The Forgotten City – Great

From what I understand this game started its development as a mod for Skyrim. Skyrim’s presence can be seen in the first person perspective, Roman involvement and the archery based combat. For as much as this game takes from Skyrim it also has improvements to make it a gem of a game.

Gameplay is simple, you walk around in first person talking to people and collecting objects which can help navigate the world better. There’s minor action elements, use of lighting that make the enemies creepy enough to call horror and the people are all different enough to remain interesting as the story unfolds.

It’s a mystery solving game at its core. You are tasked with going into a ruin to find some guy, as you enter the ruin you’re sent back to Roman times. There’s plenty of little stories going on in the Roman city, some that you’re almost guaranteed to fail on your first discovery of them and some that connect to the overall goal of getting back to your own time. The plot uses mythology quite well and although a lot of talking in games can be boring, this kept me invested as I tried to find all four different endings. Every ‘fail’ of the game prompts a sprint to a portal that resets time and allows you to begin again with your knowledge and items intact.

Some things that particularly impressed me are that you walk slower going backwards than you do going forward, they use the idea of a Karen meme in a unique way (which will make the game dated in years to come), there’s a good amount of historical lore within the game too. There was even a way to get an NPC to do busywork for you which made it so much less repetitive than it could have been. A few quests even had multiple possible solutions.

Issues I encountered were few but noticeable. Sometimes if I sprinted the game would struggle to load walls or other textures quickly enough. There was a weird bright light that randomly appeared and I’m not sure if that was intentional. When I looked down my character had no legs (just a silly thing really).

Replayability comes from achievements. There are four endings but as long as you save before you think you’re about to finish you can find all four without a total restart. I would advise keeping a notebook ready for subsequent playthroughs if you are achievement hunting.

Overall a short but highly engrossing and entertaining puzzle game that combines Skyrim with Groundhogs Day and Monkey Island. If you have patience and want something with a calm pace, a bit of logic and some action I would highly recommend this. I got all the endings which gave me a good amount of game time. Nice graphics and a very good story.

I will keep an eye out to see if the developers make anything else because big companies could learn a lot from this game.

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