Foregone is a 2D action platformer by Indie developer Big Blue Bubble. You play as an Arbiter sworn to protect Calagan a city being destroyed by the Harrow. The fast-paced action comes at you quick with plenty of weapons at your disposal. Fight your way through a ravaged city and unlock the mystery behind it all and try not to die as many times as I did.
Things are slow going at first with basic Metroidvania light levels and easy enemies. It doesn’t take long though and you will find yourself battling it out with your first boss fight. I was a little surprised by this as I was still going through a trove of loot that I had gathered from defeating enemies. One thing about Foregone is that its generous with its loot drops. What it does even better though is giving you the option to play to your strengths. You don’t have the traditional looking skill tree but you will be able to equip and upgrade skills as you progress in the game. There is a catch though, one that really fits the style of the game. In the main skill tree, you will find three different options to upgrade. Each option splits off into two paths that will allow you different types of attributes to upgrade. In order to unlock these paths, you must first find the catalyst node for said path. Once you choose the route you want to pursue then there is no turning back as the other path is locked.
On the other side you have your special abilities, such as Nova, an area attack that deals damage to all enemies or restoration that will allow you to heal yourself. Once again, these specials can be upgraded but you must choose a path that you think will best suite your playstyle and you will also need to collect rubies to pay for the upgrades by defeating enemies. This can be done in your hub area where you will go if you die. You can also access the area by finding portals which serve as save points and fast travels. Just know that traveling back to the hub will reset all the enemies from the current level.
In the hub you will find a mage lady who’s name I cannot pronounce. She will help you with your skills and attributes. You will also find the blacksmith there banging away on his anvil. Here you can upgrade your weapons such as a sword, daggers and even gunchucks. This will cost you coins that you collect from, you got it, defeating enemies. Your weapons rank in rarity from what I am guessing is common to mythic as it doesn’t really list it in the game. You also have a ranged weapon that includes a burst rifle, longbow, pistol and shotgun. Each one can be upgraded a certain amount of times depending on their rarity. You will also find attachable items such as armor, rings and emblems all that can be upgraded as well. One other person you will find in the hub is the Ferryman that will offer you half of your coins and rubies back that you drop upon death. If you refuse the offer and die before collecting them from your last death point then they are gone forever. Sometimes it will be best to take the offer.
One of the things I enjoyed about Foregone was the Metroidvania light style of gameplay. While you can go backtrack in areas it isn’t something that is required throughout the game. There are hidden chambers and the map will let you know just how many there are in a level. Some of the hidden areas you can only access once you obtain a certain skill such as wall climbing. Of course, if you’re like me then it won’t bother you that you didn’t find every hidden chamber in the game. Going back in some levels after you are clearly overpowered is a good way of stacking up on coins though and could be the difference of making it out of an area or meeting your demise.
Speaking of overpowered the boss fights in Foregone are exactly the opposite, well for the most part. I found it quite easy once I figured out their movements and defeated them with little effort. This might have been disappointing if I wasn’t honestly enjoying myself regardless. The bosses look great and they do have that intimidation factor but, in the end, you won’t find many of them challenging. Do remember that I said most of them because a few definitely have the chance to induce some rage.
Overall Foregone looks fantastic. The combat even when there are so many different things going on still pops on the screen. Attacking with a melee a weapon and range weapon can appear effortless but the auto aim for ranged weapons can make you want to pull your hair out. This plays like an old school side scroller as the enemy needs to practically be right in front of you for the auto aim feature to work correctly. I still loved using the mixture between melee and ranged as together it can pack a powerful punch. The developers also did a good job of mixing up the enemies and the intensity of their attacks as the game goes along. By the time you reach the last area you will need to utilize all your moves in order to get passed the chaos coming your way. It’s fast, it’s intense and it’s awesome.
In Foregone you also want to pay attention to not only your skills but your weapons and attachments. Each come with their own special attributes and can gain you extra health or perhaps cause plague on an enemy. However, be warned that enemies can also cause these negative effects on you as well. There are some issues I didn’t like with the combat such as getting stuck in hit cycles and not being able to move. The auto aim obviously caused some frustration and at times the controls didn’t feel as responsive when there were a ton of enemies on the screen. In the end though the combat is certainly a highlight of the game.
As far as the story goes there isn’t a lot that will make you wanting more. For the most part it is narrated by journals that you find. You will have your character speak at times giving you a smidge of information and that’s a letdown as the voiceover work is great. I would have enjoyed to hear the characters speak a lot more in the game.
Foregone is a fun fast paced action game that will give you plenty enjoyment for hours. It isn’t breaking any new ground in the genre but what it does is provide something worth playing. The combat is fun and being able to find your own path that suites your playstyle is always welcome. Spending several hours upgrading and testing out new weapons only speaks to the work put into this game. The attention to detail with the backgrounds and simple explosive attacks is absolutely why I enjoy playing Indie games like Foregone. The game isn’t perfect and there are some minor issues with pacing and combat but I never wanted to stop playing in the nineteen hours it took me to complete the game and seeing how the game lets you start over after you beat it with everything you have acquired already I might not put it down.
Rating: 8.5 out 10