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Foregone’s 2D Action Platforming Reminds Me Of Dead Cells, Minus The Challenge
Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One
Genre: 2D Action Game With Metroidvania & Diablo Hooks
Remember 2018’s Metroidvania Dark Souls wombo combo Dead Cells? Yes, that was an incredibly challenging but fun 2D action title that’s sure to influence many indie game designers to come. One can assume that Big Blue Bubble’s latest effort Foregone is doing the same thing; it even has an identical art style.
But Foregone is more focused on loot. The loot you get from killing its many mutants and sci-fi soldiers. The weaponry that’s humble but pretty fun to use like the giant falchion. Or the long-reaching spear. Or the assortment of ranged weapons that you can snipe with. Or the special powers you can use that’s mapped on your trigger buttons. Or the only weapon you need to use: the gun nunchuck. Each weapon you use has its own startup and attack timing, so you need to practice a bit before wailing them onto enemies.
This is all well and good, but one problem: Foregone is pretty easy.
Within my 6 hours of playtime, I rarely died in the game and managed to plough through it just fine. I had my gun nunchucks, my Nova burst, and my healing spell; short of upgrading my equipment once in a while, I got through most of Foregone with just these and my 2D platforming knowhow. The damage you take is pretty minimal as long as you frequently upgrade and change armour and gear. You will do this a lot since gear drops like hotcakes. It ain’t Crash Bandicoot 4 levels of brutality, but it can be a cakewalk.
The heroine has air dashes, a double jump, and a slide that doubles as a dodge button.Â The powerups you get for traversal and advancement, like the air dash and the ground pound, makes going from point A to B pretty fun thanks to the vast-if-linear level design. You won’t get as lost and as immersed because the road with the most resistance and enemies with “key” signs on their heads is usually the correct path. At the end of every major section is a boss that will test your skills. They’re not too challenging if you know how to dodge and when to jump, and when to strike.
Some fights get hectic, but overall you’ll get through it just fine. All these combinations above make for a smooth but ultimately overpowered feel and design for your lone super-soldier. But seeing it all in motion? Damn, that never gets old.
Foregone’s pixel art style looks just as enchanting in a different sci-fi context when compared to the fantasy-laden Dead Cells, and is all the better for it. Combat is butter smooth control and aesthetics-wise; even if you feel a tinge of monotony during your adventure, you just want to keep going because of how spectacular it looks. The devs really nail these core fundamentals to a tee.
There’s also a story too, but it’s pretty vague and not all meaty. You’re essentially a super soldier trying to right a wrong that’s military-related in Foregone’s world of Caligan. You have cultists, armed guards, and bad guys called the Harrowed obstructing your end goal. You’ll uncover some lore here and there, as well as get quips from your female soldier as there’s more to meet the eye than her current occupation. It’s decently paced and doesn’t get in the way of what’s important: the action and the loot & powerups you’re getting to advance.
And that’s all that matters in Foregone: the core loop gameplay. It’s just fun. Sure, it needs a bit more meat with its narrative, a slightly higher difficulty curve, and a bit more weapon variation, but the overall package is slick and entertaining. Thankfully if you need a challenge, there’s a New Game+ that lets you keep your skills in a past playthrough and enemies are of a higher level. And bosses respawn, so you can fight them over and over for better loot & gear. At least the devs got you covered replayability-wise.
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