Forsaken (video game)

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Forsaken
Forsaken cover.png
European cover art
Developer(s)Probe Entertainment (PC & PS)
Iguana Entertainment UK (N64)
Nightdive Studios (remaster)
Publisher(s)Acclaim Entertainment
Nightdive Studios (remaster)
Director(s)Andy Squirrell (PC & PS)
Guy Miller (N64)
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows, PlayStation, Nintendo 64, Linux, macOS, Xbox One
ReleaseMicrosoft Windows
  • NA: 24 April 1998[1]
  • WW: 31 July 2018 (remaster)
PlayStation
  • EU: April 1998
  • NA: 30 April 1998
Nintendo 64
  • NA: 30 April 1998
  • EU: 1 May 1998
Linux, macOS, Xbox One
  • WW: 31 July 2018 (remaster)
Genre(s)First-person shooter
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Forsaken is a 3D first-person shooter video game. The game was developed by Probe Entertainment for Microsoft Windows and PlayStation and Iguana Entertainment UK for the Nintendo 64 and published by Acclaim Entertainment. A remastered version was released in 2018 for Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux and Xbox One.

Gameplay[edit]

Forsaken is a 3D first-person shooter in the style of Descent (1995), featuring similar weapons, power-ups, having missiles and mines being labeled "secondary weapons", and involving 3D movement of a vehicle through several tunnels.[2][3] It is set on a futuristic Earth that, in 2113, had all of its life destroyed as a result of a shockwave from a science accident.[4] The goal of the game differs between formats. In the PC and PlayStation versions, the player acts as someone trying to obtain the planet's lost treasure, while in the Nintendo 64 release, the goal is to kill looters finding the treasure.[3] There are also elements of Quake.[5]

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 22 missions, each requiring the player to either destroy all enemy ships in a maze of tunnels, or achieve a certain target, such as completing within a time limit and/or at a specific percentage of enemies murdered.[6] Similar to Starfox 64 (1997), different paths appear depending on which targets were achieved.[2][6]

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. Up to 16 players can join in on the PC version, four on the Nintendo 64, and two for the PlayStation.[3] Also on the Nintendo 64 version, a maximum of three computer players can join.[3][6] The PC version also has the ability to record demos.[3]

Development[edit]

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 layer (DirectX) had just started to dominate PC development.

Fergus McGovern headed the development team.[7] The game was heavily technology driven at the beginning and was titled ProjectX.[citation needed] This was changed to Condemned[7] when the story elements were added although it was later changed to Forsaken due to a potential naming conflict.[clarification needed]

A Sega Saturn version of the game was announced,[8] but canceled as part of Acclaim's general withdrawal of support for the system.[9]

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.

The Swarm (Dominic Glynn and Stephen Root) performed and produced the Forsaken soundtrack which features dynamic drum and bass and electronica tracks. An album featuring many of the original tracks and remixes, was released on No Bones Records.

Various employees of Acclaim Studios Teesside, the developer who worked on the Nintendo 64 port of the game, made plans for a sequel to Forsaken, which were permanently scrapped when Acclaim closed the studio down in 2002.[10]

Release[edit]

Forsaken was one of few non-sports video games at the time to be released on multiple formats, as well as a rare game to have all of its formats released close to each other.[3]

Reception[edit]

Paul Biondich of AllGame argued that although its gameplay was uninventive, its PC version, with its 3D Accelerator chip and Direct3D, has "utterly impressive technical savvy and attention to detail" few other games had achieved. He highlighted "the quality and generous use of real-time colored lighting effects", "the screen blistering frame rates", explosions, the detail of enemy ships, and smoke trails of missiles.[14] He also was immersed in the visuals: "Many times during the course of playing this game you may find yourself head bobbing, trying to peer over a wall or ducking from enemy fire. It's really quite an amazing effect."[14] He praised the diversity and amount of surprise in the gameplay, attributed to the level scenery, traps, and huge amount of weapons and powerups.[14]

Edge stated that, although the PlayStation version feels familiar to Descent, it refined and updated the formula with features such as its auto-levelling system and orientation aid.[18] Hyper gave the game 92% and said: "Unless someone pulls some wonder game out of the bag at E3, this one looks like it's going to be the all-formats game of the year. If you like action shooter games, this is a must-have".[3]

