Deus Ex: The Fall is a game set in the Deus Ex universe released for iOS and Android mobile devices. I am not really sure why they bothered. But before we get into the negative things about this game (and there are many) let’s cover the positives (which exist as well).
The storyline is fairly interesting and it was probably a good idea to create a new character for this game. There is enough there to make me want to play the game and see how the character fits into the overall DX setting. The fact it is based on the novel Deus Ex: Icarus Effect probably explains why the story is quite good. It probably has one of the best plots of any iOS game going.
Graphically The Fall looks rather good on the iPad. One of the best graphic outings I have seen for any game. The people look a bit odd when you chat to them, but that is to be expected. The overall setting looks similar to the various areas in the PC game. But that familiarity is a good thing and really makes it enticing. The interface is not bad either, with things easy to find and operate. All of these are elements that should make for an intriguing game you want to play. And I so desperately wanted this to be a great game as Deus Ex is one of the best series in all gaming in my mind. It had all the right hooks.
The trouble with the game is the actual gameplay It is, quite frankly, appalling. Movement is terrible, sometimes the game pushing you, in the middle of the firefight, into harm’s way when you are try to move slowly to attack someone. The combat, whether gun wise or melee, is horribly clunky and takes a lot of patience to master, or even get close to a competent level. The movement is so bad that it is hard to do anything remotely stealthy. It is impossible to play the game the way you wish and deaths occur not because of your actions, but because the game just doesn’t work properly.
The hacking is a recipe for frustration as well, requiring several screen taps to do anything. You will use up your “attempts” not because you got it wrong, but because the iPad just doesn’t respond to your commands. Nothing is smooth about this, unlike in DX: HR, and you find yourself repeating bits of the game because of it.
I suppose this is a time to mention one caveat. If you have never played Deus Ex (any of them) on PC and merely played other games on the iPad then you might have a different opinion. If you are a fan of the PC game, then avoid this like the plague as it is nothing at all like that game. It lacks the subtlety and visceral pleasure that makes DX:HR so good and replayable. . Maybe they will bring this plot to the PC and give us all the game we were hoping for.
In short, this is an opportunity lost and a travesty of a game. Maybe it is something to pick up on sale in future, if you are the patient type of gamer. But for the sake of your iPad, don’t get this clunky frustration creator right now. I expected better of Ubisoft.