BEFORE THE FALL
Another explanation for Black The Fall’s slightly throwntogether feel may be that it began life as something much more grandiose, a more straightforwardly fantastical epic with gun combat and gear crafting, comparable in feel to Amiga classics Flashback and Another World. Among other things, the original pitch envisaged a universe in thrall to pseudo-communist Machines, and would have featured three factions, changeable NPC allegiances, a reputation system and a recurring nemesis inspired by Moby Dick. What’s here occasionally feels like a rearrangement, late in the day, of those materials. If the shift to a more directed experience with a stronger documentary focus was advisable, given Sand Sailor’s relative inexperience and size, the idea of a systemic sandbox game dressed up like a Playdead title seems worth returning to.