FORCED is a curious beast. In a lot of respects it has a lot more in common with a great board game than a computer game. It requires at least two people to play in order to be fun and it helps if those friends are in the same room or able to talk to you. The action RPG is spliced with problem solving to allow you to progress and get high scores. If you cannot talk to the person you are playing with it becomes rather difficult to get what needs to be done. But what Forced does is actually quite good.
The game is set up so that you, as a slave, must travel from arena to arena and solve the puzzles, fight demons and ultimately win your freedom. Guided by a bright glowing orb, you must utilise the many different characters and their skills to accomplish the challenges. For example you have to pass the orb between two players in order to light a pillar between them both. This unlocks a door that will then progress the journey. Using Team-speak or Skype will allow you to really get the most out of this. Online co-op is difficult if you aren’t talking to the other players. I did try and I was constantly watching the other player, trying to second guess their movements and wondered if they actually knew what they heck was happening.
Graphically the game is solid with many different weapons and characters to keep it interesting. The bright colours allow you to identify weaponry quickly and the characters easily. This allows you to make fairly fast decisions and keep you out of the options screens and put you in the action as quickly as possible. Each character has different abilities that you can unlock as you progress. By collecting gems you will be able to progress all the characters and not just one allowing them all to keep up with the game progress.
Sadly there aren’t any loot drops that make this an easily repeated adventure. Playing single player was fairly redundant and laborious making each puzzle slow to solve and unenjoyable. But with a group of four friends the game opens up into a fantastic battle quest where you must use your brain as well as your sword. I found using a controller to be much easier than the WASD keys simply for the full 360 degree turning that the game requires.
The game in quite short lived and a solid weekend will allow you to get the majority out of this title but when played with up to four good friends it can be an absolute blast. Hell, even one good friend can make it better but as the game is designed for four people, the arenas are still the same and the tasks are easily done with a full compliment.
With the way most games are designed these days, FORCED has tried to bring back a sense of camaraderie that has long been lost as online co-op becomes a solitary “me vs the world” scenario.
The game is well built, with solid graphics, great action and intelligent puzzles but it’s not for the lonely warrior who keeps to himself and seeks glory on his own merit.
MLG Rating: 8/10 Format: PC Release Date: 24/10/2013
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a copy of FORCED for review purposes. The title was reviewed over the course of 5 days on a PC. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.