Wow, look at all 'dem perdy colors
We all remember the game Descent...right? Well, for those who were living in a cave during that period of time, here's a little refresher course. The game was similar to the ever-so-popular 3D shooters of the time, only it used fuller, "360 degree" movements in all directions.
Well, Forsaken, Acclaim's newest, is extremely similar to descent, involving a bunch of spaceships in zero-gravity battling throughout small corridors. The game does deliver breathtaking graphics as well as enjoyable split-screen support.
Unlike Descent, one area where Forsaken seems to slack off is in its sketchy story. Basically, you're a bounty hunter, battling it out in a post apocalyptic setting, trying to loot this destroyed world. Oh yeah, there's also government vehicles trying to kill you and the other looters. It almost feels as if the story was written around the game, as opposed to the game being developed around the story. It's as if one developer said to another: "Hey, we've got this sweet looking game all ready to go, I think we need a story or something, right?" Then the other said, "Uhh, ok. How about if the world was destroyed and a bunch of things are trying to kill you?" Basically, it's hard to tie in the story to actual game when playing.
While the story is nothing to get excited about, the graphics are. Forsaken is the perfect game to prove to your parent/child/significant other that the $200 you just spent on your N64 was worth it. They will be dazzled by highly detailed objects (all vehicles are rendered extremely well, are well detailed and have great textures), awesome lighting and other visual effects. Just take it from me, Forsaken's 3D graphics will catch the attention of anyone passing by.
There are some lesser aspects of the game, visually speaking. All the levels feel enclosed and most of the textures have a bland, blocky, square-ish feel. In other words, the levels have simple designs and a low polygon count (there are minimal curved surfaces). On the flip side, Forsaken runs at awesome speeds and a great framerate. All in all, the visual effects should keep your average gamer slack-jawed and drooling.
The actual playing and controlling of the game is more complex than what the average 3D gamer is used to. The free movement in all directions ads an extra element for dodging and evading. Rookie players might need a bit of time to get used to the controls, which involve strafing horizontally, vertically, accelerating forward and backward, and rotating along the x, y and z axis's.
Those of you who find Quake 2 or Turok a bit dizzying will be made perfectly nauseous by Forsaken. The constant, fast paced, omni-directional motion can make you long for the simple, steady comfort of a roller coaster ride. Even those of you with rock-steady inner ears may want to avoid large meals before playing (at least until you get used to it).
As mentioned before, the story does a poor job tying different levels of the single player together. Even with this absence, single player is fun at first, but some stages can grow tiring due to the fact that many levels have a similar appearance. The 'puzzles', for the most part, are just very simple tasks such as opening doors, pushing buttons, acquiring keys and opening portals.
The multiplayer game is great. The split screen is clear and there is no noticable loss of framerate. Smooth as silk graphics are maintained while you blow away your friends, or work with them cooperatively against the computer missions.
Forsaken is a solid 3D action game for your more-talented-than-average gamer. While the story is a bit irrelevant, the impressive graphics and good single and multiplayer support should help get your money's worth.
-One last thing... The N64 version does not come with the gratuitous calendar of the Forsaken girl :(