I fell from Grace (PC) Review

By Athanasios 04.06.2019

Review for I fell from Grace on PC

Pessimism isn't exactly prevalent in the world of mainstream gaming. While there are definitely a bunch of titles with a bleak aesthetic, as well as a cynical approach to their world-building and narrative style, the vast majority tends to throw at least a bit of light amongst all that darkness. The same doesn't necessarily apply in the indie side of things - and Cubed3 has just found one of the biggest champions of depression (in more ways than one), the pixel-art adventure, I fell from Grace.

Henry's life isn't at its best. His wife is terminally ill, his constant delays are very close to costing him his job, and the weather doesn't help either. The city he spends his life on is even worse, full of people who have either lost hope, or are lost hopes themselves. Come to think about it, pretty much the same applies to Herny as well. Yes, besides a handful of people (and that stretches things), most characters in here are selfish beyond repair. The only redeeming quality of our protagonist is how, at its core, this is a quest to find a cure for his wife.

...This, however, is when things make an even darker turn. In the process of trying to fill this hole in his life, Henry will open many more. This takes a deep dive into the greyest areas of morality, with Henry often having to make some decisions with some heavy consequences, with very few of them actually having a traditionally good outcome. In the end, Henry's choices will send him down some vastly different paths, with each and every ending being completely unique, rather than something that's similar to the previous one, with a few small extra scenes added.

Screenshot for I fell from Grace on PC

Without any exaggeration, I fell from Grace's level of hopelessness and misanthropic attitude, makes this a strangely entertaining ride. On the other hand, its characters are somewhat flat, the game can sometimes be a bit too fatalistic and violent just for the sake of it, and, yes, lovers of pixel-art can certainly find better examples of that visual style in other indie productions, yet, as a whole, this has an intense, almost horror-esque atmosphere, with the ambient, electronic jazzy OST adding a pretty neat, noir vibe to it all.

Time to talk about the elephant in the room, though. Dialogue in here always rhymes - and not in a very poetic way. This might seem to be extremely silly for a title as grim as this, and, to tell the truth, it initially felt so. Many have actually complained about that "gimmick," and the developer even went the extra mile to add the option to disable it, so that characters can talk as normal people do. Weirdly enough... most are advised not to do so. The rhyming dialogue adds another layer of uncanny bizarreness to it all, which contrasts very well with the misery on offer.

Screenshot for I fell from Grace on PC

As for the gameplay, the basic premise is that of a typical point-and-click adventure, minus the point-and-click bit, which means that your trusty mouse won't help you here. This also takes the simplest route possible when it comes to puzzle solving. Instead of any new and intricate mechanics, Henry will just have to get close to an item or point of interest, and interact with it. Unlike the atmosphere/story part, which happens to have a bunch of easy-to-stomach rough edges, though, strictly viewed as a videogame, I fell from Grace is not that fun.

Thank the gods for the plain control scheme, as, besides a couple of simplistic puzzles, the solutions to many of them are quite illogical, to the point that many will reach out for a guide - nothing too challenging for genre veterans, sure, but this kind of ruins the pacing of something that's meant to be a narrative-driven game first, and a puzzle-solving adventure second. The absence of a quest log is a mistake as well - an especially bad one for a title where you usually have little direction about where to go, which means that coming back to it after a day or two can leave you clueless.

Screenshot for I fell from Grace on PC

The pacing is further damaged by the amount of walking that needs to be done. There's way too much back-and-forth running, and the level design doesn't help either, as most areas are basically one looong corridor, with not much in-between "A and B" to interact with. This doesn't improve the experience in any way. Unlike in, say, the intro of Silent Hill 2, where you also walk "aimlessly," but that helps in building atmosphere, in here it turns playing this into a chore. This isn't a minor pet peeve. It's a flaw that can't be emphasised enough.

On the bright side, once one becomes familiar with the relatively large world available, which includes Henry's house, workplace, and the downtown area, it's easy to give it another play-through, and reach the end in less than two hours. That doesn't mean that your first run through I fell from Grace won't bore you to death from time to time, though - and don't forget the many, and very slow loading scenes that one has to wait through. Indeed, the story is interesting enough to make many players "forget" all these issues, but that doesn't exactly make this an easy recommendation.

Screenshot for I fell from Grace on PC

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

I fell from Grace, is pleasantly... unpleasant. It's a very dark tale of a man, who, while - hopelessly - trying to save his dying wife, loses a lot more. The rhyming dialogue will be off-putting to many, yet it's actually an element that creates a nice contrast with all the tears and blood that will be spilled throughout this pixel-art, horror-ish adventure. On the other hand, the actual process of playing this leaves a lot to be desired, and the pacing is painfully slow for what is essentially a narrative-driven experience.

Developer

Deep Taiga

Publisher

Deep Taiga

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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