Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features:Single game mode
You Probably Think We Have An Easy life here at PC. That when not poncing around the world, we are to be found sat on our arses, playing games for money. Don't believe the hype. It's a living hell. If only we'd tried harder we could have secured souldestroying, mind-crushing 'proper' jobs; thriving, driving, flexible initiative, maximising our potential. Unfortunately, a sick chain has led us to this hateful basement, where we're forced to sift through the monthly gaming detritus for your benefit. It's a thankless task, the moribund atmosphere punctured only by random cries of despair. Where did it all go wrong? Very occasionally though, a game comes along that almost makes it all worthwhile. Forsaken is one such game. Oh yes.
Assuming the art department have done their job (whatever those guys do), these well-crafted words should be decorated with some of the finest screenshots known to man. The real thing is even more impressive. Reach out and touch, it doesn't get much better. Applicable adjectives are many and varied, so consult your thesaurus for 'staggering', 'astounding', 'liquid', 'televisual', and probably 'visceral', whatever that means. Alternatively, simply try 'unbe-freaking-lievable'. And all as smooth as an eel. Developers Probe have created an engine. Nobody in the real world knows what an engine is, but theirs is great, and they're not letting anyone else have it. And who can blame them? It's a beautiful thing, making Forsaken arguably the slickest, bestlooking game ever to grace the PC. Hateful marketing skunks often bandy about glib phrases such as 'total immersion,' but when you find yourself reeling back in your leather swivel chair and cursing aloud in amazement, there has to be something going on.
It's the same thing
So what's it all about? For those who haven't been paying attention, Forsaken is a first-person, futuristic 3D shoot 'em up offering 360 degrees of motion. In seeking a simple comparison, the game Descent springs readily to mind, despite the vehement protestations of both Probe and Forsaken's publishers, Acclaim. For newcomers, Descent involved flying around tunnels shooting robots. Forsaken also involves flying around tunnels shooting robots. Of course it's like Descent, and in denying this they look really stupid every time they open their mouths. The point is that Descent was a brilliant game, but that was then and this is now. Forsaken betters its spiritual forebear in pretty much every aspect, and the leap in technology is like the difference between 78rpm records and compact discs.
For those who require a story to justify spending hours in front of their PCs... It's the end of the world, thanks to a freak nuclear accident. You are one of 16 scavengers raiding the ravaged planet for your own personal gain, equipped with a fairly nifty anti-gravity cycle. This has given Probe licence to go to town with the characters, and they have introduced some very strange bounty hunters, all with their own speech files, some of which border on Carry On territory. Witness: "What a climax," "I've been aching for a real weapon," and "You weren't hard at all" from one of the female bikers. It's a Croydon thing. Incidentally, one of the onboard computer voices is provided by Brenda, Probe's receptionist, and you will learn to love the way she says "Shield" in her dulcet South London tones.
In single-player mode, at its basest level Forsaken works like a platform game, rewarding your brain for cleverness. There are no dynamic saves as such, but rather restart points that pop up intermittently throughout the levels. Although this occasionally necessitates covering dead ground, it works in that it offers a tangible reward for making progress. Which isn't easy. Relentless sinister robots block every turn. They will not deviate, and take a lot of killing. Many follow a set path, but the airborne ones flock around a predetermined leader, with a new one immediately appointed upon its demise. Some even hide behind pillars and attempt to lure you out so they can kill you in the face. Bastards. Such is the realism, enemies are sometimes hard to pick out against the background; but no one said it was going to be easy. Your bike is equipped with a glorified v useful, and events such as mirror, which is particularly opening can also be witnessed in your mind's eye. The primary and secondary weapons are many and varied, ranging from a basic pulsar, through lasers and homing missiles, to a titan, for when you absolutely have to kill every last muthafucker in the room. Forsaken certainly can't be accused of 'grey corridor syndrome', with some elaborate use of colour and ridiculously intricate graphical detail. Even lens flare has thankfully been kept to an acceptable level. The later levels are immense, and some sections involve a modicum of thought. For instance, shooting a switch through a gap in some boxes will instigate a fork-lift truck to shift them out of the way. Which is nice.
Forsaken is a game that you will play in your mind long after turning your off you PC, with the game's coloured light and music haunting you in your dreams. It's a massive game in every sense of the word, and not owning it would be a grave oversight. Obviously, feel free to steal it or 'tape' it, but do have a look. Descent is dead. Forsaken lives. The year is one.