The Fall Part 2: Unbound Explores the Joys and Sorrows of an Android Parasite

Games Reviews The Fall Part 2
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<i>The Fall Part 2: Unbound</i> Explores the Joys and Sorrows of an Android Parasite

It took four years, but Over The Moon’s follow-up to its stellar first offering, The Fall, is finally out. Much like the first installment, The Fall Part 2: Unbound offers its own unique spin on the oft overused trope of pinning the quest of defining humanity firmly on the lapel of a sentient AI. For those who haven’t played the first game, it’s worth your while to play through the first of this three-episode arc if you want to feel the full impact of A.R.I.D’s journey. That being said, jumping in with Unbound still offers a tight, intriguing experience that stimulates the mind.

The Fall Part 2 puts players in control of A.R.I.D., a sentient AI designed for depurposing who becomes hellbent on self-preservation. This charge leads A.R.I.D. on a mission through a virtual network in an effort to find the human user that is attacking them with a virus. A.R.I.D. is forced to embed themself in the bodies of other androids in order to follow the trail, but each body carries its own distinct hurdles in order to gain their cooperation.

The Fall Part 2 is very much an adventure game in that it asks players to analyze their surroundings and decipher ways in which to manipulate that stage’s host body to gain a desired outcome. Much like other adventure games, points of the exploration and sequential nature of the puzzles can result in some trial and error, but the progression through each environment feels intuitive overall. Very rarely does it feel unfair in its expectations of the player, and it isn’t afraid to toss in the same bits of dark humor present in the first title.

Just like the first, the game incorporates shooting in a way that doesn’t stand up to the quality of its point-and-click companion. It fits into the story well enough, posing as a representation of A.R.I.D.’s battle against the overtaking virus, but its controls do more to frustrate players than inform the narrative.

What makes the game feel unique is how the story and its characters integrate into the gameplay. Unlike other titles that boil down the discussion of how humanity is defined in the manufactured mind to “we’re not so different, you and I,” The Fall Part 2 examines numerous motivations within the human psyche, embodied by the characters A.R.I.D. utilizes, in both how they define one’s determination of purpose and how they interact with one another. The game’s treatment of the mind as a complexly woven tapestry informs its narrative by forcing players to develop each element equally as it requires each to triumph over the presented obstacle. In doing so, The Fall Part 2 delivers a more nuanced understanding of how we think and approach threats to our own life and sanity, even going so far as to teach players tactics that could easily translate to real-life strategies for broadening one’s own outlook on personal mental struggles.

At its best, The Fall Part 2 feels more humanist and tactile in its approach to discussing self-preservation and how such desires lead to the defining of one’s self. Its moments might not hit the same heights of heart-string-pulling emotional beats as the original, but it presents an overall world and story ripe with allegorical references to the psyche that continue to stimulate and motivate players to move forward, even after countless frustrating deaths during the shooting stages. It remains clever and subversive in its translation of traditional point-and-click action and leaves players with the same high level of anticipation for the forthcoming third episode. I only hope it doesn’t take another four years for the conclusion.

The Fall Part 2: Unbound was developed and published by Over the Moon. It is available for Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.

Brian Bell is an intern at Paste.