Forsaken (video game)
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|Developer(s)||Probe Entertainment (PC & PS)
Iguana Entertainment (N64)
|Release date(s)||EU April 1998 (PS)
JP 2 September 1999 (PS)
Forsaken is a 3D first-person shooter video game. The game was developed by Probe Entertainment for Microsoft Windows and PlayStation and Iguana Entertainment for the Nintendo 64 and published by Acclaim Entertainment.
Similar to Descent, Forsaken had a strong following due to its "six degrees of freedom" gameplay, but suffered in popularity to the conventional ground-based 3D first-person shooter games because of its challenging nature.
In the distant future, the advancement of science has exceeded humanity's ability to control it. During a subatomic experiment, an accident causes an uncontrollable fusion reaction, utterly destroying the surface of the planet Earth.
One year later, Earth has been classified as "condemned" by the ruling imperial theocracy, meaning that it is now legal for anyone to salvage anything left on the planet. Mercenaries from all over come to raid the dead planet, forced to battle not only each other, but the robot sentinels that the government has left behind.
The game was developed by Probe Entertainment during the 1996–1998 period as the company became merged into its parent company (Acclaim). At that time, Microsoft's newly bought and re-branded rendering engine (DirectX) had just started to dominate PC development.
The game was heavily technology driven at the beginning and was titled ProjectX. This was changed to Condemned when the story elements were added although it was later changed to Forsaken due to a potential naming conflict.[clarification needed]
Due to the heavy technology focus of the game it was often bundled with hardware to show off the cards and was used as a benchmark for many years after the initial release of the game.
This game has an ESRB rating of "M for Mature," it was so rated for violent deaths in the introductory cutscene and the player character's death, which is shown to be flown to wall and gibbed, complete with splotch sound.
Forsaken is primarily a multiplayer first-person shooter. The game may be played in single-player or multiplayer modes. The game is based on a 3D-engine that allows unlimited 360-degree movements. This concept is similar to the Descent series.
The single-player mode has four difficulty modes: easy, normal, hard and total mayhem. Each has progressively stronger enemies and less ammo to spare. Due to the near-impossible challenge presented by the latter mode, Acclaim provided the patch 1.00 that (among other things) decreased the difficulty of the game dramatically. There are 15 levels which have to be completed by the player — sometimes within a time limit — and occasionally include a huge end-boss against which the player must exhaust a fair amount of ammunition while dodging excessive retaliatory fire. In order to complete a mission, different efforts must be made by the player such as finding the exit or activating triggers to open locked doors. The primary objective is to destroy the enemies within a level. The enemies are static (turrets launching homing missiles, drones, other mercenaries, etc.), though not all will be spawned at the start of a level. Each level includes a hidden crystal, and once all are collected a secret map is unlocked.
There are six different types of multiplayer games: Free For All (deathmatch), Team Game, Capture The Flag, Flag Chase, Bounty Hunt, and Team Bounty Hunt. There are various sub-options for each.
The Swarm (Dominic Glynn & Stephen Root) performed and produced the Forsaken sound track which features dynamic drum and bass and electronica tracks. An album featuring many of the original tracks and new remixes, was released on No Bones Records.
Forsaken received mixed to positive reviews. Aggregating review website GameRankings and Metacritic gave the PC version 80.32%, the Nintendo 64 version 75.33% and 75/100 and the PlayStation version 74.59%.