Over the past few days, we’ve had the opportunity to test out Dark Vale’s upcoming class-based mutliplayer fantasy shooter Forge.
Forge tosses players into a very unique fantasy world where they battle for dominance using bows, arrows, swords, shields, and magic. In the world of Forge, the gods are being held captive by an evil force known as The Devourer, and it demands sacrifices to free the gods. So it’s up to players to slay everyone in their path.
Players pick one of 5 classes, Assassins, Pathfinders, Wardens, Shamans, and Pyromancers.
The assassins are the stealth class blessed with temporary invisibility, and debilitating melee attacks. Pathfinders are the rangers of Forge. Armed with bows, they can deal damage over time with their poison arrows, and can trap enemies with their different types of snares. Wardens are the tanks who can buff up and take an absolute beating before falling. Shamans are the class healers, granting healing spells and magical aid to teammates. And pyromancers are the mage class, able to deal massive damage from a great distance.
Kills, assists, healing spells, capturing flags, dominating control points, and more all grant experience points which can be spent on different abilities and stats.
When we got our hands on Forge to preview it, several game options were locked out, but we were nevertheless very impressed by what we got to play. So far, Forge is graphically impressive, especially for an independently developed game. It makes great use of Unreal Engine 3. It sports a wonderfully dark palette that isn’t afraid of using some real color and a reasonable motion-blur. The fantasy design of Forge’s characters and world is like little else on the market.
From what we’ve played, Forge is remarkably fluid in all regards. We experienced very little server lag, even while playing with people from all over the world. The animations are seamless. And the constant action means players are always in motion.
Gameplay-wise, Forge is like a hybrid of an online shooter and an MMO pvp arena. Powers are linked to rechargeable hotkeys, but perks and upgrades are earned through experience points. At launch, Forge is promising to be balanced fairly to both brand new players and gamers who have spent dozens of hours in-game, but the advantage to spending more time within Forge is the access to new abilities and a customizable loadout. And while Forge is easy to pick up and play, a good amount of time can be spent in Forge to learn the nuances of every characters’ powers.
While it is still too early to tell, Forge is turning out to be a remarkably promising title. It’s fast paced. It looks great. The maps are varied, well-detailed, and sizable for the number of players in each match. We loved the design and the abilities of each character, and it is interesting to note that almost everyone on staff who had a chance to play Forge had a different favorite of the archetypes.
We can’t wait to try out some of the game’s more advanced functions like the 10 vs. 10 capital siege maps, the usage of player companion animals, and of course, some of the different powers, but for that, we’ll have to wait for the full build when it releases on December 4th on Steam.