When I first bought my Nintendo 64 and a handful of games to play, one of the games included with it was Forsaken 64. It was a futuristic 3D first-person shooter with a dark and edgy tone that I thought was unique at the time. Little did I know back then it was a port of a game for PC, and a watered down version at that for Nintendo’s 64-bit console. Years later, Nightdive Studios resurrects the original PC game for the Xbox One in the form of Forsaken Remastered. However, instead of a straight port, Nightdive Studios has put together a definitive edition that combines everything from all versions of the game into one package. And while not every hiccup is completely fixed, this is the most complete version of Forsaken you can play.
To put it bluntly, Forsaken is a game that was a product of its time. While some parts of its story, controls, visuals, and gameplay may not have aged too well by today’s standards, it was something different within the era it was released. Forsaken Remastered does correct some issues from previous versions of the game, specifically how fluid the controls are and the range of movement you have open to you. Using a modern controller is much more comfortable when trying to strafe around enemies while firing a barrage of missiles and lasers. Having a camera display of what’s behind you does help too, with the ability to toggle it easily in the middle of combat is very welcomed.
The higher frame rate in this remaster makes things look and feel smoother, however, things do start to slow down and look choppy when there are a lot of explosions and other effects happening all at the same time. This can get bad in some fights against bosses that attack you with flashy weapons or items that would scatter your ammo reserves all over. It doesn’t happen a lot in most areas, but there are a few standout points where things can get pretty rough. Outside of that, flying around in the stages and fighting the various mechanical enemies can be fast-paced and challenging.
There are over 30 levels in total within the single player game of Forsaken Remastered. This includes levels that were previously exclusive to the Nintendo 64 version of the game, as well as some additional levels just for this remaster. However, I felt the missions in each stage did get repetitive pretty quickly. Most of the time you’re either wiping out all enemies within an area to open the exit, or collecting items to do the same thing.
Though the visuals are polished up a bit, most stages look very dark and somewhat bland. The most interesting levels are ones with many corridors and colorful environmental hazards, but the majority of stages look similar with their flat and generic textures. The bonus stages from the Nintendo 64 and additional stages do look slightly better, but not that much more than every other stage in the game.
The multiplayer mode is fun to play online, even though it may feel like some balancing is needed. You can play a variety of game types, including Team Deathmatch and Capture the Flag, on many different maps based on the single player game. This great and offers a lot of fun with up to 16 players at a time online. However, whether due to latency issues or not, the damage output of weapons can feel a bit inconsistent in some matches.
Most weapons and secondary weapons will decimate your shields and hull quickly, but there can be times when it feels like the damage for some of them can fluctuate. This doesn’t always happen in every matchup, but when it does it’s very noticeable. It might take a little bit to find a full match online, but everything works out well when everyone finally starts shooting at each other. When somebody picks up and launches a Titan, it still makes everyone panic and scatters around wildly.
A fun addition to Forsaken Remastered is how most of the cheats from previous versions of the game still work. Not every cheat is applicable (some have been removed for obvious reasons), but the majority of cheat codes from the PC, Nintendo 64, and PlayStation versions can still be used. Completing some stages also reveals new cheat codes that you can enter in the main menu or at the pause menu which have a variety of effects that many will find fun. Though I have to admit it feels good to have God Mode and All Weapons easily accessible in single player without much hassle. Completing missions and finishing the main game also unlocks additional characters to play as and gallery items to view, mostly from just completing stages and gathering some collectibles throughout. This isn’t hard but instead very time-consuming and requires you to replay every level and find every secret area hidden around.
Forsaken Remastered is the definitive version of this game that fans of the original will want to have. Not every hiccup from previous releases is addressed, but this is the most complete and full version of Forsaken available. There are lots of bonuses and unlockables to check out from playing the single-player mode, and the multiplayer can be a fun change of pace for just about everyone. Even if you never grew up with the original game or its various ports on home consoles, you might find something intriguing about this dark and edgy futuristic shooter.
This review is based on a digital review code of Forsaken Remastered for the Xbox One, provided by NightDive Studios.