Platform(s): PC, Wii U
Age rating: N/A
Ever since it was announced, the PC game Forced has been generating a lot of talk. The premise is simple – ever wanted to be a Gladiator with magical powers, working his way from the bottom right up to the top? It might sound like a simple idea, some might say it’s an over saturated genre, but as games like League of Legends have shown, there’s a huge market for releases like this. Is Forced worthy of your attention?
A 3rd person action adventure arena game, Forced starts off as you as a brand new Gladiator, starting off from the bottom and working your way up until you pass as a fully fledged Gladiator and although it’s got plenty of game modes to try out, the storyline is consistent throughout each one – there’s no chopping and changing, as is so often the case in modern day games. One of the main positives is the campaign mode, which thankfully is deep and entertaining.
One of the best parts of the campaign is its extremely detailed story telling. Right from the off, detailed commentary and structured help and support is given, helping to guide you through not only each section of the game, but also describing what you need to do for each challenge that the game throws at you. A lot of gamers look for this in games nowadays, and Forced certainly helps you to understand the game which helps you be immersed in the story telling and narrative aspect. The fantastic story telling however doesn’t stop here as Forced makes use of some fantastic audio description and sound effects, which really help to put you in the game.
At the start of the campaign mode, you learn the basics, learning the button combinations, every mode and all the key skills needed for basic combat. After this, the tasks progressively become harder, with the need for a patient and clever mind to accomplish all the challenges. As you move on through each challenge, the enemies will become harder, the tasks will become greater and more challenging, and the amount of concentration required to focus on multiple events all occurring at once suddenly becomes the main focus of the game. This is done in a methodical fashion, with enemies being brought back throughout, and although this may make the game incredibly difficult, it makes for some interestingly different combat, and does come with some great rewards to loot when you’ve completed the battles.
Once a challenge is finished, specials gems will be awarded to the gamer, which can be used to unlock two extra bonus challenges, which will not only allow for extra experience and more crystals, but will also allow for extra ‘perks’ to be unlocked on the class of choice. This is an incredibly enjoyable part about Forced and is definitely one part players will continue to revisit. As the campaign mode goes on, the game just gets better and better, as although enemies can become incredibly tough to beat, it’s a welcome challenge considering many modern games just don’t have that degree of difficulty.
Another really positive aspect about Forced is the class structure. In the game there are four main classes which can be chosen, each one with their own specific colour scheme, such as blue and red. Each class has its own primary weapon such as a bow and arrow, magic, gravity hammer and throwing shields. Every class has its strength, all roughly having the same damage rate and each one has its own unique power. Out of all the ones to chose from, it’s all down to personal preference, as some require patience and clever usage; others can be simply used for full on attacks, so there’s something for everyone in the class structure.
Not only does the class system play extremely well, but it also allows for some of the best customisation I’ve seen for a long time. As you complete the challenges and the crystals amount up, each one will allow for an extra slot on the perks section of the weapon. When preparing for challenges, it will allow you to choose a set of perks which can be used by a set button configuration. Although this is a fantastic feature, it’s made ever better by the limitation each perk has. Every perk from each class has a cool down time, ranging from around 10 seconds up to half a minute given the damage and ability of each perk. This adds to the difficulty of the game and brings the dimension of tactics.
Although the campaign mode is one which is extremely valuable, there are also two other main game modes in Forced, both of which are really enjoyable. There’s one other off-line game mode, which brings superb gameplay, tactics and all of the campaign tricks in to the mix. Survival game mode puts you in a main arena, facing a series of waves, each one containing harder and harder enemies with more and more coming at you. However, only 20 enemies can be alive at one given time. This makes it all the more important to use your skills sparingly, only using them when the time is right. It’s a unique take on survival modes, but becomes a difficult a bit too quickly for some gamers.
The other game mode which Forced contains is a co-op campaign mode. This allows for between 1 and 4 players to go through the campaign together, each one having their own class, working through the levels to get the crystals as they go. This is basically a replica of the single player off-line campaign mode; however with the added complexity of having friends with you, it makes it even more immersive and adds team play in to the mix, something that many gamers will clearly enjoy. It’s an enjoyable experience with friends, and there’s a great little community with Forced, so you’ll always find a match.
Graphically, Forced is fantastic. It contains really sharp, clear graphics which helps to bring in charm to the game and it really helps to immerse you in the world. Even in the early builds, Forced looked great, fantastic shadows, great effects and the magical aura of the graphics make it look and feel fantastic. Even the little things, like flames and colour trails show the detail of the game and it is as good as any of the top games that are available today by the big manufacturers, which is high praise for an indie game on a small budget.
Although all of these things are fantastic, there are a few negatives. The main issue in my opinion is the difficulty. In most games, there is usually the option to change the difficulty, often with a few modes to choose from. In Forced there is simply no option to do this. As the game goes on, it feels extremely difficult and for many gamers this is one thing that would put many people off. By having no difficulty control Forced becomes really hard to play through and can lead to it becoming a frustrating experience. Even the standard easy, normal and hard modes would make the game so much more playable and would give a much better overall experience for all types of gamers, especially those new to the genre.
Other than this, the only other negative is the menu system. Although the main menu is rather simple, the in-game menu is extremely hard to work around, with only some limited options being able to be changed. Although this allows for you to focus on the gameplay, its layout is somewhat squished and minute, making it hard to see what the menu is trying to show. If this was of a larger size, it would really help to make it a slightly more polished game.
All in all, Forced lives up to its expectation – the gameplay is fantastic, the controls are straightforward and both the detail and graphics in the game are some of the most enjoyable in years. To me, this is by far one of the best games I have played this year, with many hours of enjoyment and with it being something a bit different. It’s certainly worth purchasing, whether you’re new to the genre or a veteran; either way I hope you enjoy a challenge.
+ Detailed campaign mode
+ Superb graphic detail
- Difficulty of game makes it hard for some
Summary: Forced is graphically superb, full of challenges and great team gameplay. It should definitely be on your radar.
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