Just to note, this is a preview of on an early access copy of a game that is still in development. According to their Steam page were probably 6-8 months away from the finished product. This early version of the game includes two campaign acts and a survival mode.
Over the last couple of years we’ve seen a bunch of indie survival horror games from the likes of Slender and Five Nights at Freddy’s to Stairs and Vanish. Another indie developer taking on this genre is UK based company Lone Planet Studios, with their game The Falling Sun.
The story sees us taking control of a World War II lieutenant on one last mission. The year is 1943 and we’ve been sent back into Burma to find a missing armoured column. However along the way you are met with a number of Zombie-esque enemies, failed experiments of some mysterious research conducted deep within the jungle. As this is an early access copy of the game we’ve only been given the first two chapters or ‘Acts’, so at this point very little of the story is explained. There is a short introduction of the lieutenant thinking back to the Burma mission but beyond that the rest of the story is told through a series of letters scattered along your path that get progressively more dire.
Gameplay wise it’s pretty standard for a for a first-person survival horror game and at present the only way to play is the mouse and keyboard setup. The game creates a good creepy atmosphere with a couple of really tense moments and of course with all horror games it has the occasional jumpscare (I hate that boulder!). Your only tool for survival is your trusty pistol with seemingly infinite ammunition. I say seemingly because even if you do somehow manage to run out of ammo you magically acquire it again in the next part. As for health, technically there isn’t any as you are just one hit away from a game over.
The Falling Sun isn’t a hard game; the main campaign only sees you handling the occasional enemy and both acts can be completed in around 40 minutes. There are only two enemy types in the initial two acts, the first are the decaying experiments that start from far away and let out an eerie cry before running at you, which are the most common and only need two hits to take down. The second appears towards the end of the second act looking much larger and later into the mutation stage taking far more hits to take down.
This early access copy of the game contains two acts which are then split into parts which unlock every time you enter a new area (which is frequently) making each location feel very short. Hopefully in the final build of the game some of the parts will be connected into larger maps as there’s really no need to load a new map every time you enter a door. The parts are split into two distinct sections, open outdoor jungle environments and tight, close-quarter
indoor levels. Whether indoor or outdoor the levels are very linear with a clear route forward, the odd part mixes it up a bit having you perform a task before moving on but even these are still easy.
In terms of graphics it looks decent enough for a unity game and boasts a decent amount of extra options including antialiasing and framerate boosts of up to 120FPS. However the levels are all rather unoriginal and boring. Between parts you also occasionally have transition cutscenes which sees the camera floating across an environment to the next location which tends to break your immersion. These sections would have been better if you could actually control your character and explore these areas. There is little music in the game and really the only sound comes from the enemies that spawn into the environment which in survival mode can get irritating with a constant stream of monsters rushing in to the map.
The Rising Sun appears to have some potential; it has a good setting and it does well at creating a nice creepy ambience. However as the game currently stands it’s not something that we can really recommend. It is way too short, extremely easy, has no real replayability (unless you feel like re-reading all of the letters) and some improvements could be made in the sound department. Still, this early access version shows some promise so it’s worth keeping an eye out for in the future.
This preview is based off an early access code of The Falling Sun provided by Lone Planet Studios.
This preview was originally published on the site GamersFTW which unfortunately has now been taken down. It’s been published on my personal blog, DanielVaughanReviews, out of respect for the developers/publishers that were kind enough to give me review copy of their game.