Falling Skies for the Wii U is a difficult game for me to rate because it seems to have some good things going for it, while at the same time it has some pretty nasty faults. Falling Skies is a tactical turn-based RPG based off the TV series on TNT by the same name. For those unfamiliar with the show, here is a brief synopsis: An alien overlord race known as the Espheni have invaded planet Earth and destroyed the world’s power grids, armies, and most of the human population. Along with the Espheni, a species of green, six-legged creatures known as “skitters” are also on the attack with the help of mechanical attack drones that they appear to be able to control. The game takes place in this apocalyptic future as you control a squad of survivors attempting to keep their base of operations running while simultaneously seeking a way to win the war against the Espheni.











While the apocalyptic sci-fi setting may seem appealing at first, the story telling in the game leaves much to be desired. The story is told through poorly animated cut scenes, and the character’s stiff, animatronic-like movements will take you right out of the experience if you’re a fan looking to immerse yourself in the world the show created for this game. The plot itself is nothing too groundbreaking either, so motivation to complete the game for the story is pretty much non-existent.












Indeed the story telling is flawed, but Falling Skies strongest point is in its game play. Like any good tactical turn-based game, you control a group of survivors as you explore areas to find alien tech that may help in the war, gather supplies for your base, and rescue stranded convoys to name just a few. Each squad member has their own special class, and they can level up to learn new abilities. This makes recruiting and making a balanced squad plenty of fun. You also have the option to use the surrounding environment as cover while you attempt to safely maneuver your teammates to the designated goal while shooting up some aliens. While their can be times where controlling where your troops go can be frustrating (The game doesn’t utilize the touch pad), the game can still provide some fun and challenge if you don’t scrutinize too much.













When you’re not out on a story-based mission, you’ll recuperate at the base camp of the human survivors. From here, you can use resources you’ve gathered from missions to hire and upgrade your squad members, as well as send teammates off on solo missions to gather more supplies. There is even a memorial area where you can view a list of your fallen comrades as you complete the game.













Despite the decent gameplay, Falling Skies’ visuals are a big issue. Graphics certainly do not make a game good or bad, but this game’s Gamecube era visuals give you the feeling the developers neglected to flesh them out. Pair this with the previously mentioned cut scenes, and you get a game that has the look and feel of a budget title, without the budget price. The music is also nothing to write home about either; with most tracks sounding generic and lacking the emotion you’d want to immerse yourself in.













In a nutshell, Falling Skies is a game that fails to engage the player. Cut scenes are animated poorly, graphics, with their dull textures are dated, and these elements will really take the player out of the story. It’s true that there is some fun to be gleaned from the turn-based tactical game play, but at a $39.99 price tag it makes this game difficult to recommend even to fans of the show. If you do enjoy the show or are a fan of the turn-based tactics genre, it’s best to wait for this game to go on sale.