Intro:

After constant debate and topless pillow fights on who should do the next review. We came together and remembered how diverse everyone’s experience is with gaming on Linux. Like our friends at Linux GameCast Weekly You have 3 guys with 3 different machines. Our score and categories are still the same. But the scores will be tallied between the 3 of us.

So as our first game together we thought we would take a crack at Forced. An action adventure game that was funded via Kickstarter and raised $65,413 back in 2012. The game is riddled with puzzles and relies a lot on teamwork through Co-op or online multi-player.

Description of the game:


One- to four-player co-op arcade adventure with puzzles and tactical elements. You are cast as slaves in the toughest fantasy gladiator school of them all, condemned to fight as a gladiator and eventually win your freedom. You will face deadly trials and huge creatures, but Balfus, your Spirit Mentor will guide you in your quest for recognition.

Gameplay:

Forced is a Action Adventure game with skill based RPG elements, where you the player pick one of 4 weapon classes to kill enemies and solve environmental puzzles. Forced has a single player option but was mainly built for Co-op and Online Multi-Player. The game it self was developed and licensed on and under the Unity engine.

Combat:

Weapon classes play a large role with Multiplayer in Forced. Only one class can be selected per player. In a tactical aspect each class takes a different role such as a long ranged attack for Storm Bow, quick melee attacks from the Spirit Knives, slow powerful attack from Volcanic Hammer and Tank support from Frost Shield. Once the player and his/her team has completed a trial everyone is awarded gems which are used to upgrade weapons, skills and learning new skills. Each trial has 3 gems that can be awarded on whether the player and team meet the goals of getting each gem within that trial.

Our Verdicts

CHE:

Forced is one of the great Kickstarter success stories and a true masterpiece in the ARPG genre. Although you can play in single player mode, it is definitely much more fun in multiplayer. The game starts with you taking on waves of ghoulish type characters in the first arena. Not too bad you might be thinking to yourself. As the game goes on the puzzles get more difficult and your opponents get a whole lot tougher. This in no way diminishes the gameplay though. In fact, you will find yourself getting more enthralled by the storyline as the game goes on.

Forced is definitely one of those games that just grips you. You know the type, you get up in the morning, grab a coffee, start playing, and the next thing you know it’s midnight and you haven’t eaten yet.

DERK:

Some of you might know I have a sweet spot for Forced and the developers at ‘Beta Dwarf’. The casual interaction between the developers and the community sure paid off.

Forced is well balanced, entertaining and of great fun to play with friends. Both casual and ‘hardcore’ games find some sort of comfort within Forced. I don’t think my three friends and I have had such a great experience since playing ‘Super Smash brothers’.

The gameplay of Forced feels like a mix between Diablo, L4D and Castle Crashers but with a unique flavor on top. The difference between co-op, characters and difficulty is very well balanced. You can tell ‘Beta Dwarf’ spent a lot of time and money to find a balance within all the different options and character capabilities. This results in a very solid game with AAA-studio quality.

SANDY:

I missed my chance to back this when it was on Kickstarter. I later bought Forced when it was going through early access. For a Unity game this started up without a hitch. This is definitely a game that should be played with others as advertised. The combat mechanics are a sound affair. Puzzles will make you think the first time around in a trial. Then after completing the trial on your first crack, it becomes a race to finish the puzzles as fast as you can for those gems. I really can’t find a major negative in the game other than it sucks to play by yourself. The wife and I played this a number of times together both rocking Logitech F710s. Both controllers work right out of the box with this game.

Forced_screenshot04

Graphics

CHE:

We’ve seen a lot of games recently built on the Unity engine that leave a lot to be desired but Forced is not one of them. It pushes the Unity engine and the graphics benefit greatly. They come out looking sharp and amazing. BetaDwarf really did do a great job with this one, they delivered a game with tremendous atmosphere and beautiful visuals. You will not be disappointed!

DERK:

The development of Forced was highly dependent on community input. The interaction between the art designers and the community was unseen before, at least to me. This playful interaction resulted in an odd variety of items, weirdly detailed creatures and level elements. Combined with the fancy gloom-and-bloom graphics, you get an impressive game to look at. However the game performance and visuals differs greatly between Windows and Linux, but that would be a Unity3D issue.

SANDY:

A lot of the art style did remind me of Diablo 3 which is a good thing. As Che said, a lot of games running Unity have less than desired graphics. Once in a while you get a nugget of graphical goodness. In the early access days of the game the framerates left a lot to be desired as well but after a few updates with better optimization and some open sauce drivers Forced ran like a champ.

Sound

CHE:

The music and sound effects in Forced are done very well, typical high fantasy stuff really. It will lift you, and chill you where needed. The voice work stood out for me, I really do appreciate it when voice actors suit the characters they are playing. When paired with good music and sound effects this really helps to bring the game to life and create an atmosphere that you just won’t want to leave.

DERK:

Music and additional sound effects are mandatory to the player experience. Forced doesn’t depend much on it’s music, rather it depends more on the sound effects to support the visuals. The sounds and music feel alright to the game, but don’t stand out.

SANDY:

The soundtrack to Forced was good but none of the music tracks really stood out as “That’s what I’m talking about.” Sound effects were ~ ok. Typical sound effect to a fantasy game, not that i’ts bad but it’s not amazing either. The best part? Sound worked.

Conclusion

Che:

Forced is definitely worth dropping a few pennies for as it is one of the better games available for Linux right now, that is of course only if the ARPG genre is your thing. However, make sure you have a buddy to play with otherwise it can become very frustrating, very fast.

Derk:

Decent game with solid performance and gameplay. Good if not overwhelming music but because of the short comings in the Unity3D engine, the graphics are not quite as good as the Windows version. To answer the question ‘Is forced worth your pennies?’ I’d say YES!! FORCED should be included in your Linux Games Library. The game is fun to play and easy to master (for your friends). Yet it proves to be a challenge for the more serious/hardcore gamer. Either way, FORCED will not disappoint you.

Sandy:

I certainly enjoyed Forced, one of the better ARPG’s I have played, but not yet the best. Story is well done, graphics look good and it sounds good. Definitely worth your time and money to check out.

source
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Gameplay
8
Sound
7
Graphics
7
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