Editor: Diane Hutchinson Editor@girlgamersuk.com

American Fugitive

Posted by GG Goblin On May - 30 - 2019

Small town GTA.

 
It is difficult to conceive that there are full-grown gamers out there who were not around when the original Grand Theft Auto came along, complete with masses of controversy. I am not talking about all of those ten year olds that spend all of their time playing Fortnite, but adult gamers who would have never experienced the joy of top-down car theft. It is almost as if GTA only began when the series became third-person. Fallen Tree Games obviously felt that these gamers needed some kind of reference to this golden age of gaming, and so created American Fugitive, a game that takes very obvious inspiration from the original GTA. Step back in time, both in gaming and in the games setting, steal some clothes from a washing line and burgle a house.

 
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It’s not all crime for crimes sake in American Fugitive. Players will take on the role of Will Riley, a man who is framed at the very beginning of the game for his fathers murder. It’s a shocking turn of events, but Will is not the most law-abiding person so it could be said he has form. However, the player knows he didn’t do it and, after a brief stint in prison, it is up to the player to hop Will over the fence and set out into the world to clear his name and find his fathers real murderer.

 
Of course, clearing Will’s name will involve breaking pretty much every other law in the land. As already noted, Will is not a man with scruples and so can and will do anything he needs in order to find his fathers murderer. This will involve getting acquainted with all sorts of shady people, from gangs to serial killers, and most of the time breaking the law on their behalf.

 
The game is fully 3D, but played from a top down viewpoint, making it reminiscent of the original GTA games. The setting is 80s small town America and one of the very first laws that Will has to break is stealing a car in order to get around. However, the game has a wanted system, presented by stars showing how serious the cops are about apprehending Will, and stealing a car will move that wanted level up a notch. It’s not too bad, because at level one the cops are just not that bothered. However, driving around can quickly lead to the wanted level increasing as the car handling is a somewhat loose and there is a short viewable area. This means that it is all too easy to accidentally drive into some property, fence, pedestrians, and get your wanted level boosted. As the level goes up, the cops will try harder, leading eventually to helicopters and all sorts of chaos. As a fugitive from prison, they won’t be asking questions, but will happily shoot on sight, which will lead to a checkpoint restart and the absence of anything Will may have been carrying.

 
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And it is not only driving that will get Will wanted by the police. The player will find themselves sending this shady character to do all sorts of other shady things, from beating people up in the street, to holding up stores. They will also commit burglary, which leads to a rather nice little mini game. The player can approach a house and then sneak around, peaking in the windows to make sure the coast is clear. Once scoped out, the player can let themselves in through a door or window, depending on what tools they have to hand. At this point, the view changes to a floor plan of the property, and the player can choose which rooms to investigate. However, there is also a countdown timer until the police show up, and so players will have to think carefully about where they look in the property and how much time they spend doing it. The rewards can be worth it though, as Will could leave with items to sell at the pawn shop, new equipment or weapons, or even information leading to something even more profitable.

 
So, the police will be an ever-present threat for Will, but thankfully it is not too difficult to get the wanted level down and evade the cops. Players will have to suspend their disbelief somewhat as having Will steal some clothes from a washing line and doing a quick change will lead to the police looking elsewhere, despite the fact that it is still the same guy, just perhaps wearing a yellow summer dress now. Anyway, it works, as does a quick colour change for a car, or the easiest, crouching down in some bushes until the police give up. They are not the smartest cops around.

 
Continuing to commit crimes and get away with it will result in points to spend on a fairly extensive skill tree. This will allow Will to improve over time, from becoming more adept at various different crimes, to being able to run for more than a few seconds without getting knackered.

 
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American Fugitive is a fun little romp that could well run into double figure hours for some players. It may only be the older players that will get the nostalgia vibe, but anyone who wants to step out into the dark side of society and commit some crimes will find there is plenty to enjoy here. It’s a nicely crafted world, packed full of things for the player to do, and oozing with a dark humour. Pick up American Fugitive now and commit some crimes to prove you are not a criminal.

 

 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 



 

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