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The Forgotten City is an isometric top-down shooter where you explore the ruins of an ancient civilization, uncovering its secrets and fighting off evil creatures that lurk around every corner. It’s a pretty simple concept, one which will likely be familiar to fans of the Gothic and Goldeneye franchises, and it plays out with the tight controls of the genre. The Forgotten City also lets you upgrade your weapons and abilities, which means you can make yourself pretty hard to kill.
While it’s true that the PlayStation 4 is a powerful gaming system, its graphical capabilities pale in comparison to its contemporaries. That’s not to say it can’t run games well, however. A new title called The Forgotten City from Strange Loop Games made it look like the PS4 was running on a mid-range PC at times, and that’s a great example of how the system can be pushed to its limits.
The Forgotten City is an absolutely fantastic game. The design and art style are incredible, and the game plays out in a way that is so innovative, that it’s easy to just sit back and enjoy the journey. You’re not really playing the game, you’re exploring and discovering. It’s like an interactive movie. However, The Forgotten City does have some issues. In the first few hours, it’s almost impossible to figure out what to do, and you’ll die by accident, because you don’t know what you’re doing. Once you sort out your abilities, you’re left with a few issues. The main one being that the game is pretty hard, but not unfair.
I had the pleasure of experiencing Modern Storyteller’s The Forgotten City in a preview build a few months ago. I was really taken aback by that. Not only did it have an interesting concept, but everything about it was excellent, including the script, acting, music, and visuals. It was one of the few games I couldn’t put down once I began playing it. I still can’t believe this project began as a Skyrim mod!
The Forgotten City’s tale begins like many others… for the first 10 minutes or so. After finding you drifting down a river, an unknown lady finds you and pulls you to safety. She requests your assistance in locating a colleague who went missing while exploring ancient ruins. Following in his footsteps, you come upon the ruins and are drawn through a mysterious gateway.
It always seems like a good idea to enter a magical time and space portal.
Things begin to take an unforeseen turn following this incident. This portal transports you to a fascinating Roman city from two thousand years ago. Even stranger is the fact that there are gilded sculptures of individuals appearing terrified or begging for their life strewn around the place. That’s when you learn about The Golden Rule, which states that one person’s misdeeds impact everyone else.
While attempting to figure out where you are or what is going on, you will quickly discover two things. The first is that there is no way out of The Forgotten City. The second is that if anybody violates The Golden Rule (no murdering, stealing, assaulting, etc. ), everyone pays the price by being turned into a golden statue for all eternity. Consider it a hybrid of the curses that afflicted Medusa and King Midas.
The Golden Rule has a hefty price tag.
Because no one else has figured out what’s going on, it’s up to you to figure out what’s causing the curse and how to break it. In order to get to the bottom of things in The Forgotten City, a lot of research and exploration is required. One of the most intriguing elements to me is that fighting is, for the most part, voluntary. The Forgotten City invites you to talk to everyone, investigate all that is accessible, and consider before you act.
You are free to kill anyone you want, but it will not go you very far. Allowing your homicidal flag to fly will only result in the penalty prescribed by The Golden Rule, i.e. everyone being transformed into golden statues. If this happens, you’ll have to re-enter the odd portal, which will transport you back to the moment you originally arrived. It reminds me a lot of The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask in this respect. Even more so since when you restart the loop, some story-related goods will still be in your inventory. Certain stories will need you to violate The Golden Rule in order to accomplish them, but this just adds another degree of strategy to how you approach each mission.
On the toilet, this poor man has been stuck in time for all eternity.
The Forgotten City isn’t empty of gameplay only because it concentrates on carefully inspecting everything and chatting with everyone. As I previously mentioned, you may opt to fight if you want to, but it will not get you very far in the narrative. Instead, you’ll have to piece together relationships between individuals and events to get a better understanding of what’s going on. It’s also crucial to understand how to use the time-loop to aid the individuals you’ll encounter along the road and get around certain barriers. The majority of the pleasure is figuring out how to use it in various ways.
Let’s try it again with the time travel!
I should point you that The Forgotten City is a non-linear game. You have complete freedom to travel anywhere you want and talk with whoever you choose. There are a few outliers that will only become accessible once you’ve completed a task or aided someone in particular, but they are rare. This results in complete immersion throughout the game, which is certainly one of the reasons I got so engrossed.
You may customize your character’s sex, race, and background, like in many contemporary RPGs. Each background choice has its own set of benefits. The Archaeologist, for example, has extra knowledge about the old world you’re imprisoned in. When sprinting, the Fugitive travels 25% quicker. The Soldier has a handgun, but you only have 10 rounds to work with during the game. The Amnesiac, on the other hand, has a thicker skull that makes you 50% more resistant to harm. These benefits may not seem to be significant at first glance, but I was surprised by how much they influenced various parts of the game. Make an informed decision!
As an archaeologist, you will be able to interpret some of the old languages you may come across.
Anyone who has played Skyrim will be familiar with The Forgotten City’s graphics, since it began as a Skyrim hack. However, the visuals and animations in this game are much superior than those seen in Skyrim. The face movements, in particular, are considerably more lifelike, albeit some lip syncing is dubious at times. The surroundings are very realistic, with some dynamic lighting effects thrown in for good measure. During my time with the preview version, I did see several pop-ups, but those problems have been resolved in the launch release. I was also pleasantly pleased to discover that the frame rate remained constant at 60 fps throughout.
The sound design is excellent. The sound effects are excellent, as one would expect from a game based on Skyrim. The voice acting was excellent throughout the game, with many standout performances. Then there’s the soundtrack, which is just fantastic. The symphonic movie soundtrack achieves the ideal balance of awe, suspense, and uneasiness. It wonderfully sets the tone for this gloomy mystery.
The Golden Rule is unforgiving.
The Forgotten City is unlike any other game I’ve ever played. When I said I couldn’t put it down, I wasn’t joking. After that, I went back and played it with a new character. The fact that this game was created by just three individuals astounds me! The innovative idea, fluid controls, ingenious time-looping mechanism, and beautiful visuals are comparable to those of big studios. There are four alternative endings in this game, allowing for a lot of replayability. But don’t just take my word for it; see for yourself. This is a game that will be remembered for a long time.
Since this began as a Skyrim mod, it’s obvious that the character models and settings were inspired by that game. That said, everything is a lot more polished than in Skyrim.
There isn’t a lot of fighting (unless you choose to go that way), but what is there is done well. The game’s inquisitive and exploratory spirit comes through the most.
The whole sound design is amazing. The sound effects are excellent, the music provides a great sense of suspense and uneasiness, and the voice performances are consistently outstanding.
The Forgotten City is one of those games that draws you in with its secrets and won’t let go until you’ve finished it. This game stands out from the others since it focuses on inquiry and exploration rather than direct combat.
Final Score: 9.0
The Forgotten City is currently available on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series S/X.
On a computer, I reviewed it.
The publisher sent me a copy of The Forgotten City.
As an example:
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Look at them!
The Forgotten City is a survivor-horror game that gives players a second chance to save themselves after a plane crash leaves them stranded on the outskirts of a newly discovered underground city. As found in the genre’s typical formula, we start off in the middle of a nightmarish scenario in which the only way to escape is to explore the world around us.. Read more about the forgotten city gameplay and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
What mod is the forgotten city based on?
The Forgotten City is based on the map of Rapture from the Bioshock series.
Can you save the forgotten city Skyrim?
Unfortunately, Bethesda does not allow users to save the game in Skyrim.
Where is the forgotten city in Skyrim?
The forgotten city is in the mountains of Skyrim.
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