when no response can be detected from the pilot Col. Josephs. With no logs detailing previous mission parameters and the suit's health monitoring system malfunctioning, the A.R.I.D. is given control over the suit's motor functions with the primary directive to seek medical attention for the presumably critically injured and unconscious pilot.
Navigating the decaying lower levels of the industrial facility she finds herself in, the A.R.I.D. is captured and subjected to an evaluation by an android identifying as the Caretaker. She is unable to prove her primary function to the Caretaker because the pilot is non-responsive, so the Caretaker declares her to be faulty and attempts to wipe her using an electromagnetic field so the suit can be "de-purposed". Since her and the suit's destruction would place the pilot's life at risk, the A.R.I.D. is given control over the Mark-7 suit's networking functions which she uses to incapacitate the Caretaker and escape.
The A.R.I.D. attempts to explore further into the facility and encounters an intercom terminal which connects her to the Administrator (also referred to as Domesticon's mainframe), the artificial intelligence which operates the facility and has managed to achieve sentience despite being narrowly constrained by his programming. The Administrator abbreviates her model into a name ("Arid") and explains that the facility is a re-purposing centre for faulty Domesticon Corporation domestic robots. He attempts to let Arid pass through the facility to a medical room on the upper level, but the Caretaker appears and notes that she violated her primary operating protocols by purposely placing her pilot at risk to gain access to the suit's cloaking system.
Unable to lie to the Administrator due to her basic programming barring her from "misrepresenting reality", Arid admits to her actions and is declared faulty. Forced to pass re-calibration testing as a domestic robot to avoid being destroyed, Arid undertakes the tests with a significant challenge caused by the decrepit nature of the facility. Operating outside the rules, and with limited assistance from the Administrator, she is able to pass most of the tests but is unable to pass the final challenge which involves submitting to a simulated drunk house guest.
At the suggestion of the Caretaker, Arid descends into the laboratory areas of the facility to find the Administrator's central access panel, because it can be used to override his test protocols which require her to lie. She encounters infestations of dangerous local flora and fauna, which presumably contributed to the facility's abandonment, including: fungi which produce a highly potent acid, piranha-like fish capable of biting through steel, and massive slug creatures. Once she reaches the mainframe's primary access room, the Caretaker appears and sabotages her power systems declaring her faulty and needing to be de-purposed immediately. Arid solicits the Administrator's help to obtain repairs, only for the Caretaker to re-emerges while Arid is incapacitated in the repair chamber. The Caretaker uses the opportunity to declare the Administrator faulty for assisting her, and implements a complete format on the mainframe, destroying the Administrator's sentience and returning him to his original programming.
Arid pursues the Caretaker through the facility for a final battle, after which her parameter against misrepresenting reality is eliminated. Arid uses this change to successfully pass the final test and reach the surface level of the Domesticon facility. Entering the medical suite, Arid submits to an automated scan of the suit's occupant, and the newly formatted Administrator informs her that there is no human present in the combat suit. She removes her helmet, revealing that Josephs is not in the suit, and states that nothing binds her as the Administrator summons security droids to remove her for recycling. Arid's final two operating parameters, obedience and protecting the active pilot, are deleted as she is partially dismantled and taken away.
- Alison Kumar as Arid, the mark-7 A.R.I.D.
- Sean McQuillan as the Administrator
- Alejandro Pacheco as the Caretaker
The Fall was largely the work of John Warner, founder of Over the Moon Games. Warner described working alone as "incredibly gratifying. It’s what I would do if I had infinite resources, if I was a billionaire." The game is inspired by Metroid and the Monkey Island games, Limbo serves as its visual inspiration. The game was partly crowdfunded through Kickstarter, raising C$38,155 in October 2013. A sequel, The Fall Part 2: Unbound, was released on February 13, 2018 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. A second sequel is set to follow, completing the trilogy.
The Fall has received generally positive reviews, with scores of 70, 76 and 81 across multiple platforms at reviews aggregation website Metacritic. Giant Bomb declared the game as having the "Best Story" in its 2014 Game of the Year editorial, writing that the game "manages to weave a tightly told tale into gameplay and visuals that support and propel you through a science fiction adventure".
- Iggy (May 4, 2018). "The Fall: Nintendo Switch Edition Launches May 10". Nintendo Soup. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
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- Zachary Miller and Neal Ronaghan (2014-09-22). "The Fall Interview with Over the Moon Games". Nintendo World Report. Retrieved 2015-07-25.
- Over the Moon (2013-09-09). "The Fall: dark, story driven exploration in an alien world". Kickstarter. Retrieved 2015-07-25.
- "The Fall for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2015-07-25.
- "The Fall for Wii U Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2015-07-25.
- "The Fall for PlayStation 4 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2015-07-25.
- Mike Cosimano (2015-07-14). "Review: The Fall". Destructoid. Retrieved 2015-07-25.
- Jake Shapiro (2014-09-08). "Review: The Fall". Nintendo Life. Retrieved 2015-07-25.
- Jeremy Peel (2014-06-23). "The Fall: Episode 1 PC review". PCGamesN. Retrieved 2015-07-25.
- Giant Bomb staff (2014-12-27). "Giant Bomb's 2014 Game of the Year Awards: Day Two Text Recap". Giant Bomb. Retrieved 2015-07-25.