Foregone is the newest title by Big Blue Bubble studios, aiming to combine some fantastic art with Metroidvania and a smattering of a little known title called Dead Cells, will it be a success or will it just be a Frankenstein’s monster of a game? Read on to find out!
Foregone puts you in the boots of the first Arbiter, no not the Halo kind, this is a super-soldier of sorts whose sole purpose is to protect the city of Calagan from the evil force known as The Harrow. Now I’ll be perfectly honest, I wasn’t exactly engrossed in a deep and meaningful narrative when I turned the game on & it certainly didn’t grip me with clever writing and unseen plot twists, in fact, if I’m perfectly honest, outside of the intro and the odd bit of dialogue here and there, I had totally forgotten the story hours into the game.
Now, what did grip me about Foregone and will no doubt be the first port for many a gaming boat, is the visuals. As mentioned in the intro this has a graphical style very similar to Dead Cells, this is no bad thing!. The character animations are beautifully animated much akin to titles in the cinematic platformer genre (outside of the main characters goofy run animation that is!) and the designs of the enemies to the bosses are all phenomenally done and have you itching to see what you’ll be facing off against next.
The art direction of the world is fantastic too, doing a brilliant job of fusing Sci-Fi and Fantasy together in a way that feels natural and believable. The areas are also brilliantly diverse and manage to hit just about every gaming cliche you could need, while that sounds like a negative they are a cliche because they work and keep the game very well-paced.
Now initially when I received this game I was under the impression it was a “Roguelite” much in the vein of Dead Cells, upon looking into it a little further I must admit there was a slight eye-roll at seeing the keyword “Metroidvania” thrown about in regards to the title. Yes this is more “‘Vania” than it is “Cells” but it manages to have enough about it to make it worth looking into amongst the seas of backtracking, item finding, path discovering platform-a-thons.
Whereas most of the genre tends to block progress behind item finding and copious amounts of the old backtracking, Foregone generally has you going in a linear path. While there is the option to find extra areas through backtracking once you’ve filled out your arsenal and abilities it is never truly needed.
The combat and loot system feel more in line with “Cells” in that there are various different weapons, all with different properties and attack animations to choose and these will dramatically change your fight style. As I mentioned loot you’ll find yourself constantly obsessing over new equipment trying to maximize your output too, while not the deepest of systems coupled with the upgrades, it manages to be a good enough diversion from the main task at hand.
Talking of combat, not only do you have a plethora of melee weapons, including Gunchucks which sound like something straight out of the Gungeon, but you also have firearms. These range across the standard selection of handguns to bows and automatic rifles and they naturally use ammo, to replenish this you have to melee attack, this is a system I have seen before and it goes a great way to keep combat chugging along rather than just standing in the back and shooting!.
Foregone won me over with its amazing art direction, sprite-based mastery, and engaging and fun combat. I was worried it would be another run of the mill “Metroidvania” especially when the only “Roguelite” elements were you lost gold and EXP when you died. Fortunately the game has some of the best boss fights in town and it was always a pleasure to go head to head with the big baddies. If you have room in your life for another atmospheric, loot-based platformer with fantasy sci-fi fusion and some fantastic graphics, you need Foregone.
A fantastic fusion of Cells and Vania wrapped in a gorgeous art style.