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Review by: Shawn Quigley
Published: June 16, 1998
When this whole 3D action stuff began to explode when Doom hit the market, even though it was not the first title to boast these types of graphics, there was not much else to look at. Then came Descent, a title which no one could forget playing for the first time. It was something completely different and offered a new spin on playing 3D action games. Since the first release of Descent there has been a sequel, and another in the works, and some other titles that have tried to pick up on the success of the first. Another title recently released is attempting the same thing, but this time around it includes half-naked women and a flashy 3D graphics engine to help it achieve the same success. The question is…will it?
Acclaim’s Forsaken has been in development for some time, having been shown at the two previous E3 shows in playable form. It not only builds on what Descent has accomplished but plays and feels strikingly familiar to the original. The original Descent’s grey and dull mines have been replaced with glowing, flashing, and bright passages in Forsaken.
When you first pick up Forsaken you might not have any idea what the game is actually about, and in fact may think it is an “adult only” title. That is far from the truth. Once you put down the half-naked pictures and put away the calendar shots, you will find an action-packed game that is filled with visual eye candy. Much like many titles that have been coming out as of late, the graphics in Forsaken are greatly enhanced by 3D acceleration. But, you do not have to own a 3D accelerator to enjoy the graphics; without one you will still see most of the lighting and colored effects, they just won’t be as sharp or as fast.
Putting the similarities to Descent aside, Forsaken actually has a storyline that is played out with a video in the beginning of the game. It seems as though the world is now in ruins due to a bad experiment. Everyone that is still around can be found looting the remains of the dead, in tunnels and passageways carved below the surface of the planet. The problem is that you are not alone; there are many things that you encounter along the way that simply do not want you traveling around these passageways, picking up gold and anything else you can find.
In the game you ride on a futuristic motorcycle that hovers above the ground. Your vehicle can pick up different weapons and respond to your every movement with precision. You have the choice in the game to choose from different bikes, with each one having different characteristics such as speed and acceleration. Each bike has a rider with a unique personality, which you get to know very quick. While playing the game you can hear the riders talking and saying different things, basically giving you important information. This gives the game a little character and a more adult nature, due to some of their comments.
Forsaken more than anything else will most likely be remembered for its graphics. By supporting just about every option, from 3D acceleration via 3Dfx to software rendering, Forsaken will look good with just about any system. To get the best effects you really need a 3D accelerator and preferably a Voodoo2 card. The graphics are excellent. First and foremost are the framerates that are achieved. The game constantly runs at high framerates with very little slowdown during the game. Then comes the lighting, fog, and colored effects that illuminate every part of the game. You will see glowing fire, dripping water, rippling waves in pools, flashes, and explosions lighting up the screen. There are only a few games out there that show off what 3D accelerators can do to a PC title, with Unreal and Quake II being two of them. Every level is brought to the screen with great detail, although the implementation of texturing is not the best. It is hard to believe that so many colors and rich environments are possible, but Forsaken pulls it off without any problems.
The game takes place in different levels that require you to perform certain tasks. Instead of one focus like Descent’s destroying of mines, Forsaken puts gamers into different roles. In one mission you go aboard a sunken aircraft carrier. As you travel through the hull of the ship, you have to set four detonators that will cause an explosion and jar the vessel loose from bottom of the ocean, letting it float to the top where you can pilfer it for golf. While on the ship you travel through both sealed-off areas and underwater sections. It is nice to see different environments in the game, giving more depth and playability to it. Other levels include traveling in a volcano, an abandened subway, prisons, and federal banks. There are plenty of different missions to keep the game moving along.
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