It's a bit short on content, but Forge is nevertheless a frenetic rush of competitive multiplayer action.
- Chaotic mix of third-person combat and role-playing progression
- Varied abilities among five classes
- Classes complement each other well.
- Only four maps
- Not all listed game modes are actually available
- Clumsy tutorials that the game forces you to enter.
New games have their work cut out for them when trying to carve out a niche in the crowded realm of competitive multiplayer. Should the newcomer try to expand upon previously established conventions, or attempt to find its own identity as it travels down the tumultuous road so many others have walked before? Dark Vale Games' Forge finds middle ground, offering up an intriguing mixture of third-person shooting and fantasy role-playing, where armaments and spells are always darting right past you. You either acclimate quickly or leave in a fit of frustration, but for those who excel in frenetic environments, Forge provides an engaging explosion of frantic combat meant for mega-multitaskers.
Forge is an online-only third-person shooter lightly decorated with role-playing elements and the bedlam injected into games such as Team Fortress 2 and Natural Selection. The game is rife with cut-and-paste fantasy elements, and the pandemonium plays out among real-world players (no bots allowed) and feels quite unhinged for those unfamiliar with its more complex elements. It confuses for the first hour or so, and for this reason, new players will flock to the series of tutorials available for first-timers.
You must at least explore the tutorials available to you in order to unlock the other modes of play, but completing the tutorials is a slog. Once you jump into the action, you find yourself annihilated by veteran players, but you learn more in this school of hard knocks than you do in the clumsy tutorial lessons. If you never explore the tutorials beyond what is required, advanced tooltips and optional educational bubbles aid you in deciphering which abilities are appropriate in different situations and how to use them. With that said, there's still a learning curve to contend with.
Once you've jumped off the deep end straight into a real match, it's quickly obvious that there's no time for practice--you either step in line with the twitch-based encounters, or you meet a swift end. Once you've battled enough, you slowly become a competent player. There are five classes to master: assassin, pathfinder, pyromancer, shaman, and warden, each with nine specific abilities. Standard fantasy skills are exhibited among these specializations, including healing magic, stuns, slowing, and other tropes. Fortunately, standout abilities, such as swapping places with a player or trapping an enemy in place by way of an arrow, give Forge an identity of its own. These varied attacks contribute to the chaotic nature of the game, and lend a fresh lilt to what could have easily stagnated as the same played-out skill trees of other fantasy games.
Each class's base attack is sufficient to secure the errant kill, but most solo efforts give way to group attacks and combined assaults to do massive amounts of damage. Long story short, simply spamming your main melee attack won't get you far in Forge. Coordinating lethal strikes with teammates is key. For this it's imperative that you communicate in both the rapid-fire 10-on-10 team battles and the face-offs that shatter into smaller scuffles here and there across the four available maps. Flipping between coordinated raids and solo altercations is satisfying, especially once you've had ample time to grow and learn with your favorite class.
Luckily, it's simple to become accustomed to the class of your choice. Forge takes a page out of the single-player shooter rule book, forgoing the familiar convention of number-keyed abilities for a clever mapping of class-specific attacks, curses, and buffs to the WASD keys. Should you require your warden to buff allies while gallivanting around the map dodging bullets, or if your shaman is called upon to heal himself or others in an immediate area, movement is not restricted to how fast your hand is able to swap between the number and WASD keys. Nimble fighters will find themselves rewarded in Forge, as the controls allow you to juggle movement and abilities with a minimum of physical fuss.
In fact, movement is paramount to success. The whole of Forge is built on this very idea, with varied terrain allowing for surprise strikes and dynamic sprints to your enemy to surprise and scare the wits out of them. There's no map to reveal your enemies' location and no indicators to keep you focusing on where your opponents might be; you simply need to stay alert and keep abreast of your enemies' attack patterns to stay alive. Sometimes you won't, and an assassin will swiftly take you out from the shadows. That's part of what makes Forge the interesting beast it can be and is one of the reasons it's a pleasant change from standard fantasy battlegrounds. This lack of situational awareness doesn't put you at a disadvantage, however, but rather enhances the experience in a way that evens the playing field.
