FORECLOSED from Antab Studio and Merge Games is an extremely visually appealing title. Just one glance at the game’s visuals and you’ll immediately be drawn in by its gorgeous aesthetic. It’s dripping neon cyberpunk visuals and a graphic novel-esque presentation style. So while the game obviously has its visual aspects nailed, does the gameplay itself deliver?
FORECLOSED starts off with players taking on the role of Evan Kapnos. He awakes in his apartment to find that his employer has been bankrupted and all access to basic necessities that he needs has been cut off. This involves the Blockchain (So now he can’t buy things) as well as his own apartment’s rent money being severed and neural blocks being put in place to prevent him from leaving the city too. You effectively wake up into a dystopian governmental control nightmare and it’s intensely hard hitting to be honest.
Players will then leave Evan’s apartment to head out to a court case involving him and while out in public, you are suddenly attacked by some men in suits. Evan is able to escape and soon discovers that he’s part of something bigger involving his former employer Securtech. The story of FORECLOSED is enjoyable thankfully, even though it deals with numerous cyberpunk and dystopian tropes. The game is also short enough to not become too overbearing coming in at only around 4 hours long.
The gameplay of FORECLOSED is however where it stumbles and falters. The game’s aesthetic design of playing out like a graphic novel or comic book with multiple pages is an extremely unique concept that sounds amazing on paper. However, in-game this is less than ideal. The camera control and player control, as well as the severe lack of tooltips, tutorial hints and other information is off-putting. Players will flounder around in story segments not knowing something is an interactable object or will get stuck without any direction. This happens frequently in the game with a section right near the beginning almost making me believe that I encountered a progression bug. This wasn’t the case but rather just some poor game design choice since I had to resort to reading through the Steam discussion forum just to find out how to progress further.
The combat in FORECLOSED is fairly straightforward with players firing their weapon at enemies with the press of a button. You can sneak around and be stealthy and take down enemies by frying their internal brainchips too. It’s great fun in action and since the game isn’t too long, it doesn’t become too repetitive.
Dying in FORECLOSED is something that will happen often though. Either through being detected by enemies or simply by not being able to escape a chase section or something else. You can however just respawn and try again and it never gets too annoying because you’ll know what to do to survive afterwards through trial and error.
Players will also be able to equip a range of upgrades to Evan in FORECLOSED. These are implanted chips and firmware updates that are accessed via the in-game menu. Using your upgrades however comes at the cost of only being able to equip four at a time and only being able to use them sparingly otherwise you’ll risk overheating yourself.
FORECLOSED’s tale features lots of stealth and action sequences but the game’s graphic-novel presentation becomes it’s downfall. With the camera angles swinging around being quite hard to get to grips with, and the confusing aspects of actually progressing through the game world, FORECLOSED becomes a bit of a pain to get through. The soundtrack used in FORECLOSED has plenty of synth tracks which suits it’s aesthetic perfectly. The voice acting however sounds a bit lacklustre and not as entirely convincing as it should be, especially when you’re questioning characters to get more story.
Overall, FORECLOSED is worth checking out because of it’s aesthetic and unique presentation style. The gameplay itself is fairly standard and straightforward but is bogged down by the lack of direction and the abysmal camera control in specific segments of the game. This can ultimately become quite frustrating as you fail to progress because of it at some points. Thankfully the game is just the right length. Given that it’s really not that expensive on Steam, it’s well worth checking out though players who get easily frustrated should look elsewhere.
A review code for FORECLOSED was provided to Gameblur by the publisher.
- Gorgeous Visuals
- Fairly straightforward stealth/action hybrid gameplay
- Camera Control
- Lack of direction and tooltips
- Can get frustrating quite quickly