Blog dedicated to the world of games, video games, apps

The Forgotten City Review

The Forgotten City Review

By daniele

Nick Pearce, who wrote and created The Forgotten City, got punched in the face by a stranger on the day he came up with the idea. This attack on him for no reason made him write his first short story. At the time, he was a tech lawyer. From there, he started putting together the story that would become this game, a thrilling time-loop mystery set in the world of The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, an epic fantasy game that came out in 2011. When the mod came out in 2015, it was downloaded more than 3 million times. This earned Pearce an award from the Australian Writers’ Guild.

Six years later, The Forgotten City has been rebuilt, moved from the Nordic fantasy world of Skyrim to ancient Rome, and made into a complete, if short, game. You wake up on a riverbank in the present, but then you are thrown back 2,000 years to a Roman city cut off from the rest of the empire. It seems like the 23 people who live there get along. The Golden Rule, a curse on the town, says that if one person sins, everyone dies a horrible death. Someone is going to break this rule, and it’s your job to find out who it is before everyone has to pay the price.

You should find out where the story goes from here, but it is complicated and twisty, with a mix of mysticism, morality, and good old-fashioned Roman skulduggery. If you or a resident breaks the Golden Rule, whether by stealing or killing, you go back in time to start the day over again, but this time you know what’s going to happen, which is a lot of fun. Don’t you have enough money to pay someone to do what you want? Then, on the same person, out of the money you need, reset the day, and pay them with their own money.

The game has many innovative choices, like zip-lines, that make getting around the city fast and easy and keep the time loops from boring. You start to get bored only near the end, but even then, it’s still very satisfying to see what you’ve set in motion come to pass. Even though there are a few weapons, this is mostly talking and not much action. Most of your time will be spent wandering around the beautiful, small city, getting to know its people and going where the leads take you. The excellent writing and voice acting make it fun to stick your conk in each person’s business, even though some facial animations sometimes make it look like the Botox business was booming in ancient Rome.

A game made mainly by three people will likely have a few technical problems that can be overlooked. Textures tend to load randomly or not at all, and it’s easy to get stuck behind a harmless piece of scenery. However, I made it to the end credits without crashing or having to hard reset. Even so, The Forgotten City is a great success. It is a labyrinthine little sandbox full of interpersonal mysteries, some scary and some nerdy and domestic, that gets clearer as you play. It hooked me when I used my knowledge of an accident that was about to happen to make sure that an assassin died in the wrong way without me having to do anything. After that, I was doomed, and the end credits came before they should have. Time does fly.


%d bloggers like this: