Do NOT buy this game if you plan to play single player. It's miserable.
That said, I absolutely recommend this game for co-op with 3 or 4 players. This game is a very tough gauntlet-style game, with puzzley elements frequently thrown in. Yes, you are smacking monsters and trying to stay alive, while doing puzzles at the same time. It's freaking hard.
But, it is very satisfying to complete the levels.
The only downside is that the netcode still isn't rock solid. For whatever reason, I have a 20%ish game freeze rate when trying to start a group game, requiring me to totally shut down the game and restart. Other than that, it seems ok.
Forced is a co-op tactical arena game. It can be compared to games like Diablo, but it's not another Diablo clone - there's no loot in this game and its more co-op than any Diablo-like games I played.
In this game you play as slave gladiator who is forced to fight to amuse god-like creatures. Thus this game is based around Trials - rather small arena-like challenges. They can vary from "kill everyone" kind of thing to puzzles, mazes and boss battles.
You have 4 classes(or to be more precise - 4 weapons) - Volcanic Hammer(AoE melee damage), Frost Shield(Tank), Spirit Blades(Single target melee damage), Storm Bow(Ranged damage) (Each of them have skills to heal each other). In each trial you can get a maximum of 3 crystals (1 for the completion of the trial, 1 for challenge(these will vary from trial to trial) and 1 for time attack). These crystals will unlock new skills(you have a total of 8 active and 8 passive skills for each weapon with only 6 slots(3 for active and 3 for passive)). Also note that your progress is shared among all weapons, so you will get all skills for all weapons simultaneously,
Another thing is Spirit Mentor(named Balfus) who is one of the key features of the game. Balfus is your way of interacting with environment and is vital to every trial. To spice things up, you can't just order him to go somewhere. Instead, you can only call him on your current position, which makes everything a bit harder.
And about the difficulty - this game is hard. Like, really hard. Not once have I found myself stuck and not once did I go back to gather some more crystals.
As a closing note - this game is heavily co-op oriented and I don't know how good it plays in single player. So it will be better if you have some friends to play with.
As a downside of this game I can say about quite unstable net code, but devs are constantly working on it.
FORCED is a Action Role-Playing Game heavily pushing a co-op experience.
STORY I would say the weakest part of the game, other than some of the technical issues that some people still experience (see technical) - would be the story. It's a very quick and short tale that leaves a lot to the imagination. I'm not saying it's bad; simply shallow. If your goal is to find a rich story - you will not find it here.
ELEMENTS All players have the option to play one of four classes which are determined in the entrance room to each trial room. It is also good to note that no matter the decision of the class; in most cases you will have healing spells, damage spells, and defensive spells of some kind. Other than the inherit differences between melee and ranged; the developers have done a good job at keeping most everything balanced. The true co-op experience comes into play before anyone even enters a trial; deciding who will have which spell to counter the trial mechanics. This is an element that most co-op games don't have.
GAMEPLAY Once your skills and class has been chosen - per challenge - you will face 25 trials with increasing difficulty. As one may expect the game starts out in a tutorial manner, teaching players how to navigate the trial and use new mechanics. Balfus (your spirit guide) is an integral part of the gameplay, requiring players to move him to destroy shrines or statues, light the path, assist in damage dealing, or in some trials - used against you!The primary game play is to complete objectives which range from killing monsters, finding the end of a maze, or simply lighting shrines. As a side note I wouldn't say this is necessarily a game with heavy puzzle elements; however there is a degree of puzzle solving.
DIFFICULTY If you plan on being a completionist, to get all 75 crystals and all achievements, expect to spend some time on this game. At the time of this writing I have completed all achievements in roughly 24 hours of gameplay. Most challenges took my team 1-10 tries; the challenge on the last boss took us roughly 4 hours. If you plan on simply completing the trials to have the experience to play - expect at best half of that. I would not recommend this game if you want to just play single player - this is a game best experienced with friends. Disclaimer: Your mileage my vary, every gamer and team is different you could see significantly less or more gameplay.
TECHNICAL I have to peck at the game a bit on this level; there are still a few issues with networking that the developers are actively working on. In addition the game is poorly optimized in terms of graphics use. A lot of the options to effectively reduce load on a computers GPU is non-existant. My system with a GTX570 runs this game fine, but quite hot in comparison to other games with a much higher expectation (100% load in some areas running 70c+). I assume as the game matures further, the developers will continue solving some of the technical issues that some players are reporting as problems; they did not effect my team as much as some but it is important to note that they could come up.
