The blood-soaked game Forsaken is gearing up to shock PS owners early next year. Forsaken takes place in a maze-like arena where the player is supposed to solve puzzles with wit and a little ingenuity. There is also a two-player Battle Mode where two players can battle against each other in the open mazes. To develop the mazes with unbiased originality, Acclaim has three separate teams of developers working on four levels each. All are to be included in the final release of this well thought-out title. Forsaken looks like it will be the next level in the Descent line of games. But unlike Descent, this title has gravity and much better scenery in all of the levels and hasn't neglected the all-important fun factor that makes a game enjoyable as well as challenging.
Acclaim makes no secret that Forsaken is inspired by Descent. This 12-level title sends you through the winding interior of a futuristic station-along with handy 3-D map, so you won't get hopelessly lost. Forsaken is a much gorier game than Descent; expect to see bloody, severed limbs floating in the null gravity after you take out an enemy. When Acclaim brought the game to our offices for a second look, we got to see how few of its puzzles work. One, for instance, has you trapped between two giant fans. You need to blast one fan and send its shrapnel into the other to escape. That's good stuff!
Isn't this always the way: A fusion experiment goes horribly wrong, kills pretty much everyone on the planet, and you're one of the lucky few who survives. Now all you have to do with your free time is go around and take what riches are leftover. Problem is, you're not alone.
The one-player game puts you in the cockpit of one of 16 bikes (each with its own driver). The bikes have various attributes like speed, turning ability and firepower. As you play through each of the 15 cavernous, subway-inspired levels there are plenty of obstacles and enemies that get in your way. Fortunately, that's when your cool-looking weapons come into play.
With over 20 weapons to find, blowing the enemy to bits shouldn't be much of a problem. Whether you use the heat-seeking missiles (complete with a camera mount) or the gravity-altering warheads, the result is the same: a dead bad guy. In addition to the one-player game, there's a Split-screen Two-player Mode for some hardcore deathmatch play. There are eight multiplayer levels to choose from.
All of the aforementioned features combined with a speedy frame-rate and incredible, colored lighting and huge explosion effects make Forsaken on the PlayStation a game to watch out for.
- MANUFACTURER - Acclaim Studios
- THEME - ACTION
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1 or 2
The Terran System, once proud birthplace of humanity, now lies forsaken, destroyed by an atomic energy experiment gone awry. For many years, particle physicists on Earth had been delving deeper and deeper into the mysteries of matter itself. Unraveling layer after layer of subatomica, they finally discovered the means by which they could manipulate matter at its most basic level. Tragically, their experimentation created an uncontrollable fusion reaction that ripped the planet apart, sending an unstoppable shock wave through the entire Terran system. When it was over, the Earth was devastated. Torn from its orbital axis, the fragmented planet was now a lifeless husk, devoid of atmosphere and unfit for life.
The ruling Imperial Theocracy quickly removed anything considered valuable from the system and assigned robotic military personnel to watch over the dead world. Now, every bounty hunter, mercenary, space pirate and freebooting scum in the galaxy has gathered to raid the system and take anything that the Theocracy didn't want. Engaged in a desperate game of cat-and-mouse astride roaring anti-gravity pioncycles with deadly arsenals, they will battle to the death against each other and the dead world's ruthless robotic sentinels. For the one who emerges victorious, the lost glories of a dead civilization await. For the rest, only agonizing death.
Gameplay, Controls, Interface
The gameplay is almost identical to Descent —but Forsaken has taken things one step further. You play one of the freebooting scum who has come to raid Earth’s remaining riches. As you fight through the 16 levels in the game, you collect weapons, powerups, gold and crystals. If you can find all the treasures in the 15 regular levels of the game, you’ll unlock a secret 16th level. While this sounds easy at first, you not only have to fight the devious automated defense systems, you also have to fight off rivals that match you weapon for weapon. You can select to fly using any of the bikes in the game -- each one has advantages in speed, maneuverability or defenses.
