American Fugitive Review – PC
American Fugitive, a top-down action open world game with similar aspects to older Grand Theft Auto games. I apologize that I am a bit late on the review, but I had an absolute blast playing it. I have read and looked at some of the scores that this game has been receiving, I’m going to be clear, it breaks my heart. This game is fun, although not perfect, it does not warrant the lower reviews it has been receiving.
To start off, I finished this game in just over 12 hours. This was not a 100% completion, but I had some great times with it. The story was a decent tale of being framed for your fathers’ murder, and you’re on the path to figuring out who killed him and set you up. Without ruining too much, the story was enough to keep you moving with some fun twists throughout. Could the story use a little work? Maybe a little, I think maybe having some side story quests would have been fun it would also open the lore of American Fugitive a little bit. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot to do in this game besides story, I just would love to see more of this world Fallen Tree Games created. The story did, however, introduce some fun characters, and had their lines written well enough to feel like it was the actual character talking.
Let’s get into the gameplay. As mentioned previously, it is a top-down view while using ‘WASD’ keys and the mouse to aim if you want to attack someone, otherwise, the mouse is hardly used. The game is open-world so fairly quickly you can do whatever you want. But what does that mean in American Fugitive? Well, you have a few options. You can do play out the story, you can find all the ramps and try to complete the jumps, there are a bunch of time trials everywhere where you race against the clock, you can go searching for ‘stashes’ which have fat stacks of cash in them, and you can break into damn near every building in the game. Why would you break into homes and stores? There are a couple of reasons, you can get money, you can take valuables and then pawn them off at the pawn shop, some homes have artwork you can sell to the art dealer for big bucks, some homes and stores have stashes inside, or if you’re low on money you can break into stores and steal their merchandise as well.
Now breaking into places isn’t as easy as it sounds, at first. For homes, you will need to go to every window to see if the house is vacant before going in and not risk getting caught. If the homes are occupied, or you are breaking into a store you have options. You can intimidate them with a weapon, and then tie them up with rope or handcuffs, etc. That’s the way I chose so I made sure I always had a rope on me to attempt to tie them up. There is some unbalancing though, with some hold-ups, I had a 90% chance of successfully holding up a store, and yet I still got overpowered and got my gun taken away, crappy luck with that 10% I guess. This kind of leads into the inventory system.
You’re only allowed to hold so much weight (more on that later), so you need to decide what’s important for your character to have. For me, I made sure I had crowbars, lock picks, rope, handcuffs, some decent guns, and health items. I wanted to be stealthy and fewer run-ins with the law and to make me feel more professional. You could just brute force everything, break through windows with rocks and lead pipes and such, but you’d have less time to search locations before the cops show up. One way I played was when a house was occupied I would wait around a bit and usually the person would leave. Go knock them out, and BINGO, they have a house key on them allowing you to search the house fully and find clues on notes to open locked up stashes.
Here’s a quick note on driving. Though a bit rough in the beginning, I loved it. I have never had so much fun power sliding through fences and outrunning cops through cornfields. It felt good and seeing the fences littered everywhere was euphoric.
There is a small RPG-like system for your character. Every mission will net you some upgrade points, combined with the cash you can get permanent upgrades, such as more backpack space, longer sprint, higher percent for hold-ups. But it also has game-changing ones such as getting a beep, and visual blip stating there is a nearby stash, and an upgrade that tells you if a house is occupied for all rooms just by walking up to the house. In my completion I didn’t max out all of the upgrades, but if you completed the side fun missions (jumps, stashes, etc) you’d easily max all of the upgrades out.
I really have to give props to the audio team. Everything sounded amazing. The soundtrack was spot on, the music was key for the experience. It has the backwoods twangy sound that just felt good. Every audio detail was amazing. Getting close to objects would get louder, driving through fences (I know, I know, I’m in love with it) sounded perfect. The gunshots, police talking, car driving, explosions, EVERYTHING, my hat is off to you.
Now, let’s talk about some negatives. The game seems very unbalanced in the ways of the police, meaning it is very easy to escape even with 5 stars. There was a time where I killed like 25 people and a ton of cops trying to complete a mission and I had a trail of cops after me, I just powerslid around a tree and got out of their view and after a bit, I was free. I’d love to see that amp up a little bit. I did mention earlier expanding on the lore a bit with optional side quests. Also, the AI around guns seemed a little bit lax. While in a shoot out I was able to get in a car and run all of them over, which took a while, and the car never took enough damage to explode. I felt there should have been a hellacious amount of bullets flying towards me. I guess to sum it up, the difficulty doesn’t scale when you apply your upgrades. Completing the game without any upgrades seems possible.
American Fugitive is a blast to play. Despite some difficulty balancing issues, the gameplay is fun, the story holds up, and the audio is amazing. For $14.99 you’re going to get some solid gameplay, even if you just want to blow through a farmers fence and tear up through a cornfield in a high-speed chase.
Note: A digital code was provided by the publisher for the purpose of reviewing this game. Any code or product intended for reviews is distributed to the team to review and stream for our audience.
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+ Decent story and some fun twists
+ The soundtrack and details in the audio is amazing
+ POWERSLIDING THROUGH FENCES
- Difficult doesn't scale though out the game
- I wanted some more lore, or optional side story quests.