Falling Skies: The Game PC Review
Cashing In –
This forgettable XCOM clone tries to rely on fans of the TV series seeing past its flaws. But with horrible cut scenes and character models it’s hard to notice anything good.
The story takes place in between seasons 3 and 4 of the titular show. It has all the familiar characters with their respective actors providing the vocal talent. With turn-based strategy, and upgradable weapons it allows for a progressive adventure through the Falling Skies universe.
This is the first Falling Skies game to date so it doesn’t have much to live up to, especially in games based on TV or movies. Publishers always want to profit from the launch of a new movie or TV show season while it’s still hot. This of course leads to shoddy workmanship and slapping the popular item’s logo on what would be a totally inferior game. Never has there been more evidence of that video game staple than in this instance.
Graphics are the truly inexcusable part of this game. With character model hair that looks like play-doh and action figure arms for movement, it totally ruins any image of seeing your favorite characters from the show in new and interesting stories. The terrain for the main part of the game is still not great, but at least not from the PS2-era like the cut scenes. Unfortunately the terrain and interface used for your missions seem to be completely stolen from XCOM:Enemy Unknown. One such duplication is the range for each character on the grid screen being marked by a blue close range and a yellow far range grid lines. The gameplay itself with squads, terrain, even movement style all seem totally unoriginal.
One redeeming fun part is the skill tree and assortment of cool upgradable weapons. Each character has its own class, and the skills seem to fit the class quite well and really come in handy later. Another feature is the large number of main and side quests available. It’s not a large sandbox, but it does give the illusion with its dynamically generated maps leading to a different tactic each play through. Number of side quests aside, the missions are overall far too easy to even provide a novice gamer a challenge. This is mostly due to the bad AI of the Espheni (alien bad guys). Multiple times I would not be in position, and the AI would just walk right past me in plain sight. Then of course, I would use my shotgun to persuade him to go away.
Overall, this is just another TV tie-in game with a great marketing campaign, but no original ideas, sloppy design, and a very rushed feel to make it part of a new season. Without Falling Skies the show, this game would never have even happened. Even with some decent strategy and evil alien bad guys, which should be a slam dunk with gamers, it doesn’t have anything else to offer. The gaming community of today require at least graphics from this decade, and at least some original thought.
Also available on Wii U, Xbox 360, and PS3.
Not As Good As: XCOM:Enemy Unknown
Better Than: a rotten banana.
Also Try: Fallout 1
Written by: Adam