The levels in the game are a good mix of blasting the enemy, puzzle solving, and racing against the clock. You’ll fight your way through abandoned subways, military bases, nuclear reactors and ancient temples. Each level is unique and while there’s no solid story background to link them together, the game doesn’t need one -- it’s simply too much fun to play to worry about having a plot that makes sense.
The AI behind the enemies in Forsaken is fantastic. Each enemy has different tactics, and they will respond to your play style. Some of the rival looters you have to fight are downright devious in how they avoid your shots while trying to get in a position to flank you. As fun as single player play is, the real fun is in the multiplayer mode. Forsaken has both a deathmatch free-for-all and team games, as well as several capture-the-flag style modes. Up to sixteen players can join in the mayhem, although the current version of the game bogs down when playing over the Internet with more than six or seven players. An update to improve game speed is expected soon.
Wow -- that’s the best way to describe the stunning graphics in Forsaken. The first few times I played each new level I was quickly killed, because I spent too much time looking at the scenery rather than focusing on the enemies attacking me. Everything from the ship motion to the weapon fire looks fantastic. This game takes full advantage of all the lighting effects, pixel smoothing and texture blending that today’s 3D cards offer. Forsaken simply offers the best 3D graphics I've ever seen. On my P200 with a 3Dfx card, I got a framerate I’d only seen on much faster systems with Quake.
While you do need a top-notch 3D accelerator to get the full effect of the stunning graphics, the game developers put a lot of time into making the graphics look great without one. You still get most of the lighting effects and, while the graphics can’t compare to the 3D accelerated mode, they still look better than any other non-accelerated game on the market.
This game also sounds great. The weapons fire and ship effects are top-notch, providing an immersive feel to the game. The soundtrack is a mix of pulse-pounding tunes that blend well with the style of each game level. When you set up your player you select a character you will play in the game, each of which has voice-over comments they will make as you play. You can also select the voice for the bike computer. Some characters and computer voices are more garrulous than others, which makes for a varied mix of personalities that can be tailored to each player’s liking. A few of the characters do swear, but only if the mature content is enabled from the options menu.
P-133 without acceleration or a P-100 with D3D compatible 3D accelerator card, 16 MB RAM, 4X CD-ROM drive, DirectX 5.0 compatible sound card, Windows 95
Forsaken is the most enjoyable shooter game I’ve played since Descent II. The stunning graphics and complex levels make this a must have for fans of first-person shooters. And if you’re a Descent fan waiting impatiently for Descent III to come out, you simply must buy Forsaken -- it’s what we’ve been waiting for. Interplay is going to be hard pressed to release a game that matches, much less tops, this one.
Shooter fans looking for a cool 360-degree trip should be very pleased with Forsaken. Playing as a mercenary, you raid what's left of the Earth following an apocalyptic disaster. Forsaken's visuals are stunning--think Shadow Master with Descent's game engine. The lighting and explosions are colorful and distortion-free, while subtle effects like enemy ships with cloaking devices are a nice touch. However, moving through the beautiful environments is tough: Your ship slides too much, and the multi-function controls take patience to master. Hopefully, control concerns won't be Forsaken before the game hits shelves this spring.
Forsaken's sharp environmental detail and spectacular real-time lighting effects are just window dressing for a poorly devised game. Unfortunately, bland enemies, derivative gameplay, and squeaky, unappealing sound effects (laser fire on helium--anyone remember Atari's Phoenix?) run rampant.
In Forsaken, you're a futuristic airbike-riding bounty hunter scrounging abandoned Earth for lost riches. The gamepla's a direct rip-off of Descent's ship-based first-person action; but mapless, confusing levels completely negate its shooting thrills. The horrid interface (which, inexcusably, does not support the dual analog controller) is so complicated that you'll need to hold Select as a shift button in order to cycle your weapons or use nitro. The head-to-head feature's a wash, too, because it lacks a radar. For your own sake, skip this title at all costs.