What if the Cold War never ended? That’s the world inbetweengames has envisioned with their new project, All Walls Must Fall. Set in 2089, this game, described as “tech-noir tactics,” combines secret agents, time travel, and nightclubs to bring this alternate future to life. The small, three person team, consisting of former YAGER developers who also worked on Spec Ops: The Line, have been hard at work on the noir inspired project and are now sharing it with the world through an All Walls Must Fall Kickstarter campaign.
In All Walls Must Fall you play as secret agents of both the East and West, who have the power to manipulate time and are tasked with different missions, including assassinations, to help their cause. The setting is a sci-fi inspired Berlin, Germany, where the wall never fell and the city is still divided in a power struggle.
inbetweengames has put a unique spin on the isometric action tactics genre where the player delves into the various nightclubs of the city. Combat uses a pausable action set up where you move and attack on beats to the music. But violence won’t always get the mission done. Players may choose to use social skills and hacking as well to achieve their goals.
The developer was kind enough to provide us with an early version of the game. During the first mission, my secret agent pulled up to a nightclub with the assignment to find and eliminate a specific target. But it wouldn’t be as easy as just walking through the front door. I first chatted up the bouncer outside, taking a polite but firm approach with the dialogue options. Above these I could see the social effects my decisions were having and won him over with respect.
Upon entering the nightclub I encountered two more bodyguards. Since I had successfully made my way in, I thought I could persuade them to part with some information about my target. However, I was cocky and soon pissed the guard off enough that they drew weapons and I got my first taste of combat. Equipped with a gun, I could either shoot normally or aim down the barrel for extra damage. The game paused while I made these decisions, but resumed when carrying out the actions. I soon noticed that the bullets fired from the bodyguards guns also paused as well, providing me with the tactical advantage of seeing where they were flying. Instead of shooting them for a second time, I opted to move a few squares to the right, as movement is set on a grid. Taking too many steps though left the game unpaused long enough for the bodyguards to get a bead on my and fire a few shots off.
Realizing my error, I was able to use the time travel feature to reverse my poor decision and try again. This time I only sidestepped one square out of the way, allowing the bullets to sail past me and line up my own shots. As the player, I could see this unfolding as decision, pause, decision pause, but I could imagine what it would look like for my enemies. I would be like Neo from The Matrix, casually dodging bullets as if there were standing still.
I dispatched these two bodyguards and the bouncer from before, who’s attention had been called inside due to the commotion I was making. Then I guided my special agent into the nightclub, now understanding how I could go about dispatching my target.
While many aspects of All Walls Must Fall may be recognizable to fans of various genres, it is combining these into a stylish, noir-inspired alternate future that makes for a very intriguing game. The developers have promised “procedurally generated levels” in a “simulated sandbox” that allows the players freedom to tackle objectives in different ways. All of this provides a interesting experience that many will want to check out.
inbetweengames will begin their All Walls Must Fall Kickstarter campaign on March 22, 2017. The game will be available on PC and Mac, although the developers have mentioned that console versions have been considered for the future. The Kickstarter campaign can be found here. For more information on the game, check out their official website.