Review – Sword of Fortress the Onomuzim
There’s no denying the Playstation 4 is largely successful due to its fantastic selection of games. If you consider 2017 alone, it received masterpieces like Yakuza 0, Nioh, Horizon Zero Dawn and Nier: Automata. Sony’s curation skills are truly commendable, that’s what people say. For the most part, I have to agree: just take a look at these aforementioned titles. On the other hand, 2017 saw the release of some truly abysmal games for the PS4, like Derelict Fleet and the now (in)famous Life of Black Tiger. Games like those are a dime a dozen in the lawless dumpster that is the Steam store due to that site’s lack of curation, but having those same games being released on the so-called strictly curated PS4 library was something that left gamers extremely puzzled. Well ladies and gentlemen, what if I told you there’s a brand new game on the PS4 store that’s even worse than Black Tiger? Get your vomit bags ready, because it’s time to talk about Sword of Fortress the Onomuzim.
What’s an “Onomuzim,” you ask? I don’t know. I don’t care.
Sword of Fortress is more than just a bad game. Derelict Fleet was abysmal, but at the very least it made me laugh at its pathetic Google Translator narration. Life of Black Tiger was horrendous, but at the very least its broken English storyline was laughable. Sword of Fortress has none of those “redeeming qualities.” Being sold for the absurd amount of twenty dollars, this is the video game equivalent of having your lunch money stolen by a bully while getting a wedgie at the same time. This is a game so broken, so devoid of anything positive to talk about, Sony should be forced to refund every single buyer followed by sending a personal apology letter signed by Kaz Hirai himself.
Technically speaking, this game is (supposedly) a Dark Souls-inspired third-person action RPG created by someone called Gilson Pontes. The only reason I know that is because this lad made sure to remind us nearly half a dozen times in the beggining of the game, in a pseudo-Kojima outburst of ego. Written by Gilson Pontes. Designed by Gilson Pontes. Conceived by Gilson Pontes. Okay, we get it, you made this game. This is far from being something worth bragging about.
The game, as you can imagine, boasts terrible graphics and sound design. The visuals are basically comprised of the best assets you can find in online store, all thrown into a nonsensical map full of hills and an excessive amount of tall grass which does nothing but compromise the already inconsistent framerate. Our beloved developer didn’t even bother checking if the map’s geography was consistent, as many houses are basically sunk into the hills, with their doors now resembling something not even a baby hobbit would be able to fit into. As you can also imagine, those assets are extremely glitchy, as you can easily phase into the house’s walls as if you were some sort of medieval Martian Manhunter. The soundtrack is comprised of very generic medieval loops. Definitely nothing worth talking about. Weirdly enough, that makes it the less painful aspect of the whole game. Onto to the most painful aspect, now. . .
I need to talk about the gameplay. Oh my. It hurts. Made up of the slowest and blandest Dark Souls control scheme ever conceived, the controls suffer from abysmal input lag and an overall lethargic pace. I’ll tell you an example:
Spoiler alert, if you actually care.
The first thing you need to do in the game is walk a third of a mile to find the first enemy, who’s also the first boss. You’ll do this by slowly running into the designated spot, with gaming’s slowest movement mechanics ever since Rogue Squadron‘s AT-ST level. Once you reach the spot, you need to pray to the gaming gods Sword of Fortress will notice you need to proceed, as the game glitched twice when I initially attempted to unlock the initial fight, forcing me to restart my journey all over again. Once you meet your foe, it’s time for combat.
Fighting enemies is mentally painful. Not only are the controls laggy and unresponsive, but the game also makes sure to fail in one of its most important aspects: collision detection. You never know if you’ve managed to hit your foe with your sword or not, given the fact there’s no health bar, flinching animation, nor the simple showcasing that your sword has managed to make contact with any adjacent solid object. That means that the game’s combat is all about mashing the R1 button to do the sole sword swipe you can, hoping to whichever deity you believe in that the suffering is nearing its end, until the inevitable happens: the enemy hits you and kills you.
Yes, one hit and you’re dead. Not only is the combat painful to withstand, and the collision detection impossible to deduce, if you’re hit once you have to restart the entire game from scratch. That means you have to restart the whole eternal walking sequence, followed by the constant reminders that our pal Gilson Pontes wrote, directed, designed and executive produced the game, in a not-so-charming throwback to The Room‘s first minutes. And that’s when I turned the console off. There’s just so much pain a man can feel before losing his mind, and Sword of Fortress was dangerously leading me into this limit. Do I care I didn’t manage to fight a huge dragon that was lurking from afar? Not at all. I doubt anyone has even bothered and/or managed to reach such part (the vast majority of this game’s trophies still stand at a whopping 0% as of January 25th, 2018).
There isn’t a single redeeming factor to this game. Sword of Fortress is abysmal. It’s an insult to gamers, an act of evil towards the wallets of consumers, a spit on the face of struggling talented developers who can’t have their games published on the Playstation 4. Sword of Fortress is so bad it actually made me cheerful for an eventual second videogame industry crash. At the very least, games like this will cease to exist. One can only hope.