The Fall Part 2: Unbound
The Fall Part 2: Unbound (The Fall 2) was developed by Over The Moon and released on 13th February 2018 for the Xbox One, PS4, and PC. Being the second part to the story, it follows directly from the events of The Fall Part 1, as such, I will spoil the ending of the first part. Simply, The Fall is an adventure game with some combat where you must survive as Arid.
The Fall Part 1 ends directly after Arid has discovered her combat suit has no one in it. She becomes lost and winds up making her own rules. Imagine if you were told one thing for most of your life, about how to act, who to trust, and what your role is to then have that all taken away. How lost would you feel? How much of your personality would feel as if it was taken away? This may also be called an existential crisis, but is it one? As Arid is an A.I. after all. What would you attempt to do after having your whole sense of self-removed?
Aridís journey to finding self
Aridís first thought is about saving herself. Which is especially apt after her discovery after The Fall Part 1. The Fall 2 starts with Arid creating her own missions and her own driving principle. She has become unbound from her old self and is now just trying to survive -- this isnít through programming mind you, but her direct and purposeful choice to save herself.
This is a central point of the story in The Fall 2. The idea of Arid saving herself and what impact this could possibly have on others.
The others of The Fall 2
Throughout the story, you find three very distinct characters: The Butler, One, and The Companion. Each is almost an aspect of Arid. The Butler is very set in a cycle and cannot break his rules, but must have his routine twisted and bent but never broken to achieve Aridís goals. One is self-centred and pushes everyone else away to do everything on his own, so Arid must appeal to his sense of self to achieve her goals. The Companion is the least like Arid in that she is very openly emotional and caring for others, so Arid must push The Companion into manipulating people against her will. Remember, all this manipulation is in the context of Arid trying to save herself and thus will have a lasting impact on how these characters are.
The playing of the game
Mechanically, The Fall 2 is very similar to itsí Part 1, you aim up and down with your gun or flashlight. Now however, you can lock on with your pistol and combat generally is vastly improved. Dodging is a matter of jumping out of the way or moving out the way Ė itís vastly better and easier this time around. When investigating (with your torch) you no longer need to press a button to see information, which makes the whole process of investigation much cleaner Ė thank you Over The Moon!
Not only this but while playing through Oneís story you get into a new type of combat Ė fans of Two Finger Death Punch will know this system well. Here, all you do is attack left and right while enemies charge at you. You can only attack enemies when they are in an area around you. Oh my, itís fun. After chaining successful strikes, you are rewarded with a great slow motion and zoomed in attack. Only, as I am so used to this type of combat without a mouse, I kept pressing the mouse to attack not the keyboard keys Ė as you use A and D on the keyboard.
But is The Fall 2 actually worth it?
Once again, the team at Over The Moon have created a super compelling and interesting sci-fi world. Arid is also still one of the best AI characters I have seen in media, with Isaac Asimov being one of the few to have better AI in his books. Arid is even more nuanced and changes even more in The Fall 2. She learns and changes, and makes comments about this. She is wrong. For me, that is one of the biggest things about The Fall 2. Arid is wrong, realises she is wrong and apologises. Alongside that, when playing as each of the 3 other characters and solving their puzzles, you really need to start thinking like them. For example, as The Companion you must think about how people react and behave to solve the puzzles. All of this, bundled with the wonderful world you are discovering and the story twists just make you want to keep playing. You want to experience how this chapter of Aridís story ends Ė even if some of the puzzles feel a little convoluted.
Best Depiction of AI Outside of Asimov
A Few Convoluted Puzzles
2 Button Combat Should Be On The Mouse