Forsaken © Acclaim

All too often in the gaming industry, there are few innovators and far too many imitators. A company will come out with a breakthrough title such as Doom or Dune II, and then countless other spinoffs of these games will be created to boost sales figures across the board. Parallax/Interplay came out with one of these innovative titles back in 1994 called Descent, which introduced the idea of true three dimensional game playing to the masses. For me in particular, Descent was a heart pounding, gut-wrenching, edge of your seat experience, but as could be expected, a million spinoffs on the original came out to challenge the title for its throne. With so many other clones out there, I often found myself comparing them to the original in terms of quality of gameplay and the initial zest of playing a style of game I've never encountered before. Therefore, when I first began to read about Forsaken, I immediately "shelved" it within the derivative category along with most other games being released this summer. That was my first mistake.

It's been a long time (perhaps as far back as when the brilliant Quake II was released by iD/Activision) since I've been so utterly impressed with the technical savvy and attention to detail that a game could exude. Designed by Probe Entertainment, Forsaken is certainly derivative in it's style of gameplay, but fills in many of the technical gaps created in the four years since Descent was released to the public. In what could be considered a relative comeback after a long string of mediocre games based off popular movie franchises, it appears that the game's publisher, Acclaim, will have a winner on its hands.

A mind boggling, 3D accelerator tour-de-force, Forsaken is one of the few titles that come to mind that I believe truly show the power and awesome potential that cards such as the 3DFX yield for the hardcore game playing public. With outstanding Direct 3D+ support out of the box, Forsaken is first and foremost about visual excellence. From the quality and generous use of real-time colored lighting effects to the screen blistering frame rates, the cumulative effect is one of complete immersion. Many times during the course of playing this game I found myself head bobbing, trying to peer over a wall or ducking from enemy fire. It's really quite an amazing effect. You'll further appreciate this game's graphical superiority when watching the numerous little visual goodies such as the smoke trails that follow missles, the beautiful explosions, and the high amount of detail on the enemy ships. I could really go on at length about how graphically superior this title is, but no textual description or screenshots would substitute for seeing this game running right before your eyes.. it's that good.

While a few other titles can claim that they are on par with the game in the visual department, few are able to match this sort of graphical prowess with superior gameplay, and this is where I feel Forsaken really hits a home run. The amount of gameplay variety that's available through the countless number of weapons and powerups should keep most players eager to blast through the levels to both further the ship's power and see the excellent effects associated with those finds. In addition, the levels themselves are very challenging and most players should find plenty of traps and surprises waiting for them through the many types of environments. The textures and designs of these levels are very polished.. I haven't found myself bored with the scenery even once. The game always leaves an impression that something fresh to see will be waiting around the corner, and it makes things exciting and enjoyable.

Not only are the graphics and gameplay above average, the quality of the sound effects and voice-overs are outstanding too. The biker/bike computer commentaries are very welcome additions to play. They give the game real character and a humorous edge that gives Forsaken some attitude. For those people out there who enjoyed Duke Nukem 3D for similar reasons, you won't be disappointed with the numerous personalities you can play with, such as the wisecracking Ex-Cop or Rex Hardy.

Probably one of the most welcome surprises was the quality of the enemy AI. Ships appear to be rather human in their strategies in dodging your fire and cornering you from all sides in group attack situations. The enemies seem to understand the advantages that their particular weapons yield them, and will attack you accordingly. All of these qualities, needless to say, add up to a tremendously fun single player gaming experience.

That's not to say, however, that the multiplayer action of the game leaves one unsatisfied. If anything, the quality of the multiplayer maps along with the sheer numbers of weapons and powerups available makes for quite an enjoyable multiplaying experience. I haven't had this much fun playing against other opponents for a long, long time. In fact, I might draw comparisons to the king of multiplayer gaming, Quake, in terms of sheer excitement and replay value. It'll be interesting to see if this game garners a good grassroots level of support for addons and new maps, but I for one hope it does.

I really can't say enough great things about this game, because I'm thoroughly entertained by it, and if you enjoy playing intense, graphically superior 3D action games, then Forsaken is a must buy. Sure, it's a derivative concept (politically correct for clone), but the impressive advantages that this game has over its predecessors makes it worthy of any game player's hard earned money. Run to the store and purchase this as quickly as possible, because I promise you this one's going to fly off the shelves fast.

GAME TYPE
FPS Space Shooter

REQUIREMENTS
P166, 200M HD, 16M RAM, 3D Acceleration

PRICE
$29.99

REVIEWER
L.S.


INFORMATION

Published

04/15/98

Demo?

Yes

Release date

04/98

85%

Quick Summary:
A refreshing new space shooter.


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