Review: Deus Ex: The Fall

DeusExTheFall

deusexthefall2Having finally upgraded my iPad 2 to a swanky new iPad 4th generation, I have finally had enough time to catch up on some of the top tier iOS games available. Up first on my list, the interesting new side story to Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Deus Ex: The Fall. 

Sneaky, sneaky

Sneaky, sneaky

Back when the console release of Deus Ex: Human Revolution had just hit shelves we spoke very highly of the game. Deus Ex is a series with a long running tradition of great narratives, expansive role-playing elements and diverse takes on combat. Distilling this complex experience down to accommodate a less powerful processor and a smaller screen, especially a touch screen, wouldn’t be the easiest of transitions.

However, the move to tablet works exceptionally well, especially on the iPad 4. Developer N-Fusion in conjunction with the team from Eidos Montreal has pushed the technology as far as it can creating a surprisingly competent replica of the console version. Sure, there is a noticeable drop in visuals, the levels are smaller and some of the voice acting leaves you a little cold, but outside of these minor issues it is a marvellous showcase of what the iPad has to offer. Deus Ex: The Fall gives you a fully realised world, and is one of the few iPad games I have played where I can lose myself navigating city slums or sneaking through an enemy facility without being dragged out of the experience by awkward control schemes.

For an iPad, these graphics kick ass!

For an iPad, these graphics kick ass!

The game follows a new hero, Ben Saxton, an ex-SAS mercenary and even though his character is English, Ben is a carbon copy of Adam Jensen, right down to the gravely Batman styled vocals. Ben starts off contracting for the villains of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, working a “simple” job.  As the story unfolds, Ben rejects his moustache twirling companions and finds his way to Panama City, friendless and out of the drug Neuropozyne, used to keep his cybernetic body parts in working order. Naturally, this leads our hero through the back alleys and dark corners of this well constructed city to find himself a sufficient supply of  medication and earn a little money on the side. The story is one of the game’s weakest aspects, lacking any real depth or charisma. Ben stumbles around without any real purpose, and due to the character feeling one dimensional, it is difficult to empathise or even care about what is going on.

The gameplay, in contrast, manages to get you past the narrative limitations, for the most part. The controls are actually incredibly well designed, offering you a simple first/third-person camera system and then layering an organic touch design for its menus. Bringing up your inventory inventory and hacking are a breeze and the movement and fighting feels tight considering the lack of a traditional controller. Choosing a stealthier style of play is the more accessible approach. Ben has all the usual tools at his disposal, however those who favour the louder, more lethal tack will be happy to know there are a decent array of weapons to unleash bloody carnage.

When in doubt, shoot everything

When in doubt, shoot everything

Deus Ex: The Fall is a blast to play through, with extremely responsive controls, especially considering the hardware limitations. Though the plot does lack focus, there are enough side quests and areas to explore to keep you entertained for hours. It uses the touch controls intelligently and, after an hour or so, I felt quite at home behind the wheel of Ben Saxton. Whether you are a fan of the series or not, Deus Ex: The Fall has plenty to offer and is one of the most well designed iPad titles I have had my hands on.

8/10

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Joshua Philpott

Tech MacGyver
Games writer, podcaster and tech wizard. Obsessed with obscure horror films, crazy gadgets and caffeine. Passionate, argumentative and open minded. Freelance writer and co-founder rawDLC.

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  • Chad Wheeler

    As a Deus Ex fan from way back it’s good to hear that a tablet version manages to play well but my two main criticisms are that 1: Story is usually the strongest point in the Deus Ex series so it’s a little saddening that the story isn’t very good and 2: that I don’t own an iPad so I can’t play it myself :D

  • skaterguy845

    Thanks for the review, i’ve been looking for some decent games to put on my iPad. All i’ve got so far are PvZ, Infinity Blade 2 and Simpsons: Tapped Out…

  • Snake

    Sounds great but I have this feeling its not going to run on my iPad 1 :(

  • rattyinc

    Similar question to Snake, What is the earliest model of iPad, this game can run on?

  • kozeeii

    I’m pretty sure you need an iPad 4th gen to run it.

  • skaterguy845

    According to the App Store listing, it’s compatible with iPhone 4 and above, iPad 2 and above, and is optimised for iPhone 5