Deus Ex: The Fall Review

For some, Deus Ex the Fall will be a letdown.

Deus Ex on iOS immediately presents itself as a mobile likeness of Deus Ex: Human Revolution with all-new characters, story and settings. Superficially, the game closely mimics its console/PC counterpart well. The graphics are top notch (for an iOS game), the techno-centric conspiracy story is serviceable, and the central mechanics of the previous games are all here. A core conceit of Deus Ex: Human Revolution was the struggle of mankind to rectify robotic upgrades with what it means to be ‘human,’ The Fall hits the same notes throughout its story. Sneaking, shooting, hacking, reading endless emails and engaging in choose-your-own-adventure style dialogue scenarios are key components of The Fall.

My immediate concern with the game was control, but in this aspect I was pleasantly surprised. The developers of The Fall have put some effort into including context-sensitive control options that make this cover-based shooter playable. Lock-on is available for those who have trouble with aiming, but I found that I was consistently able to shoot at enemies while in first person mode (enemies tend to sneak up and surprise me while in cover). While I am convinced that touchscreen devices will never be a viable substitute for a controller or keyboard/mouse setup, The Fall’s controls are serviceable considering the lack of options.

Many of you will be fine with this, and it will be enough for you to have fun with this $7 shooter. However; there were flaws that stood in the way of my enjoyment and negatively impacted my experience with The Fall.

While on the surface, The Fall checks all of the required feature boxes its design leaves much to be desired. Enemy A.I. is inexcusably poor. During many firefights, I would shoot at the enemy without them even responding. In one case, as I exchanged fire with an enemy combatant he ceased firing, ran around a corner, and proceeded to lose track of my character even as I followed him. The poor AI wouldn’t be highlighted so intensely if they didn’t take so many shots to kill. I’ve completely drained the ammunition from my pistol without killing an enemy- even though I had hit them with each shot. At times, I began to wonder if my shots were missing or if they were intersecting with invisible parts of the environment, but the lack of feedback from the A.I. made it impossible for me to tell.

The issues created by ammunition loss are magnified by the conspicuously present microtransactions within inventory and upgrade menus. Can’t afford a gun or augment? Just pay up with real money. This, as I frequently emphasize, throws into question the entire balance of the game. I don’t care if you can technically beat the game without spending extra money beyond the initial $7 (by the way, the original Deus Ex frequently goes on sale beneath $5, and you can snag Human Revolution for free on Playstation Plus or for $10 at times on Steam). For that amount of money up front, I want the whole game there without having to always be presented with an in-game menu of items, upgrades and weapons that can all be paid for with real money. You man not think Square Enix is trying to force its way into your wallet, but the company certainly isn’t being stealthy about it. They aren’t being kind and helping players who can’t easily beat the game, and why should anyone have to pay extra just to adjust the balance of a game in the first place? The option to more easily play or enjoy the game means there is a known, and intentionally present balance issue that forces a player to exchange their time or enjoyment for money.

The poor A.I. and hit point balancing make Deus Ex: The Fall a poor shooter in my mind. While the graphics are certainly nice, they are not on par with Human Revolution – which means that trying to execute similar up-close cutscenes has a diminished effect in this version. Most importantly, I cannot believe the extent to which microtransactions are shoehorned into this game. Were it to be free to download this wouldn’t have been an issue for me- heck, I enjoy Puzzle and Dragons, but they are inexcusable when the player has to pay up front as well.

Final Score: 


A poor impression of what is considered to be an excellent stealth-shooter, Deus Ex The Fall is a letdown in many respects. $6.99, Universal.
This game was reviewed on an iPad 4th Generation.

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  • Nekkedsnake

    i enjoyed and appreciated this review on DX:TF. I’m only just starting to play it and i like making it a slow stealthy burn. (big MGS fan here). and although i do enjoy the pace and the visuals of this game, i did run into similar issues as you did with the AI acting like i didn’t tranquilize them when we first encounter the 3 enemies. i’d shoot at them and waste tranq rounds because i couldn’t tell if i hit them or not until they went down with the 2nd or 3rd arrow. the positive thing about this game is that it’s enticing me to play DX:HR which i own and have yet to unwrap due to other games waiting to be played. hopefully i have a more positive experience once i’m thru with DX:TF.

  • Will

    2/5 is a bit harsh, you folks trying to direct some extra traffic to the site? Fact of the matter is, just like in its console/ PC bigger brother if you try to run and gun you get killed pretty quickly, sneaking around taking individuals out one at a time is the way you’ll enjoy this game the most.

    iOS may not be the home for a game that requires the player to have a bit of patience and learn its mechanics as DE:TF does, which is why there aren’t many other games with this level of depth. Arguably, that’s its biggest flaw, iPhone users just didn’t ask for this.

    Console gamers and fans of Human Revolution will be pleasantly surprised at its quality.

  • Nathan

    Will, I had trouble taking enemies out from cover, often finding that they just wouldn’t die. And where’s the fun in stealth if even the enemy you are shooting repeatedly doesn’t detect you?

    Also I’m not shooting for extra traffic, this is just my honest reaction to the game.

  • Johnston

    Fuck you with your reviews assholes. 2 out of 5? Seriously? Fucking retards. Stop reading your crapsite now.

  • Caccia

    Come and join the best Deus Ex: The Fall forum in hot discussion with a thousand others about any thing related to Deus Ex: The Fall. If you need an overall appraisal of the game, Search AppsGoer to get a full review.

  • MingFun

    2 out of 5 amazing.
    DeadPool Video Game

  • Tony Yanchen Zhao

    i think this review is okay from some perspective, cuz one of the main point of fps is the shooting part. However, horrible shooting experience actually brings the game down

  • DoomMaker

    You do realize that tranq darts take time to work, right? They ain’t instantaneous.
    Other than that, the review is way to harsh and unprofessional. The Fall is pushing the iOS gaming forward, it’s weirdly sad if you fail to see this.

  • thestapler

    Wow. I’m not that far into the game and so far I’d have to respectfully disagree with some of the points in this review – particularly the microtransactions. I am definitely not an expert gamer, and it’s been pretty easy for me to upgrade without needing to shell out real money.

    I will agree – the AI is pretty rough (there’s also a good few crashes) but I’m confident they could patch that up in a future update. But on the whole – to me this is a huge step forward for blockbuster gaming on iOS. 2 stars seems very very harsh.

  • kistajk

    An update just came out with much improved AI, lower cost to buy / upgrade weapons and overall gameplay balance tweaks. Much, much better game now. But at the rate this site is updated (once a year?), I doubt they’d bother updating the review.

  • appfreak

    I don’t think the micro-transactions are ruining the game at all. There are at least four different types of weapons, enough praxis kits awarded and plenty of cash laying around before half of the game.

    What I think is questionable is the option to equip the whole lot early in the game, as some augmentations really make the game easy. The two stars are fair for the very poor enemy AI though

  • Nölff

    This game sucks. I was highly disappointed.