Martin Kitts of N64 Magazine compared Forsaken to Quake and Descent (1995), as well as 2D shooters such as R-Type (1987) and Axelay (1992).[6] He called it the best "serious" Nintendo 64 title since GoldenEye, and "a game that, although not for the fainthearted, holds a genuinely rewarding experience for those who are prepared to persevere".[6] He wrote that the game's best moments were those that required thinking, although did enjoy the more intense parts, such as enemies popping up behind the player and shots from guns hidden in alcoves.[6] Despite the use of static, non-animated character models, he called the visuals impressive nonetheless, particularly the lighting effects as the best on the Nintendo 64, "giving heated battles a pleasant lava lamp effect, with shots and explosions bouncing around the room in slow motion."[6] He enjoyed how enemy ships, when destroyed, spin out of control, fire random shots, and occasionally dive on the player, adding to the fast-paced gameplay.[6] He also higlighted there being no fogging in the four-playing mode.[6]

It did take a little bit of time for him to appreciate the game, however; he was critical of the default control system, as well as the first stage that "will leave most players cold, soon turning into a tedious slog around a nondescript 360° maze". He also was disappointed in the multiplayer mode, writing it was hard to tell players from each other and that weapons barely took off hit points of other players, resulting in overly-long matches.[6]

Bobba Fatt of GamePro disliked Forsaken, describing it as an "endless maze of frustration" wasting "excellent control and four-player split-screen capability". He criticized the lack of radar, which made it difficult to look for the other players in multi-player, and made single-player a chore: "You'll run in perpetual circles looking for your objective or final enemy until you either memorize the level or pass out. Even worse, the unimaginative bad guys blend right into the background, and every level looks just like the previous one."[24]

Hyper's Dan Toose called the PC version one of the best-looking 3D accelerator titles.[3] He wrote the PlayStation version was the smoothest in frame-rate, but also only allowed for two players and was the hardest to control with the D-pad.[3] He called the Nintendo 64 version the most "impressive" for its diverse missions, particularly how they felt as intense as real-life situations.[3]

Next Generation reviewed the Nintendo 64 version of the game, rating it three stars out of five, and stated that "overall, this is solid, enjoyable stuff with not a hint of originality to cloud the fun".[5]

Next Generation reviewed the PlayStation version of the game, rating it three stars out of five, and wrote that "all in all, this is a decent title. Probe has mixed together the best elements of Descent and Quake and added some pretty tricky enemy AI, resulting in a game that shines, although in slightly different ways, on each platform".[34]