CONCLUSION Highly recommended for any CO-OP experience. This game is quite fun with a lot of potential for growth in the future. 9/10 for what it is, and for my experience.
92 of 111 people (83%) found this review helpful 1 person found this review funny
48.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 27, 2014
IMPORTANT NOTICE: This is not really an RPG game in most of its sense; there is no actual character sheet, and when your character evolves, whatever choice you make in that regard can be undone freely. Changing your build is literally like changing clothes. There is no looting or potions. There is no choice of gear other than the 4 basic sets, which are also your "class", and once again, you can freely swap. This is nothing like Diablo (in this sense) unlike other reviewers insist to claim. Bear that in mind.
Devilishly challenging yet fair, this here is a masterpiece.
You are simply FORCED to undergo challenges in a twisted sort of arena. Endlessly spawning monsters chasing you while you try to solve a maze, or while you run away from a deadly red myst, or perhaps while you try to take cover from a laser beams (lol what?! its magic!)... figuring out how to solve each area is one thing, solving it is ANOTHER THING!
Completion of each area is required to access its respective boss, and each completion awards you with one crystal - literally one "experience point" - that unlock skills. Optionally you can solve an area while doing a special challenge (depends on the area) or while time-attacking, each of which award you another crystal. Whereas you might think "Nah, I'm not an achievement hunter, I just wanna finish the game" you might be FORCED (unexpected pun) to change your mind there as sometimes the higher level skills give you a crucial advantage when fighting the boss.
There is no difficulty tweak, you cannot switch to "easy mode". Definitely not for people who get frustrated easily.
A bit about the game and developers. FORCED has been developed and published by a small group of Danish developers, called BetaDwarf Studio. They actually had a pretty funny story while making this game. In fact, it was so funny that they even made a picture about it which you can see here.
So, FORCED is a Co-Op adventure game with a lot of puzzle elements. The game does future single player, but I do not recommend that.. More about that in the Gameplay section of the review! They also plan to bring this game to Wii-U!
About Gameplay. As I said above, Forced is a game that allows both single player and co-op. At begining I was playing this game single player. My steam friend list has a couple of people who own this game, but nobody played at the time when I did. So anyway, In single player the game is quite fun! The story is very good too. It wasn't so hard, and I really enjoyed it. But then, couple of missions later... It became quite hard! So, I got into the game once at the same time as my friend FaithNoMore did. We decided to try the game out in Co-op..
It was amazing! The game became much easier but it kept being harder and harder as we progressed through the challenges. In most of the cases one of us was always the last-man-standing, running around the enemies, doing his best to stay alive long enough for the other person to revive. We also found out that this game is actually meant to be played in four people! After a while, our obstacles became quite hard. So hard that one of us had to keep sacrificing just so we could complete a mission. If there were four of us, it would be piece of cake!
The game has four different classes, a rogue, archer, tank and a "area of damage" damage dealer. Each of them has their own element. Rogue uses poison and has teleportation skills and skills that get him out of combat quite fast. He's the best class to take creatures down one by one. Archer uses lightning element with which he deals nice damage to couple of creatures at the same time. His arrows also always push enemies back, so he doesn't have too big problem with staying alive. Tank uses ice element to make ice crystal around him which then pushes enemies back, and so on and on. Needless to say he's got the biggest hp. He also has a weapon (shield) which can be thrown away to enemies. Now, the AoE damage dealer uses fire element to deal very big damage to multiple creatures at the same time. Sounds overpowered, right? Well, he does deal big damage, but he swings very slowly. He can also crush a meteorite down onto the enemies.
This game also has a lot of different creatures that you have to fight against to win. All of them have their own strength and weaknesses. Some spit on you from far, some charge you with their massive cleaves. And once again, you need a full group of four to make a great tactic on how to win against the creatures.
Graphic and Audio Graphically speaking the game looks very good! The game itself looks a bit cartoonish. The skill effects look quite nice. For an Indie company they really put their backs into it! Voice acting in the game is very good too!
Pros, cons and final grade. Pros: - Very cheap! - Extremely fun! - Supports four players at the same time! - Full of puzzles! - It's an extremely fun, cheap coop puzzle based indie game!
Cons: - Almost unplayable in single player.
Final grade: 9/10 !
