I’ve played a fair few games adapted from films over the years, they tend to be as good as film adaptations of games for the most part, i.e not good. Some I can be a tad more biased over others because I’ve enjoyed the film/series, the PC X-Files game I enjoyed but as a game it wasn’t great. the Die Hard game on PS1 all those years a go is a nostalgic classic but I’d say my favourite is probably the PC Bladerunner game, which hopefully is being remastered sooner rather than later. Way Down is actually the film adaptation of the movie titled The Vault released in 2021.
Way Down follows the story of The Vault pretty closely throughout without adding anything new to the concept. Walter’s team of treasure hunters discovered some sunken Spanish treasure, unfortunately the Spanish government don’t fancy sharing the proceeds. This obviously doesn’t sit well with Walter so they employ a brilliant young engineer called Thom when they realise a great opportunity is about to present itself. During the 2010 World Cup, Spain have reached the final, all Spanish eyes are on their Spanish counterparts attempts to bring the trophy home. With such a distraction it gives Walter’s team a great chance to get their hands on the treasure which is buried deep under a Spanish bank.
Way Down’s initial story comes across quite well and engrossing, however it is let down badly by the gameplay lack of getting to know the characters. As already stated Thom is an engineer who obviously is there for all the engineering tasks, Walter & Simon are your tech guys who do hacking roles whilst Lorraine seems to act as the person who investigates buildings the team are interested in. Beyond knowing the roles of each member there is no real backstory and no character is looked at in any real detail which is a real shame.
Way Down is almost played like a series of stages interspersed with mini games. Mini games involve hacking whilst the rest of Way Down is slowly walking to areas of interest. Way Down is a very slow game which is fine where stealth is involved but it’s just too slow and you’ll find yourself losing momentum over and over again. The last area when all the team together is just as boring as the previous elements as well which is just frustrating. The Lorraine elements have a little variety to them as you’re able to converse with characters and choose different answers but it’s only a minor positive.
Graphically Way Down is pretty poor, none of the environments you slowly plod through are particularly present whilst the characters models themselves are fairly forgettable. The start of Way Down actually sets an interesting scene but when you get into it, there just isn’t that much interesting to look at or interact with. Audio is fine, there’s nothing that particularly stands out nor is there anything negative to report on it. There is probably 5-8 hours worth of gameplay but it’s really not worth it.
Way Down starts in an interesting way and with the film plot supporting it there was some hope this would be engrossing bank heist game, unfortunately that’s not the case. There’s really not much to recommend with Way Down because there are just too many elements which let it down whether it’s the slow uninvolving gameplay or the way it looks.