Star Trek Deep Space Nine: The Fallen - Longplay
Posted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 6:47 am
The Fallen is a 3rd person, Unreal-powered game set during Season 6 of DS9 sometime after the Dominion occupation of the station. I'm not entirely sure if it fits into continuity story-wise, but who cares at this point. This was successfully played on Wine, using the D3D renderer. I had to tweak around with the configuration files significantly to get it working in 1080p, but it was worth the effort. The game looks pretty nice, perhaps a little dated with the texture handling, but overall a good looking game and a faithful recreation of DS9. The scale is definitely not quite right - Some places look way too big, whereas others seem too small. The FOV in the DS9 sections is terrible, it took my eyes a moment to adjust. Maybe it looked better back in the 4:3 days.
This is a completely blind play-through of the game as Worf, so it took me a bit longer than veteran players to figure things out. Little did I know the Worf missions are some of the hardest in the game. I decided not to record the Sisko and Kira sections. Mainly because Worf is my favourite character, but also because all 3 characters only have a different starting mission - the remainder of the game is essentially the same missions, just from a different perspective. Even the dialogue is mostly all re-used throughout the different viewpoints. I will be uploading the first part of the Kira storyline later as it was the only part of the game significantly different from the rest.
Although there are some good points to this game, including some great voice acting - despite the lack of Avery Brooks and Colm Meaney - unfortunately there wasn't much great about The Fallen. The combat system is half broken, and the control scheme is terrible. Interacting with the environment is cumbersome - you literally have to cycle through your inventory items and insert key cards in doors multiple times. This wouldn't be so bad if it was used sparingly, but 50% of the doors in this game require some kind of keycard or button press. That really slows down the gameplay, and brings you into situations with unnecessary tension simply because your character is completely defenceless when interacting with doors or any other objects. And to make matters worse, you have to unlock doors every single time you use them - even if you literally just unlocked it moments before.
The combat is a bit hit and miss to be honest. It's very easy to disable your character with a close range strike - leaving you again defenceless for up to 3-4 seconds as your character gets up from the ground. But I can live with that. My main beef with this game is that the developers simply were too lazy when making the AI for this game. The enemy combatants are a challenge, yes, but they are only challenging because of the lousy implementation of dodge mechanics. When playing as Worf your primary weapon is the Bat'Leth, which is next to useless in ranged engagements. You have to charge at opponents (because stealth does NOT work in this game!) and take phaser shots to the face while doing so. If you resort to using the Phaser Rifle, well good luck. Because of the dodge mechanics, the AI is programmed to dodge every 1 out of 2 or 3 shots - you CAN'T get around this. I call this the 'douche maneuver' because whenever the AI dodges, they do this kind of 'dance side-step' to the left or right. It looks like the start of a K-Pop dance routine to be honest, and it makes enemy units seem like douchebags because they are essentially taunting you with dance side-steps as you gradually run out of ammo.
Which brings me to the problem with the Phaser Rifle. This weapon should be AWESOME, it sounds great, looks great - and just feels really powerful. BUT it has been reduced to a second rate piece of garbage, because the AI automatically dodges 50% of the shots. If you play as Sisko or Kira, you get the regular recharging phaser which the AI cannot dodge. In some missions you get to the use the Cardassian Rifle which is a rapid firing phaser for some reason. The AI attempts to dodge this too, but every other shot lands on their sidestepping ass. The developers really screwed up with the combat design IMO. The Phaser Rifle should be WAY more effective than it is, especially considering you only get about 15 shots out of the box.
Oh and Chief O'Brien, the guy who literally ran the transporters on TNG and became Mr QuickFix on DS9 was reduced to Cadet levels of incompetence. I'm talking about the fact that he can NEVER use the transporter to beam you supplies, like EVER. I only ever saw one transporter zone at the start of a mission, and never again. The whole 'transporters are not working' excuse has been done to death in Star Trek episodes for plot reasons, but here it's just overused. Just give me some damn ammo so I can enjoy this game casually without scrounging for supplies.
Despite its flaws, I kinda enjoyed The Fallen. It was a love/hate relationship and I will definitely check out the expansion.