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Deadfall Adventures

By Doubleplus14-11-2013
MrJenssen (editor)
StuntmanLT (editor)
Deadfall Adventures

The Defence

The Farm 51
Nordic Games
Adventure, Shooter
Release Date:

The Prosecution

Intel Core 2 Quad 2.6 GHz
AMD equivalent
Nvidia GeForce GTX 460
AMD Radeon HD 5850
4 GB
6.5 GB

The Case

Deadfall Adventures takes us back to the old days where the word “adventure” stirred up images of Pith helmets and archaeologists visiting far reaches of the Earth, exploring the remnants of a civilization long before ours. Coming to us from The Farm 51, the developers behind the very interesting Necrovision and the less-than-stellar Painkiller remake Hell and Damnation, will Deadfall Adventures tickle our lust for adventure or make us just want to cancel the flight and stay at home?

The Trial

In Deadfall Adventures, you play as freelance adventurer-for-hire Indiana Jo- I mean James Lee Quatermain, currently living off his grandfather’s - famed adventurer Allan Quatermain - name. During Allan’s time as a traveller, he uncovered things so amazing that people just thought he was insane, including James. However, when he’s hired by American agent and former colleague Jennifer Goodwin, he will uncover the ruins of an ancient civilization… so on and so forth. You know the drill. Ancient artifacts that, when put together grants the user a mythical power, played here by the “Heart of Atlantis” and you must retrieve all the pieces before the bad guys - here played by the Nazis and at one point the Russians - get a hold of it. The story is so ridiculously played out that I can promise you, without a shadow of doubt, everything you expect to happen will happen. No surprises, no unexpected plot twists, everything follows the standard formula of the most generic adventure games.

‘I think I may have left the oven on...’

‘I think I may have left the oven on...’

The characters are equally generic and it’s reflected in the voice acting. The characters are at times devoid of any emotion, as if the voice actors just wanted to get the recording over with. James, the “realistic” hard-boiled gun-for-hire who doesn't really care about anything, gradually has a change of heart throughout the game. Jen, the sidekick/love interest, seems to know everything and just wants to prove herself to James. You will be hearing her spout “Still think I’m a rookie, Quatermain?” so many times that you wish your enemies would just kill her off once and for all. Instead, she keeps getting captured by them, which forces James to lower his weapon and do something to rescue her, or get knocked out by an enemy. Then, there’s the Nazi doctor who wants to control the power of the artifact. Shocking, isn’t it?

The gameplay is pretty formulaic as well. Just think Call of Duty, but every so often you stop and do a puzzle designed for a third-grader. Well, maybe Call of Duty isn't very accurate. It’s more trying to be Call of Duty, but falling at the first hurdle. The guns all feel very weak, which they are. Not only are enemies bullet sponges to the point where you are lucky if two shotgun blasts to the face at point blank range is enough to kill an enemy, but the weapons also suffer from this ridiculous spread. The rifles are basically automatic shotguns. On the topic of shotguns, the ones in Deadfall Adventures are bad. Really bad. You are better with just using your pistols at close range. Don't worry though, you have regenerating health that makes it so when you get hit, it looks like you have ketchup on your screen and can take plenty of damage, so most fights are cakewalks.

It’s not glowing because its magic, it’s glowing because it’s covered in toxic waste.

It’s not glowing because its magic, it’s glowing because it’s covered in toxic waste.

There’s an upgrade system that rewards you for finding treasures, but it’s pretty poorly executed. Your upgrades are far and few between because each upgrade requires a ridiculous amount of treasures to unlock. If they had just kept the treasures being arbitrary collectables, it wouldn't be very different, because the upgrades don't really do anything special. You know, increase health, increase stamina, decrease recoil, etc. There are two upgrades that reduce the horrible spread, but they aren't worth the effort either.

As for finding the treasures, you might think that exploration sounds like fun, but Deadfall manages to prove you wrong by giving you a compass that points you in the direction of the treasure, taking the exploration out of this game about exploration. The puzzles aren't great either. The majority of the time, it’s as simple as “pull out notebook, match the symbols”. It’s even worse when it’s a puzzle you have to complete to continue the story, because the support characters will loudly vocalize how to solve it every 5 seconds. Yes, I know that rope doesn't look very strong. What I’m trying to figure out is how to cut it, because shooting it doesn't seem to be doing anything - and I don't see anything that could cut it! Though, I will give credit where credit is due, there are some puzzles that are interesting and fun to solve - but only about three.

Cue Indiana Jones theme.

Cue Indiana Jones theme.

The multiplayer isn’t anything special either. It’s one of those deals where the multiplayer is halfheartedly added after the fact. There’s a cooperative survival mode where you fight waves of enemies and last as long as you can. You are given limited ammo in an attempt to encourage the use of traps to your advantage, but since your melee attack is a one-hit KO, you really don’t have to. There’s also a versus mode that is essentially Call of Duty with traps. It’s fun for about five minutes before you’ll start getting bored.

The only thing that really stands out about Deadfall Adventures is how functional it manages to be. It’s almost bug-free, it controls like it should, and looks nice. Not jaw-droppingly amazing, but still adequate. The environments change almost every five minutes, so the levels never really feel same. The music is fitting and everything sounds like it should.

Alright, who threw that water balloon filled with red paint?

Alright, who threw that water balloon filled with red paint?

