The Forgotten City
Developer: Modern Storyteller
Publisher: Dear Villagers
Genre(s): Action adventure, Mystery
Platform: Nintendo Switch (Also available on PC, Playstation and Xbox)
Age Rating: PEGI 16
Release Date: 28/07/2021
A code was provided for review purposes
For many games, the majority of the fun comes in the form of mods (in-game content created by players). So when a mod for Elder Scrolls: Skyrim hit 3 million downloads, after its release in 2015, the developers took this as a sign. They freshly remade the mod to become its own standalone game, improving the NPC’s unique stories, and including mythology into the background of the story.
With Rapid Reviews, being given the chance to give this a test run, I was drawn in by the popularity of the game. Check out my thoughts below!
Beginning the game you are met with a character. How you got there, and who they are is unknown, but what is evident from the very start, is that this will be no ordinary adventure. As you begin making your moves, you are alerted to the vast discussion that is taking place throughout the whole game. What is morally right and what is wrong? The game is about choosing your own outcome through the actions you take and the stories you tell. Interacting with NPCs each brings its own twist and the intricate story as to how everyone got there is deciphered. How your fate turns out, is in the hand of solely you.
Reach for the Clouds
It is important to mention that the Nintendo Switch version is run through a cloud-based server. This means in order to play the game you need a strong internet connection. However, this does also mean it can be quite sensitive. I experienced many faux pas when playing this game and if left on the screen too long (such as going to make a cup of tea) it would disconnect from the server and I would have to start the game all over again. This is not through the developer’s own fault, but just purely about how Nintendo works with games like this. Let’s be honest, a cloud-based server is old news now, especially in the way of the 21st century collaborating with gen Z.
The Golden Rule and its Graphics
Over the last few years, Elder Scrolls and games alike have vastly improved in their graphics. Many a meme has come from the delayed images causing jumping or glitching. But despite starting life as a simple mod, in the five years between then and the finished story, the developers have invested time in creating the purest of games. Reviewing the graphics, they provide principles enabling the NPC’s emotion to be delivered according to what they are discussing. The central focal point for the game is deciphering what is the Golden Rule and ensuring that you follow it. As you make your way around the newly enlarged map it is evident that the vast “golden statues” were previous sufferers. The graphics used in the game are rich and show the emotions portrayed in the resident’s last few moments before death. This is a detailed story, fueled by crisp clean graphics.
Then Vs Now
Back in the days of being a mod, it filled its job. Creating further content for Skyrim users, having a variety of choices similar to that in Skyrim without players worrying about their choices. However, now that The Forgotten City is a game, everything has a consequence.
The chatter between yourself and NPCs has levelled up. Even picking what you may believe to be the right choice, could end in disaster, or even worse death. Therefore strategically thinking about the route you wish to go down, is more important than ever. One particular element I enjoyed while partaking in conversations, is how you gain information about the environment. Some characters responded with such aggression or fear, which seemed completely unexpected. This style highlighted that every choice counted.
Not only is choosing dialogue an important aspect, but right at the very start of the game, you get to decide your type of character. Low and behold, this choice will determine your type of outcome and experience with the game. Something the mod did not provide.
Over the 5 years between mod and game release, it is evident the developers did not rush their creation. They had the support of the fanbase, who knew they would provide something of the uttermost quality.
After all, this isn’t a game you pick up and put down. You become addicted to discovering the truth, and the hidden folk tales whispered amongst your travels.
What’s Your Fate?
The game itself informs the user this is a game to be discovered and would like to keep the secrets as undisclosed as possible. So without giving away too much away, I will keep it as simple as this; what lies behind this ancient Roman history, is a unique and bewildering tale. One that will keep challenging you in the most unusual ways. The inhabitants of The Forgotten City, need you to release them. I thoroughly enjoyed this challenge, and order each and everyone to step up to their mark for their chance at this perfect blend of attributes.
Rapid Reviews Rating
5 out of 5
You can buy The Forgotten City for the Nintendo Switch here.
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.