I'm already in love with New Blood's latest, the pulp noir immersive sim Fallen Aces, and you can get it for just $10

monochrome blue and red comic book man pointing gun at screen
(Image credit: New Blood Interactive)

New Blood Interactive's pulp detective immersive sim Fallen Aces is out right now, but the price of the slapstick noir caper might be just as newsworthy: with its intro price and launch discount, Fallen Aces will only set you back $10, and after playing the first two of five levels in its intro episode, I think it's well worth that price.

PCG news lead Andy Chalk once said Fallen Aces looked like Condemned: Criminal Origins crossed with Dick Tracy comics, and he was right on the money. The '30s pop art and vibe in the levels is impeccable, but the real knockout is the Max Payne-style comic book cutscenes. It's really well-acted too⁠—I think this is the most voicework New Blood has put into one of its games to date⁠—and the classico noir characters have already won me over.

Fallen Aces: Episode 1 Release Date Trailer - YouTube Fallen Aces: Episode 1 Release Date Trailer - YouTube
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My secret wish was that Fallen Aces would scratch my Dark Messiah of Might and Magic itch that so rarely gets satisfied⁠—Arkane's sophomore outing was special because instead of having you crouch walk around moody and atmospheric environments, it took all that immersive sim depth and put it toward slapstick hijinks like kicking enemies into non-OSHA compliant bottomless pits or leaving icy surfaces for them to slip and slide across.

And Fallen Aces is nailing that and then some. The levels, for a start, are fantastic, really nailing that Thief or Dishonored sense of "This is a real place, and it also just keeps going and going." The first mission features a multi-level apartment building and the surrounding few city blocks for you to explore, including a comic book store with a secret and a donut shop showdown. The second, meanwhile, feels like an homage to Thief 2's Shipping and Receiving, with an open-ended dockyard split in two sections by a raised drawbridge.

There are always multiple ways past enemies and obstacles: at one point, I was able to throw a stapler through an open window to hit a button and open a door, and while there's a gondola you can ride across the harbor to the second half of the mission, you can just as easily climb on to the warehouse roof and walk across the gondola's cable like a highwire artist.

While it's 100% viable to ghost your way through Fallen Aces, getting caught never made me want to slam quickload. Its first person brawling is a blast, with jabs, crosses, and uppercuts influenced by how long you charge up an attack and what direction you're moving. Landing hits on enemies feels incredible, and I also love how Fallen Aces found a way to have its cake and eat it too by making it possible to go loud while still preserving a no-kill playstyle. Your fists and blunt weapons render enemies unconscious⁠—and if they're discovered by friends, they can be woken up again⁠—while guns and blades end their lives permanently. Nobody gives you a Deus Ex-style scolding for killing anybody, but these hapless goons have a charm that makes killing them tug at my conscience a bit. Not enough to not vaporize entire squads with exploding barrels on occasion, though.

You can pick up and throw anything in the environment, which adds a fantastic wrinkle to Fallen Aces' already improvisational combat. Usually I'll go for trash cans, oil drums, or discarded melee weapons to help stagger enemies or interrupt ranged ones before I can close the gap, but there's also no shortage of beautiful bright red gas canisters that turned six on one fights into a cakewalk. I'd also be remiss if I failed to mention the tactical banana peel: Find a banana? You can eat it for a small health boost leaving behind a peel that trips up enemies, opening them up to an instant kill or takedown.

Fallen Aces will also have the reverse arc of most digital distribution prices: in a post on Steam, New Blood outlined plans to increase the price of the game as more episodes (an additional two after the one that just released) are added in early access. You still get everything eventually if you pay now, while late adopters will have to shell out more.

It makes a certain business sense in the era of eternal "I think I'll wait until it goes on sale," with New Blood's transparent pricing plan being, to paraphrase,"No, we promise it won't be cheaper than this for a long time, if ever." I'm not huge on playing games piecemeal in early access, but this first episode of Fallen Aces is already well worth the $10, while eventually having all three acts for that price feels like a steal. Fallen Ace's launch sale will last until June 21, after which its price will rise to $13.

Associate Editor

Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.