There are many video games that have grown out of modifications, and as a rule, these are multiplayer games like Chivalry or DayZ. But there are not so many focused on a single player. The Forgotten City by Modern Storyteller is just such a case. It all started with a mod for Skyrim, but a team of three developers decided that their game is worth more.
After four years of hard work, the game was released. But is it worth paying attention to the story-driven “walking simulator” that was once just a side quest in the latest installment of the hit series? Now let’s try to figure it out without spoilers. Even the developers in the main menu warn us- do not spoil the fun for others, do not talk about the plot of the game more than necessary. Quite a logical request, because this game focuses on the plot and unexpected twists.
This is a quest with elements of platforming and action. We walk around the city, talk with local residents, and solve pressing problems. We blackmail the residents, steal the items we need, then restart the time and again solve the problems of the local population. Sometimes we pick up a bow and work our way through the golden statues. And in general, that’s all.
The gameplay itself is very simple, if not primitive. But, it is clear that the authors and developers did the aspect on the story, and not on the gameplay.
History and the “Golden Rule”
The game begins with the fact that we, waking up on the banks of the Tiber River, next to us will be a pretty girl named Karen. And asks us to do the following: find a guy named Al Worth. Karen herself cannot do this, since she gave her word to Al that she would not follow him for anything in the world.
So, customize your character: enter a name, choose gender and skin color – and go. Fortunately, we don’t have to go far, already at the entrance to the cave, we hear a strange whisper that pushes us forward. By the way, this whisper is our only friend along the way.
So, whispering forward, we find several golden statues, very similar to people. One of them hangs, next to a stone slab. From this tablet, we learn that this hanged man is Al Worth. How this happened is not entirely clear.
A little ahead, we find a small temple, with a strange sphere in the center. We go there and … find ourselves in the year 86 from the birth of Christ. Where a man named Gallerius meets us and says “I don’t know who you are, I don’t know where you are from, I don’t know why you are wearing such strange clothes. But, I know for sure that there will be problems from you, and therefore go directly to the magistrate. Do you want me to take you to him? And yes, remember, do not break the local rules, otherwise, it will be bad for everyone.”
And now, finding ourselves in a small town of the Roman Empire, our goal is simple: to find a way back. And with this there is such a problem: violation of the “Golden Rule” leads to the fact that golden statues come to life, take bows in their hands and turn all living beings into golden statues.
So what is this rule? This is a complex of moral values that the local rulers consider it necessary to fulfill, among the rules are the following: neither kill, nor steal, nor say that there is no rule. However, the local curators do not consider various tricks, and those things that in our world could be considered a sin as such.
However, violation of this rule will not end the game, despite the fact that any weapon against the golden statues is useless. We have the opportunity to start time anew, from our appearance in the city. Moreover, sometimes we have to break this rule, this is a necessary condition of the gameplay.
Don’t expect anything too original from the time loop here. It is activated mainly due to your mistakes, and on purpose you will not use it very often: for example, to complete several quests or to talk to characters that you have managed to be rude to. Or to steal money for a couple of dialogues.
The city is full of quests, which sometimes intertwine with each other and make us closer and closer to solving the mystery of the “golden rule”. But there is no particular nonlinearity in The Forgotten City.
The Forgotten City is big – for a ten-hour game, almost entirely consisting of dialogues. Each has its own recognizable character – you will never mistake a good-natured merchant for a cruel gladiator. Of course, not all significant characters are equally well developed – the developers paid more attention to people with a more significant role in the plot. But nevertheless, it is curious to observe the disclosure of the character of many residents of the town.
In general, the dialogues are good – but there is one problem. They lack a little brightness, a little more aphorism. Nobody will remember the heroes of The Forgotten City years later – they are not so expressive. It lacks a little madness or expressiveness.
Almost every character has his own secrets and not always ordinary interests, which turns the town into a ball of secrets and conflicts. Despite the outright prohibition of all crimes, many are looking for some workarounds for their dirty deeds.
The whole story is, in fact, one big reasoning about the essence of crimes and sins. About whether people can not violate their laws at all. Everyone tries to answer this in his own way: someone quotes religious postulates, some try to live according to the precepts of philosophers, and other characters completely deny any morality.
At the same time, the plot retains the intrigue for a long time about why the main character ended up here and why the “golden rule” appeared at all. The game regularly throws up new facts that either clarify the overall picture or make the history of this place even vaguer.
Forgotten City is no longer associated with Skyrim, but the roots of the project are visible at a glance. The game is made on “Unreal Engine 4”, and therefore, the game looks pretty nice. Graphic part for a solid seven points out of ten. You can see well-made objects in homes, as well as learn a lot about that time.
The sound in the game is quite well made. The music is pleasant, albeit looped. True, in combat situations, it is replaced by not the most pleasant combat music. As for the sounds themselves, there is clearly a lack of funds. Five out of ten.
Optimization. But this should be worked on, many players had problems during the game. But the developers continue to optimize and improve their game.
An interesting indie product with a good story and concept. Not for everyone. The game is more designed for fans of detective stories and time travel, but for many, the game may seem rather boring and uninteresting.
The Forgotten City is praised for its excellent storyline with multiple endings that can bring tears to tears. Maud even won an Australian Writers Guild Award and won the award for Excellence in Narrative at the 2021 Australian Game Developers Awards. In addition to this, 18 voice actors were involved in the work, and the original soundtrack was written by an entire orchestra.
System requirements will delight gamers with weak PCs. To beat the game, all you need to do is be configured with a GTX 750 Ti, 8GB of RAM, and a 3GHz processor.
This review was completed thanks to a code provided by PR.