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The Forgotten City


macosx
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Search didn’t bring up a thread so - It’s  the year of timeloop games. The writing and dialogue on this are stunning. It’s  a detective game in pocket Roman city with a finite cast of characters where the overarching premise is if anyone sins they break the world and time resets. I usually hate talking head dialogue games but this one and the characters are really engaging and at times educational.  Majora’s mask meets Maximus. Loving it.
Built by 3 people over four years and started as a Skyrim mod.

 

 

 

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This is really good, except some of the prompts were a bit confusing. When the dodgy shop keeper offered me a quest, the game put up an extra info box saying something along the lines of "if you don't want to do an action bit, you don't need to do this" but after nosing about I couldn't see any other options and then after I did it, I couldn't see how I could have continued otherwise. 

 

Is it possible, or is the prompt just a bit strangely worded? Or alternatively, did I just totally misunderstand it?

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I’ve absolutely consumed this today like a great book or film.  Trying to get the complete ending where all the clockwork parts are fitting. Makes me look forward to Deathloop even more.

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I was thinking about trying this out based on the chat in the Obra Dinn thread. I played Obra Dinn with my wife and it worked really well because a lot of that game is just thinking through what you've seen and heard and deducing the correct outcome.

 

Is this is a bit like that? Is this a game that would work two player, one person controlling, two people talking and thinking?

 

I'm hoping it will be, since it sounds like it's dialogue heavy and witnessing things, and zero action / twitch play. The problem with some of the puzzle games out there is they involve clicking or moving things around and that starts to become less interesting for the person not controlling.  

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This would work with two as there is very little "action" and is more about working out the time loop and the conversation options. 

 

There is no moving things about at all, you can't even pick things up (aside from things you have to) but no point n click type trial an error with this object on that object etc. 

 

There are some bits that are a bit more action-y but it's really more for the 'scares' if anything. Although it isn't even slightly scary tbh.  As per my question upthread, there might well be a way to avoid that part anyway but I couldn't find it. But again, it isn't even difficult anyway, maybe a bit fiddly with some of the platforming but not really. 

 

Tl;Dr yes. :)

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I don't think the format really matters, maybe the graphics are slightly better on one or the other but its not a game where that really matters. I played this last week on my PS5 and really enjoyed it. It's not the best game of this type but it has some cool ideas and an intriguing mystery. Its pretty janky, it shows that its the devs first proper game and its origins as a Skyrim mod are plain to see. On the plus side its oozing with atmosphere, the environments are great and the writing and voice acting are solid. Its more of an exploration and story game than an outright puzzler/murder mystery. Progression is more about eliminating possibilities than using clever logic or taking advantage of the timeline in any advanced way. But even so its entertaining and addictive, my main criticism is there is a lot of Skyrim/Fallout style dialogue to get through, where you're just standing there talking to people as they stiffly stand there. Definitely worth giving a shot if you like this kind of game.

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20 hours ago, Alan Stock said:

I don't think the format really matters, maybe the graphics are slightly better on one or the other but its not a game where that really matters. I played this last week on my PS5 and really enjoyed it. It's not the best game of this type but it has some cool ideas and an intriguing mystery. Its pretty janky, it shows that its the devs first proper game and its origins as a Skyrim mod are plain to see. On the plus side its oozing with atmosphere, the environments are great and the writing and voice acting are solid. Its more of an exploration and story game than an outright puzzler/murder mystery. Progression is more about eliminating possibilities than using clever logic or taking advantage of the timeline in any advanced way. But even so its entertaining and addictive, my main criticism is there is a lot of Skyrim/Fallout style dialogue to get through, where you're just standing there talking to people as they stiffly stand there. Definitely worth giving a shot if you like this kind of game.

 

 

It sounds great. Its £24.99 digital on both Xbox and PS5. So PS5 wins, as I prefer the controller.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I finished this yesterday and absolutely loved it. The loop doesn't become repetitive as you don't have to repeat tasks you've completed.  The game nudges you in the right direction so rarely was it frustrating.  The script and story are really engaging and I'm all chuffed that I got the best ending and didn't even have to cheat or use a guide 😉

 

 

On 05/09/2021 at 20:45, b00dles said:

This is really good, except some of the prompts were a bit confusing. When the dodgy shop keeper offered me a quest, the game put up an extra info box saying something along the lines of "if you don't want to do an action bit, you don't need to do this" but after nosing about I couldn't see any other options and then after I did it, I couldn't see how I could have continued otherwise. 

 

Is it possible, or is the prompt just a bit strangely worded? Or alternatively, did I just totally misunderstand it?

 

I'm not sure as I choose to accept it and it was my favorite bit in the whole game.  I was playing late at night with headphones on and it was proper scary / spooky.  I was hooked for sure from that point.  

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  • 1 month later...

This was added to Gamepass a few days ago, so hopefully more people will get to experience it as it is a fantastic game. Really well written and voice acted for the most part and it does tell a great yarn with some interesting little historical titbits thrown in. Would really recommend this to anyone with gamepass, and in fact just in general it's excellent.

 

How I did:

 

Spoiler

I completed 3 of the 4 endings in just under 10 hours including getting the canon ending with all people saved. I didn't do ending 2 but I assume that's very similar to ending 3 but only saving Sentilla

 

Thoughts on the ending

 

Spoiler

The only thing I would say about the ending was it all got a bit wordy with Pluto/Hades/Osiris/Nergal, even for a game that was quite wordy in the first place. And I didn't like the fact that you had to navigate through it correctly to get to finish the game. Although I 'think' you could do something with releasing Porsephnia but I didn't seem to be able to get her crown as she told me, so maybe I missed something there.

