Forgotton Anne is a game I was made aware of after a successful showcase at EGX the past two years with many videos showcasing it; I was excited after I was given a run down and now it is time I give my reasons as to why.
Forgotton Anne is the tale of long discarded objects that exist in the Forgotton Lands where you play as enforcer known as Anne. Anne and her master Bonku who appear human are suddenly ambushed by a rebel attack of “Forgotlings” the afore mentioned objects who appear as living. You almost immediately are given a choice where the consequence of your actions have an impact on the outcome. The player is completely made aware making you question whether you made the right choice and because the game pretty much saves your progress after significant events; going back is unlikely unless a second play-through is something you consider. The game does however allow you to sometime later down the road alter the choices you make with it’s heavy dialogue branching.
The thing that struck me instantly the first time I saw Forgotton Anne was the hand drawn art style that the game adopts. The opening of the game has you move around while taking in the sombre environment while rain falls and the camera pans in and out while credits roll. To great effect this sets up the adventure that you are about to embark on.
The Forgotlings appear as everyday objects that have been discarded and live and breathe in an alternate universe; this is not just a great and unique concept but it also has a deeper meaning as these Forgotlings go about their lives doing human tasks; such as the pillow who cheerfully talks to you as it’s painting away while many have seemed to turn rebellious due to being discarded.
The games premise is pretty simple. You control Anne on a superbly detailed 2.5 dimensional environment. As an enforcer you carry a device known as an Arca which is used to control the power source of the Forgotton Lands. By draining power from certain batteries and even Forgotlings you can interact with the environment and power up darker areas or open new paths. The great thing about the game is you can go through the whole game without drawing Arcana from a single Forgotling; the game does a good job of making you question your choices as an enforcer and the constant reminders of how each outcome could have been different will always question your benevolence.
Forgotton Anne is a game that is all about decisions and while there is plenty of it the game also focuses on problem solving in the style of puzzles such as activating lifts and jumping. While I enjoy the platforming mechanics at times it feels very sluggish similar to that of games such as Abes Oddysey. I say this mildly as our enforcer Anne is human without any supernatural powers except her energy extracting skills and super jump ability once she gains access to her wings shortly after the games opening; it is something you expect and adds realism to a game where at times you are conversing with Lamps and Bowling Balls.
The games steam-punk look and feel is right up my street and with all the gloomy rain in the game for the most part; the light filled streets add a perfect ambience, the game pans in and back out at key intersections, you can see every detail from the bridge you are crossing when going back and forth between the foreground; the developers really wanted you to see everything the game has to offer visually and it shows. When Anne is alone she ponders each situation and as she meets new characters such as Forgotlings then charming unique voices for each character can be heard. From the graphics down to the sound and the music the game is a thing of beauty to look at in every aspect. What makes Forgotton Anne really unique is a collective of these three things; they all intertwine so perfectly; this game is Art!
Gameplay isn’t Forgotton Anne’s forte and the game doesn’t break boundaries in terms of new and original gameplay and even though some of the most obvious puzzles aren’t as obvious as you might think; the game excels at driving itself forward.
A PlayStation 4 Review code was provided by Square Enix