F.I.S.T.: Forged In Shadow Torch (PlayStation 5) Review

By Luke Hemming 09.09.2021 2

Review for F.I.S.T.: Forged In Shadow Torch on PlayStation 5

In the pantheon of long eared animals, many great names spring to mind. Bucky O' Hare (from the family lepus, still counts), or Usagi Yojimbo, are all fantastic furries in their own right. Why developers TiGAMES chose a rabbit as their lead is still a mystery, especially when so little remember Jazz Jackrabbit, but in hero Rayton, F.I.S.T.: Forged In Shadow Torch has found an icon for the ages. It's a massive bonus that the game he stars in is excellent as well.

From the outset, F.I.S.T.: Forged In Shadow Torch reeks of being cool. A rabbit leaning up against the wall of a gritty street corner looking angry is just amazing. The world built is not only aesthetically beautiful but with a title basically sold as an action-based platformer, it's a marvel how much lore is explained just from listening to any characters going about their daily day to day business.

Essentially, it's a tale of revolution, with protagonist Rayton being pulled back into a battle with the corporate overlords controlling Torch City for the usual reasons of love, friendship and betrayal. It's a simple concept but excellently done. Rayton is badass from the outset, with little interest in listening to the pleas of the city, preferring to keep his ears down and live out his life without any reminders of his past exploits. When it gets personal however (as it often does), he decides to take up Arm (that is really funny if playing this title) and is pulled back into the same war he was a part of 'ears earlier.

Combat is all based around the large mechanical fist strapped to the mammals back. Hard and light attacks are standard and cash earned from any enemies sufficiently punched in the face can then be spent on upgrades, such as more powerful or new attacks, etc. New weapons are also unlocked as play progresses to do more damage and continue exploration. Combat is as tight and responsive as movement which is essential to the genre. The forces blocking progression are never pushovers and as with a game such as Dark Souls, patience and concentration is key. Even one individual can overwhelm if not concentrating and often groups tend to split between long range and short-range combatants. With a little focus no enemies are truly challenging, however it's good to see this can't just be ploughed through without some thought to the approach.

Screenshot for F.I.S.T.: Forged In Shadow Torch on PlayStation 5

Level design is the standard Metroidvania affair with a massive sprawling map available from the outset with full exploration halted by metal doors and jumps just out of reach until the right objective is met or ability unlocked. The main storyline is also boosted by various side quests that can unlock new abilities, custom paint jobs and the like. Far more than distractions intended to pan out the length of the experience, these come highly recommended and should be treated as part of the main game.

As previously stated, the world building through characterisation is key to what makes F.I.S.T.: Forged In Shadow Torch as good as it is, so in the immortal words of Chris Jericho, "Drink it in, man". This means talking to every NPC and collecting every item on whatever quest they assign. It's all a vital part of expanding Torch City and its problems, and rarely is completion of even the littlest of objectives not rewarded.

As great as the city looks, with grimy lamplit suburbs dwarfed by Neon landscapes, the individual character design shines just as brightly with everyone having distinct looks and character traits. Any interaction always feels purposeful and most importantly, enjoyable.

Screenshot for F.I.S.T.: Forged In Shadow Torch on PlayStation 5

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

Personally, rarely does a Metroidvania game capture the imagination, often being lost to the backlog due to their constant trial and error navigation and repetitive backtracking. With that thought at the forefront, it's a credit to developers TiGAMES that F.I.S.T.: Forged In Shadow Torch still hasn't been put out to pasture in the backlog farm. Everything about this title is a joy and great, engaging gameplay is complimented by a beautiful world that springs to life on the PS5 both visually in its setting as well as its characters and stories. Top this off with a great protagonist and you have a game of the year contender in every respect. Metroid Dread? Who needs it?

Developer

TiGames

Publisher

BiliBili

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Joe (guest) 10.09.2021#1

I just bought the game cuz of this review, I hope I like it the same you do... nice review with enthusiasm 👍🏻

Joe (guest) said:
I just bought the game cuz of this review, I hope I like it the same you do... nice review with enthusiasm 👍🏻

Please get in touch if you did. I really dont go for games like these usually but the characters have really sucked me in. Everyone seems so cool and there is certainly a challenge there!

Lukezeppo

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