From a technical standpoint, it’s pretty good aside from the AI, which isn't outright horrible, but still gets stuck running at walls and has a tendency to repeat its lines of dialogue way too often. The blood effects are completely horrible and their neon-ketchup appearance looks more suited to a cel-shaded game based on a comic book. This may sound like a minor nitpick, but with the amount of shooting you’ll be doing, it becomes really annoying really fast. Unfortunately, while the game might have good glue, it still holds together one of the most tired experiences you could think of.

The Verdict

All in all, Deadfall Adventures is just boring. Nothing is inherently terrible. It’s functional, runs well, and has varied and fairly nice environments. It may not be the “Wow, that was bad” kind of bad. It’s the kind of bad game that you play through once and forget about the next day. The kind of bad that could be passed off as satire. There’s a reason these adventure type media died out, and that is because people simply got bored with them. That isn’t to say that it can't be done in a new, exciting way. Just that it hasn’t - in a long time.

Case Review

  • Nice Environments: Deadfall will take you to the ends of the Earth; from Egypt to the Arctic. All the environments look pretty nice.
  • Functional: Virtually bug-free and runs well.
  • First Person Puzzles: FPS action mixed with puzzle solving.
  • Co-op: Co-op is always fun but here it’s quite basic and very repetitive wave based survival mode with a twist.
  • Played Out: Everything Deadfall does has been done and done better a million times before.
  • Handholding: The puzzle and exploration might be halfway decent if the game allowed you to figure things out on your own.
  • Bad Gunplay: Some of the most consistently unsatisfying gunplay I’ve experienced in a while.
Score: 2.5/5
As run-of-the-mill as it gets.


Deadfall is one of those games that...well, it's not a shining bastion of perfection, let’s put it that way. It's painfully generic, bland, uninspired and swimming in mediocrity. But that's exactly what it's trying to be. It harkens back to the 80s, family focused action adventures. Taking a great deal of inspiration from the more slapstick, sillier elements of the Indiana Jones series, with a smattering of the later Mummy franchise for some extra flavour.

On the other hand, it knows exactly what it is. Giving us a brusque, disinterested protagonist that is “only in it for the money”, some truly cringe worthy dialogue and equally cringe worthy delivery. Far from aiming high and failing through poor design choices and overambitious, unattainable ideas, Deadfall takes the dumb, “turn your brain off and watch” style and runs with it. It is mediocre, yes. But in this case, that could almost be levied as a compliment.

Whilst it is unlikely to ever gather a strong, loyal following of people who praise this as a flawed, underappreciated gem, it will still find its niche amongst those, like myself, who grew up with the 80s schlock. Something of a guilty pleasure. It has nothing truly noteworthy to make it worth playing, though it does have a certain appeal. Which is compelling enough, in its own way. Basically, think of it as a bit of pulp trash that has an easy, pick-up-and-play, just drift through when you want to do...something. A silly game that knows what it wants and makes no excuses about it.

Score: 3/5


Deadfall Adventures really isn’t such a bad game. The voice acting is pretty bad and the writing is borderline ridiculous, with some occasionally jaw-dropping sexism included. The supporting female character acts like she was written by an 80’s action hero. James Quatermain, the lead character, is the caricatured love-child of Indiana Jones, Nathan Drake and Rick O’Connell from The Mummy, yet has none of the charisma, and the intelligence of a lobotomised jellyfish. The amount of times of the plot relies on the team falling through rickety floorboards or tripping and sliding down a mountainside is just laughable. The game is obviously supposed to be a tongue-in-cheek nod to adventure movies like Indiana Jones, but the developers need to really push the boat out and make it more obviously ridiculous and funny to make it all work together, instead of leaving you wondering if you’re meant to take it seriously or not.

For all of Deadfall’s many faults however, there is a lot of good to weigh up. It is actually fun to play and has some great environments. Levelling up your character through treasure collectables gives you a reason to explore your surroundings and some of the puzzles are genuinely difficult, with only a few being irritating. The puzzles work well with the first-person gameplay and are well executed; you are never hindered by how well the game works. Gun mechanics don’t feel quite right and sometimes have you guessing where your bullets will go, yet they feel meaty and satisfying when you fire them into a nasty Nazi or a mummy.

Most of what is wrong with Deadfall can be forgiven, and it is still fun to play. It is not a bad game, nor is it a game you will play through twice unless you really want to find that treasure you missed. Deadfall isn’t Call of Duty with puzzles, but it never tries to be. It tries to be an exciting game about exploring ancient ruins while shooting stuff and solving puzzles. While neither of these things are done exceptionally well, they’re certainly not badly done either.

Score: 3.5/5
Comments (6)
You must be to post a comment.
Posts: 1317

I would probably have bought the game if it actually had a cooperative campaign. I think it could be a little more fun then. But if the gameplay is generic and the story is bland, then I have no interest in completing such a game in singleplayer.

Posts: 3290

I can get behind that reasoning. There's no denying it's a meh as all meh game. I just...I kinda' like it *shrug* has that dumb, easy appeal

Posts: 9

One of the reasons I gave it a 2.5 instead of a 3 is because its the same dev who made Necrovision, which was absolutely insane, and they know how to make a creative game and they just didnt.

Posts: 3290

Indeed. That is a very good point

Posts: 1317

Well, at least it's no Garry's Incident...

Posts: 3290

Funny thing is. Even though it's mediocre, I still heartily recommend it.

With a caveat