Attaining experience points nets you new, predictable upgrades: armor, speed, health, and new abilities to slot into the gaping hole on your overlay. Putting your hard-earned experience points to proper use is a great way to blow through the ranks from rookie to seasoned Forge player, and you will notice a significant change in the way you play once standard health points have risen, or when you're unleashing that brand-new ability on an unsuspecting enemy. It feels good, and it's a great reason to keep pushing forward to get better. If you're skilled enough, you will flourish.
Forge is intriguing in many ways, breaking many stalwart conventions and remaining firmly cemented in others. The mayhem of shooters crisscrossed with magical derring-do ensure the game is nothing short of chaotic at all times. A few grayed-out modes listed in the match-type list are still unavailable, and the paucity of maps currently diminish its appeal, but Forge is already a riotous competitive experience that deserves your attention. Sometimes all you need is a little discord.
for an indie game this game is actually not bad. its got a steeper skill curve than your average mmo style pvp game. will be nice to to see it develop overtime with more classes a etc.
A Demerit is that there are only 4 maps? People would KILL to have more than ONE map in their multiplayer games these days!
You guys are so spoiled...
@BlazeODU 4 maps aint that much, dont know what games you think of who dosent have more than one mp- map?
Soooo...even though right when you get ready to buy the game the description says that more maps are on the way,modes, and classes.... you decided to give those as demerits?
It is technically still in beta.Sure you can buy it but it is common knowledge that while it is playable and great it is currently in a beta state.
Should of waited to review it.
@WolfGrey Reviewers can never take the developer's word for it that a game will become more fully featured in the future, they can only evaluate what exists now. And reviews are first and foremost purchasing advice, so once a developer starts to sell their product, it is open for evaluation.
So I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that that orange column of light pouring down on that one monster means it's a boss...How did this become the convention? We can thank Dungeon Siege 2 for that, except since we can also thank DS 2 for murdering my loyalty to the Dungeon Siege games for it's shameless M-content I won't hear me offer any thanks now or ever.
Looks like faster paced Dota-style game with more camera options. In order for something like this to succeed, balance and mechanics needs to be tight,and that isn't going to happen int he first few months. If it can hold out long enough to roll out some decent overhauls, this could be good.
@BuzzLiteBeer its more like wow style arena pvp combined with cod or bf3 except it plays in 3 dimensions, i.e. you can run on roof tops, climb walls, the pyro class has a leap ability. Its got some really unique abilities and requires a lot of team play. For example, the assassin class has your standard stealth attacks but also has other abilities like he can pull you into a 'phantom zone' where you fight 1v1 invisible to everyone else. The game is pretty fun and fast paced, I bought it for $9.99 on Steam about a month ago and when I bought it they basically gave you two cd keys one for you and one for a friend. Was definitely worth $10. I think the game has potential especially if they bring out more classes and maps.
This actually look pretty good. I've already purchased Chivalry and Natural Selection 2. My time/bank account only allows for so much multiplayer-only fun. I cant get any good at 3 online games at once.
Also the music featured in the review was awesome. What was it?
Kudos to Gamespot/Kevin for the video review btw. I did not expect to see that on a small game like this.
I love this game. It is what it is, bought it for 10$ on sale. I don't mind waiting and enjoying it more later on.
Played it, hated it.
You know you're in for a 'treat' when the music from the main menu constantly loops when you're playing in game or doing anything within the game at all.
Maybe if they fix it then I'll give it another chance, if the playerbase hasn't crippled by then.
Warhammer Hammer Online : Wrath of Heroes tried something like this and all it really did was turn into a PvP game with constant button mashing with no skill involved.
This game is much similar, I'd say wait for them to fix their shit before getting it.
@Nexozable woh was always a pvp game it was designed as an arena combat game wtf are you talking about?
If it catches on, maybe it will have the same fate as League of Legends: a dearth of content at launch, a rabid following later.
How I cringe when I immediately hear of a shortage of content, I am still jaded by the recent production values and pathetic games that have flooded the market lately...
@tgwolf As far as I know, this game is an online combat game. If what I know is true, I don't think there can be a "shortage of content". If that's the case, then what about /every/ other online game out there? Chivalry? Generic shooter #3? There's bound to be a shortage of content there.
Of course if what I know isn't right, then by all means ignore me. :p