Forge Online Review – Capture the Crystal!
By Remko Molenaar, OnRPG Journalist
Forge Online lets you pick up your desired way of fighting whether it is with a sword, or with the use of a bow and magic. Forge takes the fighting elements of many MMO’s and mixes it into an action RPG class based multiplayer ‘shooter’. Pick between five classes and head into action to help your team achieve victory. But beware, Forge isn’t just a game that you should blow off as another competitive FPS because this action hack and slash game has some deep gameplay compared to its fellow genre members. With the right set of tools, and the right mindset, this game changes into a battle between champions.
I have to be fair here, I personally never ever even heard of this game before until I saw it on sale during the steam sales. After watching a video of the gameplay, I was honestly perplexed why I haven’t heard or seen any footage of Forge Online before. Yet the majority of people I’ve asked in the industry knew exactly what I was talking about when I said Forge. An action RPG with this kind of advanced fighting style that resembles many of the aspects MMO’s are using is just everything a gamer can dream of. Together with a fantasy themed setting, it sounds just complete, but is it?
Once I was done with the tutorial that basically lets you fiddle around with the skills a bit for each class, I was ready to head into battle and join the other merciless fighters. To put it bluntly, I was blown to bits without putting up a fight. The skill cap achievable in this game is something to be commended as the top notch champions demonstrated to me in my first few matches of Forge. But the skill cap didn’t just relate to a personal player’s skill. I quickly noticed how important playing as a team is for achieving victory. By choosing one of the five unique classes, each role you take has an important influence on the game. Those who don’t understand their role properly will cause the entire team to suffer in the intense team battles that inevitably erupt each game.
Since I was new in the game and didn’t really know the maps to the fullest yet, I decided to start up with the safest role which is the Warden. The warden can be seen as the tankish role in Forge Online. But do not take this class as a mere meatshield, he is capable of changing the whole outcome of any battle he fights in because of his arsenal of skills, endurance to take a beating, and nearly unmatched utility and mobility. Besides the tank, there is another ‘support’ role for those preferring a backline tactician’s spot in the line-up. The Shaman is the second one of these support roles, and this wise wizard has abilities to give your team a noticeable boost that could change any situation in your favor. The combination of auras, healing skills, and blessing buffs makes the Shaman a valuable member of any team despite lacking the damage potential of other classes. And yes in an FPS style environment that’s an odd role to imagine but it works.
Now on to the carriers of the game; the real damage dealers that are definitely needed but don’t quite suffer the same stress carried by the Shaman and Warden. Let’s start off with the Pyromancer, who is a mage that has taught himself the ways of influencing the power of fire, is a glass cannon nuker that should be one of your top priorities to remove from your enemies roster as soon as possible. The second heavy damage dealer is someone that has taken the old fashioned bow and arrow to pick off foes that think distance is their ally. The Pathfinder is able to strike multiple targets with his bow in large battles or lay in wait for unsuspecting foes to stumble into his traps so he can emerge from camouflage to pick them off. This class will honestly make you second guess wanting to wander off without your team at your back. And last but not least the roster of champions would be incomplete without a melee dps, the Assassin. Who else could fit the team better than a stealthy dangerous sneaky person that has mastered the art of using daggers and fast attacks to pin foes down and seal their target’s fate before their enemies can react and counter.
Because Forge Online resembles the many PvP aspects that are so familiar in MMO’s, the controls are really important to determine the talent of each player. And Forge takes a different innovative approach for using spells and attacks. Besides the standard mouse controls, the hotkeys you use for casting your spells are very different than any other game I’ve seen before. Instead of using the number keys on your keyboard, most of your skills are used by pressing any of the buttons in the middle of your keyboard like ERTYFG. At first, this was really confusing to play with but the longer I played with this, the easier it got. But if you still prefer the old fashioned way of binding your skills, than you can obviously change the controls if you’d like to.
Now on to the game modes that are currently available in Forge Online! Unfortunately this is where the possibility might come in why this game isn’t that popular as it should be. Besides the game having only four maps available currently that mostly look alike, the game also lacks innovation in its modes. Currently the game only has a Team Deathmatch, Capture the Relic, and Arena modes though a few more have been announced to be on the way in the future. Now don’t get me wrong, these game modes are still extremely fun and the maps are absolutely beautiful, but it might be too repetitive for most gamers that have seen them before or are currently addicted to similar modes in their current game. And then there is also the option to level up your classes which I personally am not a big fan of. Leveling up your character is done by earning experience that can be earned by playing the game. When you unlock a level for any of the five classes, you will get a useful stat point that will either boost your character or other useful customization points. Granted it gives some motivation to keep going but it also ruins that feeling you should have in an FPS that everyone is on equal grounds.
Forge Online is a truly beautiful game and each map that I have played on has a great atmosphere with smartly placed scenery. Besides these beauty filled maps, the class models also look very well made and fit seamlessly into the world around them. And let’s not forget all the visual effects emanating from the diverse list of skills. In short, if graphics are a big selling point in your games, Forge doesn’t disappoint. To run this game you will need the following computer requirements:
Processor:Dual Core 2Ghz
Memory:2 GB RAM
Graphics:DirectX 9.0c complient with 512MB of RAM
Hard Drive:6 GB HD space
Sound:DirectX Compatible Sound Card
Processor:Quad Core Intel or AMD CPU
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: DirectX 9.0c compatible NVIDIA or AMD ATI video card with 1GB of RAM (Nvidia GeForce GTX 260 or higher; ATI Radeon 4890 or higher)
Hard Drive:6 GB HD space
Sound:DirectX Compatible Sound Card
Other Requirements:Broadband Internet connection
Forge Online is a lot of fun but does feel sort of incomplete. It might be strange for me to say this since this is just an indie game after all but I got bored rather quickly playing the four similar maps again and again. And with only a handful of game modes it could get boring from time to time but then again, you shouldn’t play this game the whole day. I might be too critical but it’s just because I see the potential in Forge and regret to see the limited popularity and recognition the game has received. Forge is absolutely amazing and a lot of fun, and unlike the PvP in some MMORPG’s, it does actually take a high skill to master any of these classes in Forge Online. If you are a big fan of these arena styled games, and are easily charmed by artistically sound games then I would definitely say that this game is worth the money and you should check it out.