Project Downfall (XSX) Review

Published by RedDeerGames, Project Downfall has made a name for itself by sporting a John Wick lookalike in the game’s main promo art (yet you never see the playable character in-game which leads me to believe it was very much intentionally ripped off to draw attention). Although you wield several different weapons and shoot enemies in the face, the similarities between the cult favorite action series and this downloadable title end there.

Project Downfall is a weird game, one filled with artistic vision although I am unsure if it is for the betterment of the experience. My conflicted feelings towards this game mostly comes from the off putting environment and narrative. Without any context, the game throws the player directly into this messed up world without providing any background. Awaking in your apartment, the player will eventually venture outside where things suddenly get weird.

Every person outside your apartment is trying to kill you for some reason. One attack can be enough to send you to the restart screen, so you’ll need to often act first and think later. Gang members will attack without mercy or warning, often sniping you in the back before you have a chance to realize what is happening. These Blade Runner-like streets are brutal as fights can easily involve more than one on one battles.

Adding to the weird is the visual art style of both the environments and enemies. Presented through a neon filter, the game screams dreary cyberpunk at every corner. However, enemies are flat 2D sprites within a 3D space but are animated like 16-bit pixel art. The merging of 3D spaces with 2D characters is a bit jarring. I guess it doesn’t look bad, just… weird and unexpected. Stages are also broken into small bite sized chunks, sometimes only taking a minute to complete. Granted, you will probably die and restart several times so that one minute stage can become a 5-10 minute checkpoint.

Combat is also straightforward but unrelentless.  If you stop moving, you will get shot and killed where you stand. To make these murderous segments more tolerable, the player can swallow a slow-down pill, providing a short Max Payne/Matrix-like bullet time segment which also acts as a catalyst for the narrative. This slow-mo mode only lasts a few seconds and has limited uses so it is a gameplay crutch that cannot be cheesed.  Further, the actions that are performed in-game will result in several different endings.

Project Downfall isn’t necessarily a bad game, but I wouldn’t call it a good one. The words “weird” and “experimental” keep coming to mind when I think about this game. If you are into the obscure, it is definitely worth a look… just as long as you don’t expect fluid, choreographed John Wick gunplay as the main banner art might imply. 

SCORE: 6/10

Also Play: Fashion Police Squad

Don’t Forget About: Witch Rise

Friendly Reminder To Play: Duke Nukem Anniversary

By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief

Twitter: @ZackGaz

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