Nordic's Deadfall Adventures explores Lost World with FPS eyes

A quick glance at Deadfall Adventures suggests an Uncharted-like lower-key, first-person shooter, and in some ways that assessment isn't miles off the mark. Both properties star a rugged adventurer with a notebook, both feature alluring companions with romance on their mind, and both aren't shy about tracing their roots to Allan Quatermain novels. Deadfall Adventures especially, given its hero is the great grandson of Quatermain.

Based on what I saw at a recent demo, the comparisons don't go much further. While the Uncharted series places its emphasis on spectacle and orchestrated action, Deadfall Adventures, developed by Painkiller: Hell & Damnation studio The Farm 51, looks to focus on classic FPS combat. Set during the second World War, the game combines "historically accurate" weapons of the time like the MP38 submachine gun and AVS36 rifle with the lush surroundings of ancient ruins and temples, rendered neatly - don't expect blockbuster stuff - in Unreal Engine 3.

Those environments caught my attention, specifically the manipulable dangers lurking within them. In the hands-off demo producer Martin Kreuch showed me, time and time again I saw conspicuous traps that were connected to large switches on the ground. Shooting or stepping on these switches made the traps unleash Indiana Jones-style dangers; we're talking flurries of spears, jets of flame, all the things that really ought to have killed Indy but never did.
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Deadfall Adventures

I saw their obvious use in a timing-based puzzle that had treasure hiding behind rows of flame, but more interesting was when they featured in combat. With both the player and enemies able to use them, the traps made for chaotic-looking skirmishes, often leading to many a Nazi aflame and a-pierced. Kreuch noted other traps including "crashing" and "slamming" types, and a vase full of scurrying insects that, when the vase is shot ... just don't be near the vase when it's shot. Also, while Deadfall Adventures' main attraction is probably the single-player, the game does feature a variety of multiplayer modes, and according to Kreuch those modes should feature the traps too - that sounds like fun to me.

While the weapons are accurate, Deadfall Adventures' tone, said Kreuch, plays closer to the fun and frolics of the traps. It's an over-the-top action adventure, more preposterous than even the Uncharted games according to the producer, who said the game is not quite as serious as Naughty Dog's fare can be.

So, potentially a Lost World-style FPS that does the business? I didn't get to try the game myself, and there's concern over just how much variety and narrative excitement The Farm 51 can put in there. Nonetheless, I was pleasantly surprised.

Either way, we'll all get to explore Deadfall Adventures in the near enough future. Publisher Nordic Games will bring it to Xbox 360 and PC (via Steam) on November 15. A PS3 version isn't currently being planned, but according to Kreuch isn't off the cards either.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.