I’m not too big on PvP, but I have dabbled in it from time to time. I’ve played “World of Warcraft” for years and enjoyed (I use that term loosely) being stomped repeatedly by those who knew their classes in and out and have keybinds for everything,including the dance emote, which they often exercise over my rotting corpse. So what brought me to the world of “Forge”, a game that advertises itself as a “class based multiplayer shooter”? Before I answer that, I’d like to thank David Domm, the Co-Founder and CEO of Dark Vale Games, for sending me a free review copy.
The main menu allows the player to play a tutorial, participate in a match, level up their characters, view community activity, adjust game settings, and redeem promotional codes. The options menu covers your basics: screen resolution, fullscreen toggle, graphics detail, audio sliders, customizable keybinds, in-game HUD display options, and more. I like the fact that you can assign keybinds for the abilities in each class individually, giving experienced players the ability to customize them as they see fit.
There are five main classes in “Forge”, each with their own unique abilities. The Assassin class gives the player everything they’d expect: stealth, daggers, and the ability to inflict considerable damage at close range. The Pathfinder class reminds me of any hunter class with a bow and arrow in that you’ll have the ability to lay traps and attack targets at range. Pyromancers are your mage class, focusing heavily on the art of burning other players to a crisp. Shamans act as a support class, providing heals and other buffs to nearby players. Finally, Wardens are your heavily armored tanks that can take a beating in almost any situation. Despite the game being relatively new, they are balanced fairly well, if you know how to use them.
There is a leveling system in place that rewards players for sticking with it. While leveling up does not increase your base stats, it allows you to transfer points in between them. For example, if applicable, you might earn the ability to transfer five armor points from one armor type to the next. Customization points, on the other hand, allow you to transfer points between speed, resources (mana/energy), and armor. The more you level up, the more you can customize your characters the way you’d like. I promised earlier that I’d answer what brought me to “Forge”, and that is the absence of a “pay-to-win” / “level-to-win” mechanic, so kudos to this particular gameplay mechanic. I like being on equal footing on day one.
While the idea and premise behind the game is fantastic, the game could use some more work in the area of implementation. For example, after completing the tutorial, the play and quick play options become available. When you click on the play menu, the create group and browse server features are grayed out. In the community menu, the guild and friends options are likewise grayed out. The game gives no direction as far as how to access these features…which makes me wonder, are these features even finished yet and simply not accessible by any player? If that happens to be the case, then I believe these are things paying customers need to know before they spend their money on a product. In my opinion, a product should not be advertised as finished if there are still key features that are unavailable to the masses…if they are, then the instructions on accessing said content should be more clearly defined.
From what I have been able to access, my experience has been an interesting one. In most MMOs, you’re given abilities over time as you level up, allowing you to get used to how they function. In this case, you’re given quite a few abilities and are forced to figure them out as you play. New players who aren’t used to these abilities and mechanics may get frustrated playing against seasoned vets. It would have been nice to have an offline practice mode against bots to help acclimate players to the classes and their respective abilities, as the tutorial only takes you so far.
Overall, “Forge” has a lot of great ideas, but needs work in order to fully function as a game that everyone can play. If the developers can make the game more user-friendly and provide direction to new players, I believe it would appeal to a wider audience. At present, this game rewards those willing to stick with it for a while to truly understand the ins and outs, something that casual players may not be inclined to do. I found it frustrating, mainly because I would get stun-locked by assassins every thirty seconds without knowing how to respond. If experienced players see you (a new player) as easy pickings, forget it. To new players like myself, this is simply not a fun experience. There doesn’t appear to be any way to join servers that are “noob” friendly, nor does there appear to be a language filter at work for those with the need to cuss in chat on a regular basis.
Is it worth the twenty bucks that it’s currently advertised at (as of 12/24/12)? That depends on whether or not the game will be updated on a regular basis to address the above issues. If you are someone who thrives in a PvP environment and aren’t afraid to get your hands dirty in the process, then “Forge” just might be what the doctor ordered. Hardcore PvP players that are used to the learning curve may find a home here, whereas casual players may find themselves outclassed and frustrated with the lack of user-friendly options. Ultimately, this comes down to player preference and to that end, I’d recommend registering on the official site to try the Beta before purchasing.
Final Verdict: 4/10
You can learn more about and purchase “Forge” by visiting the following websites:
You can view video play sessions, here: