A while ago, I reviewed Rainswept and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a fun game with a good story and lovely visuals, and I was excited to see more from the developers – and that day has come. A month or so ago I was contacted by them asking to review their new game – Forgotten Fields – and I nearly bit their hands off with how excited I was.
The story in Forgotten Fields is a real home run. It’s a bit on the short side – I think I finished the game in around three hours – but it’s probably perfectly sized to make you feel satisfied that you’ve seen and experienced a solid tale with a good beginning, middle and end. You are almost playing two games in this game, one where you’re a writer named Sid, and one where you’re the main character in the story he’s struggling to write. It’s an interesting premise and it is executed so well. The characters in the main story feel very real and well written, with nobody existing just to fill a void or pad the game out. The game is almost entirely filled with interesting content and conversations rather than anything to just make the game artificially longer.
It seems that stunning visuals are a theme for developers Frostwood Interactive. Forgotten Fields follows on from their previous entry with an even better visual experience – as long as you don’t pay too much attention to first person view, because that is straight up ugly. Wandering around in third person view though is lovely, because you’ll be surrounded by beautiful scenery and really well crafted areas that have just the right level of detail to be interesting to look at but not be distracting and draw too much attention away from the place as a whole. The game really stands out when it comes to the cutscenes though, and while there aren’t too many of them, the ones that are there are really beautifully drawn and animated and when I sat there and watched it, I felt so relaxed.
Key to the relaxed vibe was the soundtrack, which shines especially during the cutscenes. The artist micAmic is back from the first game with even more tremendous songs that elevate the game even further above its rivals in the genre. There’s not a point in the game where I felt the soundtrack was rubbish, and when a cutscene played with one of the tracks in the background, I genuinely felt like I was watching a movie.
Despite the enjoyable story, I did find a few glitches that took me out of the experience a little. First happened almost immediately in that I couldn’t use my mouse or keyboard to play the game for some reason. I much prefer playing most games with a keyboard and mouse, so being forced to play with controller was a bit annoying. It did seem rectified later on in the game, so maybe just a minor issue at the start of the game. Either way, there were other minor glitches that definitely came up and affected gameplay, particularly when dealing with movement. Moving up and down stairs in particular seemed quite tricky, and in tight spaces it can be quite difficult to actually manoeuvre around.
The other aspect that makes the game a little unwieldy when moving around is the camera angles. You’ll spend most of the game in third person view and sometimes you’re able to move the camera around, although the game doesn’t really tell you when you can and when you can’t. At the start of the game it’s implied that you’ll always be able to, but that is far from the truth sadly, and when you can’t move the camera is definitely when you really need to. Unfortunately, there are also times where moving the camera around doesn’t help at all and no matter where you place it, your view will be hideously obstructed. This is especially the case in a part of the game where you have to hunt down some laundry that blew off the clothes line, with extremely tall trees blocking every single viewpoint and causing unending frustration. You also have times where the camera moves to a certain viewpoint as soon as you step on a certain tile, even when you’re just passing through it, which caused me extreme frustration.
Forgotten Fields is one of my favourite games that I’ve played in 2021 so far. It’s got an excellent combination of story and presentation, and although there are some technical issues, these are far outweighed by all of the positives that can be found in the game. It’s an uplifting and enjoyable story that I thoroughly loved playing through.