Next Generation reviewed the PC version of the game, rating it three stars out of five, and stated that "Forsaken is a good game that will provide a nice distraction until players get their hands on the big guns like Sin, Half-Life, and Duke Nukem Forever".[33]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "News for April 24, 1998". Online Gaming Review. 24 April 1998. Archived from the original on 4 December 2000. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
    "April 24, 1998: "Acclaim's first-person 3D action game Forsaken has been spotted in stores."
  2. ^ a b c Boyer, Crispin; Smith, Shawn; Davison, John; Kujawa, Kraig (July 1998). "Forsaken 64". Electronic Gaming Monthly. Vol. 11, no. 7. Ziff Davis. p. 134. Retrieved 13 May 2022 – via Internet Archive.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Toose, Dan (June 1998). "Forsaken". Hyper. No. 56. Next Media Pty Ltd. pp. 62–65. Retrieved 20 September 2021.
  4. ^ a b Schneider, Peer (3 June 1998). "Forsaken 64". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  5. ^ a b c "Finals". Next Generation. No. 43. Imagine Media. July 1998. p. 111. Retrieved 13 May 2022 – via Internet Archive.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Kitts, Martin (June 1998). "Forsaken". N64 Magazine. No. 16. Future plc. pp. 50–55. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  7. ^ a b Rider, David; Semrad, Ed (April 1997). "Probe Has the Games to Bring Acclaim Back to Life!". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 93. Ziff Davis. p. 86. First up is a game code named Condemned, an awesome first-person perspective shooter on the N64, PlayStation, Saturn and PC. It's Fergus' baby-a special project he has a team of 15 working on.
  8. ^ "Canned!". Sega Saturn Magazine. No. 19. Emap International Limited. May 1997. p. 7. Acclaim's Fantastic Four and Batman and Robin are now off the schedule (although the potentially brilliant Condemned is still coming out) ...
  9. ^ "Acclaim Back Away from Sega". Sega Saturn Magazine. No. 22. Emap International Limited. August 1997. p. 15. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  10. ^ "All there is to know about Forsaken 2". 21 October 2012.
  11. ^ "Forsaken 64 for Nintendo 64". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 19 March 2009. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  12. ^ "Forsaken for PC". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 21 November 2021. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  13. ^ "Forsaken for PlayStation". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 15 November 2009. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  14. ^ a b c d Biondich, Paul. "Forsaken - Review". AllGame. All Media Network. Archived from the original on 15 November 2014. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  15. ^ Stratton, Geoff (20 May 1998). "Forsaken". Computer Games Strategy Plus. Strategy Plus, Inc. Archived from the original on 5 July 2003. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  16. ^ Goble, Gordon (August 1998). "Beautiful Bruiser (Forsaken Review)" (PDF). Computer Gaming World. No. 169. Ziff Davis. p. 178. Retrieved 13 May 2022.
  17. ^ Edge staff (July 1998). "Forsaken 64". Edge. No. 60. Future plc.
  18. ^ a b Edge staff (June 1998). "Forsaken (PS)". Edge. No. 59. Future plc. pp. 86–87.
  19. ^ Smith, Shawn; Boyer, Crispin; Kujawa, Kraig; Davison, John (July 1998). "Forsaken". Electronic Gaming Monthly. Vol. 11, no. 7. Ziff Davis. p. 138. Retrieved 13 May 2022 – via Internet Archive.
  20. ^ "フォーセイケン [PS]". Famitsu (in Japanese). Enterbrain. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  21. ^ "Forsaken 64". Game Informer. No. 64. FuncoLand. August 1998.
  22. ^ "Forsaken (PC)". Game Informer. No. 63. FuncoLand. July 1998.
  23. ^ "Forsaken (PS)". Game Informer. No. 64. FuncoLand. August 1998.
  24. ^ a b Bobba Fatt (1998). "Forsaken Review for N64". GamePro. IDG Entertainment. Archived from the original on 9 February 2005. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  25. ^ Hubble, Calvin (June 1998). "Forsaken Review (N64)". Game Revolution. CraveOnline. Archived from the original on 20 February 2004. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  26. ^ Hubble, Calvin (June 1998). "Forsaken - PC Review". Game Revolution. CraveOnline. Archived from the original on 22 February 2004. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  27. ^ Cooke, Mark (June 1998). "Forsaken Playstation Review". Game Revolution. CraveOnline. Archived from the original on 19 April 2004. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  28. ^ Gerstmann, Jeff (25 May 1998). "Forsaken 64 Review". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  29. ^ Gerstmann, Jeff (14 May 1998). "Forsaken Review (PC)". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 10 September 2014. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  30. ^ Gerstmann, Jeff (21 May 1998). "Forsaken Review (PS)". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  31. ^ Williamson, Colin (13 August 1998). "Forsaken (PC)". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  32. ^ Perry, Douglass C. (13 July 1998). "Forsaken (PS)". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  33. ^ a b "Finals". Next Generation. No. 44. Imagine Media. August 1998. p. 100. Retrieved 13 May 2022 – via Internet Archive.
  34. ^ a b "Finals". Next Generation. No. 43. Imagine Media. July 1998. p. 112. Retrieved 13 May 2022 – via Internet Archive.
  35. ^ "Forsaken 64". Nintendo Power. Vol. 108. Nintendo of America. May 1998. p. 95. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  36. ^ "Forsaken". Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine. Ziff Davis. June 1998.
  37. ^ Durham, Joel (August 1998). "Forsaken". PC Gamer. Vol. 5, no. 8. Future US. Archived from the original on 10 March 2000. Retrieved 14 June 2018.

External links[edit]