Extra info: If you're into puzzles and you're searching for something to play with your friends, this game is for you! Don't look anywhere further, just buy this game and play it. It's amazing!
Thank you for reading my reviews! Don't forget that I'm usually posting new reviews on my blog weekly and you can check them out here:[/b]http://midnightwolfie.blogspot.com Thank you![/b]
61 of 71 people (86%) found this review helpful 1 person found this review funny
29.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 31, 2014
If you are looking for a couch coop game, this one is the best or one of the best. Levels include increasingly challenging puzzle and hack n slash level. Some levels are almost purely slow puzzly levels, some are fast paced fighting levels and rest are some combination of those two. Game mechanics are simple and are introduced sufficiently smoothly so you don't feel overwhelmed. Later on these mechanics are combined in various ways and the game never feels boring.
Biggest con for this game would be that its not a single-player game. You can play it alone but its not even half the fun.
So if you are looking for a coop game to have fun with your friends this game is for you.
FORCED is an insanely fun co-op puzzle brawler. You play as a slave being trained up to be a gladiator and you are exposed to 25 challenging levels (5 bosses, 20 challenge rooms). After 30 hours of playing the game (it can definitely be completed MUCH faster), here's what I think..
- The game is infinitely more fun with co-op partners. The difficulty fluctuates a lot depending on whether you do a challenge solo or with a group. For example, some challenge rooms are easier to do with more people. On the other hand, some boss rooms require a lot more concentration with a full group due to the higher amount of adds. Either way it is a game that does a great job of promoting teamwork seeing as the 4 available weapon-types have a specific role to fulfill.
- The skill variety is ample enough. There are 3 passive and active slots and there are enough skills for all types of situations.
- There is a large variety of different challenges rooms with various objectives. There are 4 acts (or areas) and all of the puzzles are different. No 2 puzzles repeat so you can be sure that the game stays 'fresh' until the end.
- You get to face challenging bosses. Each boss has a speed challenge and a 'self-imposed' handicap challenge. With these 2 challenges, you can't just face-smash your way to full-on victory. Fully completing a boss level requires a certain level of precision and understanding of the room's mechanisms.
- The spirit guide's dialogue is quite well-done. It was entertaining enough to get me through the entire game without getting complacent.
- The Camera feels very limited. - There is currently a glitch that sinks the 3rd player in any group under the floor when entering or re-entering the preparation room. They are currently looking into it. - High latency can cause issues in some puzzles. These issues can block progression.
All in all I loved FORCED. I haven't had that much fun in co-op since playing Magicka.
I would like to see more puzzles in the future. The bosses were alright but the puzzles felt a lot more satisfying/rewarding when completed.
9/10 and looking forward to sequels and other releases from this developer!
Forced is absolutely brutal, requiring constant team communication, clever problem solving and the mastery of combat skills. It can be an incredible amount of fun and is highly recommended for any group of gamer friends.This game pleasantly surprised me: simple in concept, but with an incredible amount of depth to it.I can’t stress enough how much fun Forced is when you’ve got even just one other player. It’s a smartly designed cooperative action game with a great variety in its challenges, and a great combat system that encourages teamwork over all else.Forced is an honest cooperative RPG with some good ideas suitable for 3 or 4 players but a hard nut to crack for lone wolves.Playing solo is oftentimes more frustrating than fun.However if you’re itching for a hardcore co-op action experience, then you’ve struck gold with Forced.
252 of 375 people (67%) found this review helpful 9 people found this review funny
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 31, 2014
Just know that while there is a single player option, you will need friends or you will have a bad time. The first few trials are fun, but then you hit trial 5 and 6 and realize that not only will you be facing off against multiple enemies who move faster than you, but you will need to try and fight them while trying to move the orb around. The enemies will surround and overwhealm you. Maybe I just missed something, but the youtube videos that showed how to do these levels were people who had already earned the crystals needed to unlock more advanced abilities. I'm disappointed but hopeful that I can get a friend to play this with me and maybe my experience with the game will be different.
Great Game. One of the best couch co-op game I've ever played. It reminds me a good deal of doing well designed WoW raids without the time commitment and loot grind. Which for me is a great thing. It allows you do test reaction time and forces you to map out plans if you want to be truly successful. Communication between all playing is required and fun. I can not speak for solo play or playing with random people through online play. I've always played with people I know and had a blast each time.