Developer: Beta Dwarf
Publisher: Beta Dwarf
Release date: 29 March 2016
FORCED SHOWDOWN is an action indie RPG game, a successor to FORCED: Slightly Better Edition, a well-known co-op RPG game.
If this review is too long for you, I suggest you to only read the first paragraph about the game’s content and the final verdict at the end.
What is happening in the game:
You are in some kind of a game show, where you are FORCED (see what I did there?) to fight enemies that are placed across the level. They get tougher after each stage, but you do as well.
- Graphics | The game truly looks amazing! Levels look great, they have a lot of little details that fill the screen and make everything look good. I’m talking about torches, flowers, barrels and so on. Variety is also a big advantage, as levels look different from one another. If you’re interested about graphic settings, there is plenty of them.
- Amount of Gameplay | There is a lot of gameplay included in this game. You have different campaigns, but you also have many quests to complete. Since campaigns are full of content, there is also a great replayability value in this game.
- Cards | This is (to some degree) also a card game. Let me explain this. You get a card every level and you can choose whether you want to use it or not. Every level, you also get some mana, which you need for activating the chosen card. If you want to activate a card that is really good, you will probably have to wait a few levels to save up enough mana to be able to use that card. I think that cards are a nice addition to the gameplay and it’s great that’s the game’s focus is not completely on the cards, but just uses them as powerups and bonuses. If you want, you can also build your own decks. And if you don’t want certain cards at the beginning, you can choose to change some of them to different ones (you don’t know which new ones you will get, though).
- Weapons and Abilities | You can have different weapons and also different abilities, depending on what character you choose. Abilities do help a lot, unless you forget to use them like me 😛 Weapons are kind of cool, since they behave a bit differently than they do in other games. For example, continuously firing a laser gun for a few seconds will result in a huge blast at the end of that period, which will deal a great amount of damage. This also makes sure that you time your shots right and aim at the strongest enemy just when the blast is about to occur.
- Cutscenes and Voice Acting | The cutscenes are well-made and are also voice acted by an announcer/referee called C-SAR. He acts with a really exciting voice and together with sound effects and music, he really makes cutscenes great.
- Menu Appearance | I know that this is not affecting the gameplay, but a game also needs to take care of how it appears when a person first launches it. The mix of purple colours and just the right lightning definitely leaves a great first impression. The menu is also intuitive and easy to navigate.
- Achievements | There are more than 60 achievements in this game, which is great for some people who like to be complimented by the game for their marvelous actions and advanced skills. The achievements are also equally divided between different difficulties. By that I mean that some games have all achievements fairly hard to achieve or the exact opposite, but Showdown is not one of those games.
- Controller Support | I don’t play with my controller very often, but this seemed like a good game to try playing it with my Steam Controller. I tried it and, to my surprise, the game played better than with a keyboard. I like the control layouts
- Regular Updates | Updates are coming very often, approximately one every week. And they’re not just some small updates! They all have tons of added content, tweaks, fixes, balanced enemies and weapons, performance improvements and more. The gaming community certainly needs more active developers like this one.
- Performance Issues | Even though there were many fixes and the situation definitely did get better, I still experience some frame drops and lags. My computer also struggles a bit when I launch the game. But, as I said, the situation keeps getting better with almost every update, so I’m looking forward to seeing this game issue-free in near future.
- Loading Times | Not a big issue, since there are not many loading screens, but the ones that are present take a long time to do their job.
- Enemy Variety | Sometimes I feel like there are not enough different enemies. You rarely have to take different approaches in order to beat them. You don’t have to adapt too much, they just get a bit stronger and maybe a bit more aggressive.
- Lack of Minimap | In certain arenas, you could use a minimap to see the stage layout and maybe even enemy positions. This is not a major problem, though.
- Trading Cards | Sadly, they are not present. The developers have this one their list of planned stuff, but apparently, they’re more busy with other things.
- Windows Only | There is no Linux and Mac support right now, but this is supposedly planned as well. We’ll see how that goes.
Overall, this game is really good. There are a lot of good things and some bad things, but there is really no doubt about this game’s quality. In case you haven’t read the whole thing: the quality is high above average. I really like how this game looks and how it plays. I’m not the biggest fan of card games, but Showdown has them integrated in an unusual way that is, in my opinion, much better than in most games.
There are some issues in terms of performance and a lack of some features, but the updates are so frequent that I don’t have any fear that everything is going to be fixed sooner or later.
If you like RPGs and if you liked the original Forced, definitely give this game a try. It’s worth it.