Foregone is a 2D action-platformer set in the city of Calagan, where the player takes control of a Super-Soldier tasked with defeating The Harrow from reviving the dead and uncovering mysteries of the city that might have been better left undiscovered.
Sights and Sounds
The visuals are a creative feast. Using a mixture of 3D and pixelization to create a unique look that not many other games share. The use of colors also helps as well, making the main character strikingly blue to stand out from the warmer tones of the environments, especially in later parts of the game. The entire aesthetic plays to a futuristic wasteland and is enhanced by backgrounds with excellent detail and perspective in spite of the pixelated look.
The game’s music takes an interesting Final Fantasy-esque approach to its sound, mixing orchestra with almost tribal music to help create a world of mystery and technology. It was a nice change of pace to see an indie 2D platformer try something like this, and gave a stronger atmosphere to an already very atmospheric game.
The gameplay is where things begin to feel a bit off. The game simply presents itself a bit too punishingly hard at times. 2D platformers come with a bit of an expectation that they’ll be difficult, but the game is built in a way that makes it feel as though it was made to just be frustrating. The game is built around many closed-in corridors that are already incredibly small when compared to the size of the avatar. It becomes even more difficult, however, when these corridors are filled with enemies that have a massive amount of damage power and can come at the player from every direction.
There is a dodge mechanic provided, but it is often barely enough to keep the enemies from damaging the main character. Most of the time dodging one enemy means getting hit by another. It becomes more manageable once abilities like the mid-air jump are integrated, but it’s still a bit hard to actually dodge anything without getting hit by something else.
Struggle for Progress
The game’s upgrade mechanic, while useful, tends to feel flawed in it’s execution. The weapons and armor require coins to upgrade, but an issue is that when the player dies in the game, all the coins and points for power upgrades to the character they’ve collected are all lost and the player is sent back to the hubworld without any of those collectables. This can be frustrating as it makes going back and trying again feel almost pointless. What the player does keep, however, is the weapons and items they collected from enemies. This is where the more handy aspect of the weapon selection comes into play.
The game has a function in the weapons collection menu called “forage”; it allows the player to pawn off items they’ve collected for money. This becomes the most useful tool for collecting money when the player loses all their coins from dying as the previous paragraph mentioned. The next problem, however, begins to show its head when doing this: the price of upgrading. As the level goes up on a weapon or item, the prices begin to get higher and higher. This isn’t a problem in itself, but the fact that each item upgrade costs around the same amount means the player is bound to lose money as fast as they received it. Along with the fact that foraging doesn’t provide much coin as it is as the highest level items collected only run to about ninety coins, making it extra difficult to purchase upgrades when they get into the thousands.
The Verdict: Good
The game lacks balance. In the enemy placement, the weapons upgrading, and the checkpoint distribution, it all plays out as too punishingly unfair to keep the player’s motivation. It definitely deserves recognition for the aesthetic creativity that was put into the look, the sound, and the narrative, but it makes it hard to enjoy these things when being knocked back to the beginning of the level, and having to try and retread places over and over again with very little progress.