The Fall for Nintendo Switch tells an intriguing story that begins with a combat suit activating its Autonomous Robotic Interference Device (A.R.I.D.) AI after crashing onto the surface of an unknown planet.
You play the part of A.R.I.D. and you are the AI in control of the combat suit, seeking medical help for the pilot within. You soon find yourself trapped in a decaying industrial facility run by the maniacal Caretaker and supported by the long-suffering facility AI.
The gameplay imaginatively combines elements of side-scrolling adventure with point-and-click interactive scene exploration. The Fall spreads out combat scenarios to provide lively and deadly tension.
Players must work through problems and trials to advance the game. This requires detailed searching and clever combining of items, suit abilities and mainframe AI assistance. The AI-permissive functions of the suit are limited by the pilot’s exposure to risk. This enlivens the puzzles by forcing the player to gamble the pilot’s life in exchange for enhanced abilities.
The basic game controls consist of moving the suit using the left stick. Players use the flashlight interact with items in the environment.
Unfortunately, the controls for the gun and flashlight feel a bit clunky in the beginning. This feeling does fade over time as you acclimate to the control scheme. Some puzzles are imperceptive and frustrating, requiring trial and error rather than wit to solve. But most of them are logical and rewarding.
The graphics in The Fall do an excellent job of creating a dark and desolate environment for A.R.I.D. to explore. Light is provided by the suit, a flashlight and occasional environmental elements. A.R.I.D. moves fluidly through the scenes with only infrequent subtle stutters in scrolling. Fortunately, this does not impact the gameplay and isn’t noticeable when you’re immersed in the story.
Without giving anything away, the writing is excellent and the final twist is quite satisfying. This game is a thought-provoking sci-fi adventure. It raises interesting musings around AI.
If you missed previous iterations of this game as I did, The Fall for Nintendo Switch is worth checking out. The second release in the series is already available in the eShop.