 

 

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On 05/09/2021 at 20:45, b00dles said:

This is really good, except some of the prompts were a bit confusing. When the dodgy shop keeper offered me a quest, the game put up an extra info box saying something along the lines of "if you don't want to do an action bit, you don't need to do this" but after nosing about I couldn't see any other options and then after I did it, I couldn't see how I could have continued otherwise. 

 

Is it possible, or is the prompt just a bit strangely worded? Or alternatively, did I just totally misunderstand it?

 

Spoiler

I did that bit, and I did like the fact that it warned people who didn't like action/horror they didn't need to do it as I could imagine that bit would irritate someone like my wife who wouldn't really like the action bit, keep it pretty inclusive.

 

With regards to doing it, as far as I can tell you can do everything you need to do without the bow. In fact the only real need for the bow, is that section, and to get to some hard to reach chests (which lets face it are pretty worthless), and to get to the top of the Cistern early. You end up getting the key for the upper Cistern from Duli later on, when you get the final plate for the Pillar to get into the temple.

 

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I can't believe they turned it into a stand-alone game. But then I can, because it's so damned good.

 

Things like this are the reason why I won't stop championing the modding of Skyrim. Spending so much time modding that game has been one of the most rewarding experiences I've ever had from gaming. If you're not buying a PC and modding Skyrim you're missing out, especially if you're a big fan of the janky AF console game.

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57 minutes ago, metallicfrodo said:

 

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I did that bit, and I did like the fact that it warned people who didn't like action/horror they didn't need to do it as I could imagine that bit would irritate someone like my wife who wouldn't really like the action bit, keep it pretty inclusive.

 

With regards to doing it, as far as I can tell you can do everything you need to do without the bow. In fact the only real need for the bow, is that section, and to get to some hard to reach chests (which lets face it are pretty worthless), and to get to the top of the Cistern early. You end up getting the key for the upper Cistern from Duli later on, when you get the final plate for the

Pillar to get into the temple.

 

Spoiler

Oh yeah I suppose the chests you could get the money elsewhere if you want to pay off the debts and so on and cistern access you do get later. I was probably thinking too much about doing it quickly rather than lots of loops because the various vines you can turn gold aren't really that useful. 

You do need it for the flower quest for your little errand chum that you first see though don't you?

 

Might be misremembering as it's been a while now. 

Great game though, only took me 6 days (game time obvs) to do ending 3 first time through, so that's probably why I didn't think you could do it without the bow.

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36 minutes ago, b00dles said:
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Oh yeah I suppose the chests you could get the money elsewhere if you want to pay off the debts and so on and cistern access you do get later. I was probably thinking too much about doing it quickly rather than lots of loops because the various vines you can turn gold aren't really that useful. 

You do need it for the flower quest for your little errand chum that you first see though don't you?

 

Might be misremembering as it's been a while now. 

Great game though, only took me 6 days (game time obvs) to do ending 3 first time through, so that's probably why I didn't think you could do it without the bow.

 

Spoiler

No, to get the flower you can drop from the zip line at the right time (it's really annoying trying to do that). Or at least that is how I did it.

 

I actually have no idea how you'd do it with the bow.

 

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7 minutes ago, metallicfrodo said:

 

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No, to get the flower you can drop from the zip line at the right time (it's really annoying trying to do that). Or at least that is how I did it.

 

I actually have no idea how you'd do it with the bow.

 

Yeah right I remember that bit but I thought there was a bit before that which may have needed the bow. Evidently not, it's definitely quicker with it and I'd argue is the intended way to do it though which is why the initial suggestion of the NPC saying you don't I still think is a little misleading. 

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Got Ending 2 yesterday, completely unexpectedly as I was just exploring more than anything. 

I don’t really have the patience for loop games which completely wipe your progress or are too opaque, so the well integrated hint system here really helped me.
 

Really enjoyed my initial run through, and I’m going to go back for seconds. 

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I finished this a couple of days ago and loved every second. Just a really beautifully designed and well-written clockwork puzzle of a game that is never too taxing but knows how to make those eureka lightbulbs ping above your head by gently guiding you to the correct solution.

 

I was very diligent in my investigations so ended up with the canonical ‘perfect’ ending and working out how to move all the pieces of the puzzle to slot together in unison by the final run was really satisfying.

 

Its roots as a Skyrim mod and the janky stiffness that go along with that kind of added to the charm in some ways and it’s a good example of how technical limitations just dissolve into the background when the underlying design is so strong. One of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve had this year and highly recommended.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 04/11/2021 at 19:29, PyramidFace said:

Finished with the canon ending. Just an absolutely brilliant game, loved it. Makes Twelve Minutes look even more embarrassing, which is quite the feat.


played through last night to two endings. The answer exactly right canon ending was painful: I ended up using the crown.

 

twelve minutes is doing something entirely different, so I find the comparisons odd. There’s not a single thing in the forgotten city that recontextualises what you already know and that then affects how you go from loop to loop; with the possible exception of

 

Spoiler

Sevirus actually has recall.


this, twelve minutes, deathloop: they’re all really trying very different things. Deathloop might be the most successful, though it does require you to commit to the premise to get the most out of it.

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What a great hidden gem of a game. It’s a shame that the godawful 12 Minutes got publicity, fawning previews and an all-star cast while this toiled away in obscurity with money that was probably less than Willem Defoes lunch budget.

 

Unlike that game, I loved that the devs had obviously put real thought into trying to smooth of all the rough edges of the annoying parts of a timeloop allowing you to have fun with with your knowledge of future events and ability to essentially duplicate items at will.

 

The final ending is a bit self -indulgent but damn if it didn’t leave me with a big sappy grin on my face.

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