Review – Foregone
As you could see by reading my previous GoNNER2 review, I am starting to get fed up with indie roguelikes, as the market is currently saturated with way more titles than this genre needs right now. You have no idea how refreshing it is to play a simple, “go from A to B”, action platformer in this day and age. The fact that it’s also really well-crafted is also helpful. Foregone is a title you should check out if you’re looking for a more traditional action platforming fix on your Switch.
You play as an Arbiter (no, not the Halo one), a member of a race of enhanced human beings, who’s sent to the ruined land of Calagan to investigate an entity called the Harrow, which can possess dead people and corrupt them to the point of transforming them into mindless drones. Everything is presented in an organic and interesting way, with the game’s main protagonist speaking in monologues throughout the entire adventure, in a surprisingly robust voice acting performance.
Storytelling isn’t Foregone‘s main focus, however. This is, by and large, an action-packed platformer clearly inspired by the likes of Dark Souls, the loot system from Diablo, and some art style decisions influenced by Horizon Zero Dawn. The Dark Souls (and Bloodborne) influences are clearly seen in the game’s combat mechanics. It’s all about timing your melee attacks, which feature a bit of input delay, against enemies that telegraph their attacks. Avoid when needed, or else you’ll be pummeled by some hard-hitting moves that will drain a lot of your energy. Enemies drop resources which can be used on skill trees and weapon upgrades. If you die, you’ll lose all of your resources, but can grab them back if you return to where you were previously killed. You know, the usual stuff.
The Bloodborne influences come in the shape of how aggro your character is when compared to other 2D games influenced by Dark Souls. You can always carry a long-range weapon, which is helpful against turrets and enemies located on higher platforms. You also have a health regenerating skill, and you’re able to refill its meter by continuously using your melee attack on enemies. The same applies to your ammo: you replenish your ammo by attacking foes with your main weapon. Foregone encourages you to go full aggro on your foes, and I really enjoyed that, even though it’s completely counterproductive against bosses, who don’t telegraph their attacks that well, making their fights a bit unfair at first.
Foregone is designed like a metroidvania, but it’s still a very linear game. You can visit previous locations with your teleporter, and you can only upgrade your skills and weapons by warping back to your hideout, but you’ll basically visit new levels in a linear manner. You basically go from point A to point B, even though you’re encourage to find hidden chests and rooms along your path. Think of it as Metroid Fusion: sure, it’s a metroidvania when it comes to your progression, but it’s very linear in terms of exploration.
The game’s best feature is its visuals. The screenshots featured in this review don’t do it justice: it might look like an ugly, low poly platformer, but it looks gorgeous when in motion. It’s superbly well-animated. The backgrounds are rich and detailed, and all levels are extremely well-designed. Weirdly enough, Foregone runs better on portable mode than when docked. I have no idea why, but I’ve managed to notice bigger and more impactful framerate drops when playing the game on my TV. Maybe it’s an issue caused by the higher resolution?
In fact, Foregone is an all-around great game. It’s gorgeous, its combat is slick and entertaining, and its level design is excellent. Besides the aforementioned unfair boss fights, its main issue is the fact that, while competent, it simply does not bring anything new to the table. It pays tribute to tons of previously released games without ever standing out on its own. With that being said, that’s not a dealbreaker by any means. It’s still a very polished experience if you’re looking for a traditional action platformer instead of yet another indie roguelike on the Switch. Sometimes, playing safe is the best option.
Not only does Foregone feature a striking art style of its own, but its animations are incredibly fluid. For some mysterious reason, it runs better on portable mode than docked.
Your standard action platforming control scheme with some excellent long-range combat, coupled with decent melee, although the latter suffers a bit from input delay.
The soundtrack itself is fine, but not exactly that memorable, but the game also boasts an impressive amount of solid voice acting that completely caught me off guard.
Fun Factor: 7.5
Foregone does not bring anything new to the table, but it’s still pretty good. Levels are well-designed, the combat is fluid, and the story is quite interesting. It’s just a bit unfair at times.
Final Verdict: 8.0
Foregone is available now on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Switch.
Reviewed on Switch.
A copy of Foregone was provided by the publisher.