American Fugitive DEALS
American Fugitive is a game that I found at this year’s EGX Rezzed event, and I had a good conversation with the developers, and noted how the game was a bit like a GTA game, where you are sent to jail for a crime you didn’t commit. I enjoyed the game that I played whilst there, so decided to purchase it for myself and I am glad that I did. Whilst American Fugitive isn’t quite as successful as the Rockstar classics, this blast from the past sure does provide a decent experience.
This is the developers – Fallen Tree Games’ first home console release, and whilst from the outset it seems quite simple as I got into the game and dug deeper, I uncovered numerous mechanics and features that had me wanting more. With a top-down angle, I did my best at avoiding the police, and drawing any attention to myself (you have just escaped from prison after all) you will to complete devious jobs and crimes for a handful of undercover crooks.
The game begins with you being punished for a crime that you didn’t commit, and you escape from prison in order to find out who killed your father and to clear your own name. You will meet up with several dodgy looking people and do their dirty work, all in the hope that you get ever closer to uncovering the truth.
You then find yourself wrapped up in the criminal underbelly of Redrock County. You quickly become tangled in a gang war, assisting an undertaker in some deadly studies, and you even help in a government election campaign. You are in over your head, you’re not a criminal at heart, but the narrative works most of the time. Learning of the trials and tribulations the town faces daily is both comical and entertaining, whilst engaging in conversation with contacts is a joy. Learning your objectives is easy, but delve into the occasional dialog, and you have the chance to shape the plot to how you like.
The main driving force for the first couple of hours is to find out who killed your father, however that soon falls by the wayside, and is almost forgotten about mid-game. However, this does eventually turn back into finding the killer, but some of the missions did make me question how useful they were to the overall game, and the time could have been spent much more fruitfully.
American Fugitives most satisfying aspect is the chaotic action. With an open world to explore at any time, your free to cause as much mayhem as you wish. A large inventory allows you to carry anything from toilet brushes and plants to shotguns and machine guns for when the going gets real tough, especially if the cops are calls, but just be warned, I did find that the aim could do with a bit of fine tuning. But committing crimes will build up your wanted meter, kicking it off with a simple car chase, before elevating to SWAT teams and helicopters. You can half the police force on your tail before you know it and getting them off your back is extremely simple. Break the line of sight, and then hide in your neighbour’s garden and steal their clothes, creating someone the cops don’t recognise. But this all ties into the game’s commitment and entertainment.
You can of course, do things quietly, the majority of the city’s homes, sops and establishments are all open for you to break into. With the possibility of stealing a high-value item. Once you have gained entry, a sort of mini-game appears on screen, and you can search the home, and escape before the police arrive. There is of course the possibility that someone will be at the home you are stealing from, at which point you will need to decide if they get to live the tale.
The games open world nature lends itself well to creating mindless disorder, but with the missions you experience structure, and sort of disappoints to a degree. As the story expands in terms of storylines, level design contracts. Far too many assignments amount to nothing more that generic fetch quests or tasks that require you to run down bad guys. There are some high points throughout the campaign, but they are few and far between.
To make this worse, the game’s length accentuates this flaw. The experience would have worked perfectly at a run time of five to six hours, but you’ll need to at least double that at the very least if you want to see things through to their conclusion. Because of this, you drag yourself through numerous tasks that fail to justify their existence. American Fugitive outstayed its welcome by a hefty margin.
You might be surprised to hear the game comes packaged with some rouge-like elements. If you die during a mission, you’ll be able to simply restart at a checkpoint, but if you meet your doom out in the open world, then you’ll have lost your entire inventory upon spawn. Your progress in the story, skill points, and cash all carry over, but you’ll need to start over again when it comes to procuring items and weapons. I didn’t understand this point to be honest, the mechanic feels like a half step that punishes you for no real reason more than anything else.
American Fugitive is an exceptional open world playground for dumb fun, but it fails to capitalise on that when it comes to the long mission design. Too many repetitive missions drag the whole experience down for me, but the narrative will be just about enough to make the whole thing worthwhile.
- Fun filled chaos filled open world environment
- Funny story lines with some good characters
- Missions far too repetitive
- Game is far too long
- Auto-aim with the top down view would have helped a lot