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The Forgotten City


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Has anyone else checked this game out yet?  It's on game pass now, and it's a neat time-loop mystery game that apparently began life as a Skyrim mod.  Premise is that you end up in a Roman city where if any one person sins, everyone gets turned into gold statues, and your initial task is to figure out who is going to break the Golden Rule.  The story definitely goes places, but it's a way better game than 12 minutes.  I don't think it's quite as good as something like Obra Dinn or the Sexy Brutale, but it's a similar game vibe.  As a game with a time loop though, it probably handles the "don't make the player repeat everything" better than just about any other game I can think of.  You hang on to inventory through loops, and there are even ways to delegate repeated puzzle solutions to put the world in the right state at the beginning of a new run.  Even better, this affects the outcome of the game in a mostly positive way.  I also appreciate it when a game with multiple endings like this one gives you an indication of which ending you got, and even a hint as to how to get the others.  I beat the whole thing in a couple of evenings, so it's not super long, but definitely worth a look if you have access to it. 

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I have a feeling that this is going to be on a lot of GOTY lists.  If I look back, it's one of the best games I played that released in 2021. 

 

Spoiler
  • I did not see the revelation that the city was the underworld and that it had been built on top of older civilizations at all, and that was amazing.  It's great when a twist like this doesn't get spoiled.
  • My biggest criticism of the game is the combat, since it really didn't seem to fit.  The whole section in the palace was amazing, and it really filled out more of the story, but why the game that was primarily about dialog all of a sudden had you shooting gold zombies I have no idea.  Even having the peeled statues there but taking the combat out of the equation would have made more sense.  It was also a little weird because of the warning it gave you in basically saying "you can skip this if you want", but it was also required to finish the game (at least to get the "canon" ending).  If nothing else, there should probably be an accessibility option to make the combat easier (or something like an invincibility toggle), since there are people I'd recommend this game to for the story that might get stuck on those sections. 
  • I appreciated the epilogue in the canon ending, especially that just about all the characters were at least accounted for, even the canonically "evil" ones.  Some good options for the investment advice for the merchant guy.

 

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