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Review: The Fall Part 2: Unbound (PC)By Ofisil At 11.03.2018 13:40

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This follows the android A.R.I.D. after she lost her body, and now tries to find a certain 'User' who is hiding behind the network she currently swims through. Puzzle-solving is again about exploiting the AI of other machines, in order to find loopholes in their programming, and make them defy the very rules that govern them, so, this is pretty much the same as The Fall... and yet, it kind of isn't. For starters, The Fall Part 2: Unbound begins in a somewhat abrupt manner. The story recap is decent enough, but this chapter throws too much info towards the player from the get-go, and can feel a bit overwhelming, especially if a newcomer.

Apart from the story bits, though, this is also abrupt when it comes to its gameplay mechanics, to the point that it doesn't feel like a sequel, but one of the later stages of The Fall. In other words, there is no curve here, as it all begins with puzzles that may be relatively easy, but, at the same time, are a bit too complex for what is basically the introduction. Even worse, many of this journey's obstacles require lots of annoying backtracking and repetition.

Take the very first level, where A.R.I.D. "possesses" an android butler, who, like all androids, is bound by some rules - more specifically, a daily schedule that A.R.I.D. can't stray too far from. The only thing that she can do is to find a "hole" in this endless cycle of tea-preparation, tea-serving, and so on, and manage to alter the environment, and force the butler do something else, like, say, enter a cabinet to get some cleaning tools because a teacup fell on the floor.

In theory, that's great, as it's not what a typical adventure game plays like. In practice, however, it's aggravating beyond belief. A.R.I.D. will have to constantly restart the butler's cycle, as most puzzles require way too much trial-and-error, with many of the solutions to certain problems feeling kind of illogical. Besides that, one of the biggest flaws of the original - the controls - have actually become even worse this time around, which is strange, as the developer acknowledged this criticism to be valid. Unfortunately, from moving to searching, and from shooting to doing some robotic martial artistry (don't ask), everything feels clunky, unresponsive, and just plain annoying - at least with keyboard-and-mouse combo.

The Fall Part 2's main issue, though, and the one that hurts the most, is how different it feels as an experience. The first was a dark sci-fi thriller contemplating on the nature of advanced AI - this is more like its sillier, comic book-like sibling. It remains a thinking man's adventure, but it doesn't do things as gracefully this time around. A nice comparison would be this: The Fall is Blade Runner; The Fall Part 2 is The Matrix Reloaded.

Besides the atmosphere being less strong as everything is less dark, claustrophobic... and dead, the androids that you will meet here behave less like how actual androids would behave, and more like movie-like androids would do so. It's hard to put it into words, but they feel less... genuine. Sure, there are some good ideas thrown in here and there, but, as a whole, Unbound lacks the focus of the original as it tries to do a lot of things at once, and, sadly, fails while doing so.

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It is hard to come to [i]The Fall Part 2: Unbound[/i] after experiencing the (very) rough diamond that is its predecessor, as everything feels inferior. Most puzzles are annoying, the controls are even clunkier than before, and the plot feels less... hard sci-fi than it previously did, as well as less focused on what it wants to offer.



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