Review: FORCED

FORCED was a hard game for me to get into. It’s a brutal game for a few reasons and I’ll try to cover why as best I can.

First and foremost, I feel that FORCED is a co-op game. It’s not that you can’t go into it solo, but when I play solo, I feel that the classes, being so diverse, compliment each other very well. When you play solo, you’ll notice you’ll have a lack of range or quick area of effect damage. I’ve had to replay levels multiple times just because of how a level played out. Not that I lost (which happened a lot), but that I noticed it would have been “easier” with another class. Now if you were playing with friends, then that class could have been covered by a bud instead of lamenting the absence of said class.

Sometimes the game is hard and other times the Balfus "circle of safety" just makes the game harder. Then again, you don't want a walk-in-the-park game do you?
Sometimes the game is hard and other times the Balfus “circle of safety” just makes the game harder. Then again, you don’t want a walk-in-the-park game do you?

The “fifth member” of the team is a spirit mentor named Balfus. He’s a fun little ball of light that you command all the while he gives you snarky commentary and helpful advice. I think Balfus talking is my favorite part of the game. Balfus is used to control objects, blow things up (including yourself on accident), stop consistent damage to you and your party, and heal yourself. It’s used well when you’re just exploding things and when Balfus is used to do the moving object puzzles it’s a fun challenge. I absolutely hate when you have to use him like the Chalice in Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles though and the “circle of safety” bit. That’s more noticeable in multiplayer. While it’s an interesting mechanic and can be fun to kill your buds by moving Balfus away from them, it’s more annoying.

FORCED 2013-10-25 19-31-23-26

FORCED reminds me a lot of Gauntlet Legends from back in the day… only harder. It’s not NES hard, but it’s similar. A lot of the levels and bosses have things that need to be done before progressing while other just have things you need to kill. Some have both, but that’s besides the point. In the levels where you need to kill something (usually a boss) there are adds and things you need to clear before a boss. This is where teamwork comes into play because focusing on certain mobs, dpsing the boss and maintaining heals all factors into this equation. Once you get the pattern down though, it becomes somewhat easier. It feels like I’m vaguely describing a WoW raid…

Final Score:

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If you’re looking for a challenging 2-4 player co-op game, then look no farther. If you’re looking for a romp in the park, super lax fun-run, then you’ll probably want to keep looking. While the “Chalice” bit is kind of annoying the majority of the game mechanics provide a good set of challenges with extra level up bonuses for doing things faster and/or with more precision and finesse. It’s not a perfect game and it’s not my favorite game, but it is easily a game you should play if you’ve got some buds and if the price is right.

Jonathan Amarelo Sig

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