The world seems to be an endless desert, stretching for miles in every direction. The roads are crumbling all around you, supplies dwindling. You and your companions barely have enough supplies to go between the group. You can see bandits coming, and realize you only have a single clip of bullets to go around for each of you, making you wonder if you even have enough bullets.
That’s what Fallen: A2P Protocol by Red Katana is hoping to be in the future; at the moment it is only getting about half way there. In early access now, Fallen A2P Protocol currently is a reminder that the system used for turned based Strategy RPGs used to be different but still worked well. Using the action point system from the original Fallout series, or the original X-Com series, while mixing in a very limited supply of ammo creates an intense feeling of dread every time you miss a shot. You simply do not have the supplies to miss, which seems like an intentional design decision.
Should your main character take an unlucky bullet to the head, or several to the chest, Fallen: A2P Protocol sends you straight to a mission loss screen. There is no getting people up once their health hits 0; they are dead. It can happen very quickly when you start to deal with goons who are better equipped. Sometimes you just have to accept that bullet was meant for your head and leave it at that.
That is where Fallen: A2P Protocol works the best. The idea that if the main character dies you automatically game over? That’s fine. The idea that death comes easily to both sides, with high chance to hit anything in range? Works well. The limited ammo with having to scavenge and scrounge around? That adds a difficulty ramp when you start to face people with better weapons but conceptually works out fine.
Fallen: A2P Protocol splits itself into two segments. The battles, where you control up to six survivors trying to wipe out every enemy, while also looting and scavenging for supplies like bullets, guns, medkits, grenades, and other limited but useful consumables. The other half is when you are driving around the desert looking for missions and going to towns to recruit new members for your team or bartering for their own extremely limited supplies. During the driving segments you can also move around equipment to each of your crew members and spend skill points to level up through one of four skill trees.
The problem that starts to occur is in the pacing. Fallen: A2P Protocol goes by in the blink of an eye. After four missions, everyone had maxed out at least one skill tree. The battles changed from the enemies having pistols and crossbows to sniper rifles and flamethrowers. Fallen: A2P Protocol doesn’t seem to have much content to actually provide at the moment and chose to just throw everything at you early on, to get what they want the experience to be in the future.
There are also a ton of bugs still being fixed – some game breaking. Enemies becoming glitched so that they do not know what to do, sound effects sometimes do not play or play over each other, someone getting locked up on terrain after an attack and the entire game being unable to progress forcing a restart – issues that really show that Fallen: A2P Protocol is still in alpha.
While there is a lot of potential being shown with Fallen: A2P Protocol, it becomes hampered by the lack of content, the extremely fast pacing, at times buggy UI and painfully bad writing. Fallen: A2P Protocol looks like a game that I will want to play in the future, but for now I would suggest waiting for it to come out of Early Access before playing unless you’re a diehard strategy RPG fan who is dying for a game that will remind you of the original Fallout, without the writing being nearly as good.
Fallen: A2P Protocol was obtained from Red Katana and reviewed on Steam