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Review: Forgotton Anne (PC)By Ofisil At 12.05.2018 23:47

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This is a poor man's version of Hayao Miyazaki - and that's a compliment, as from the London-esque alleys and dark blue skies, to the hand drawn characters, Forgotton Anne looks great, albeit not as striking or varied as it should… or, at least as steampunk-ish. Concerning the animation, everything is a few frames short, and yet, whether that's an artistic choice or budget constraint, everything in here looks pretty good. Where is 'here?' The answer is the Forgotten Lands; the magical realm where every lost item ends up, from scarves and refrigerators, to teddy bears and grandfather clocks.

Being responsible for keeping the order in this world, young Anne is tasked with finding some rebels who seem to have other plans for this beautiful *ironic pause* paradise. Yes, not only are these capable of talking, but they also have a revolutionary side. In other words this tale is basically The Brave Little Toaster-meets-V for Vendetta, and produced by Studio Ghibli - a tale that's somewhat predictable, as it's easy to see where this is going pretty soon. It's your run of the mill, dystopia-hidden-behind-utopia kind of deal, with a little bit of self-discovery thrown in for good measure.

Whereas the destination can be seen from afar, however, it's the journey that matters the most, correct? Well, this part is not without flaws, either. The first is that, while the writing is decent… it's just that, and, as a result, not many will laugh with the few funny parts, or feel sad in the, much more abundant, dramatic moments. Anne is pretty forgettable as a protagonist, too, which is a shame as the crossroads that she will come upon had the potential for some pretty strong storytelling, with most of them testing her sense of morals, and, of course, yours.

As the 'Enforcer,' Anne is at the top of the food chain; a character that's perceived as the stuff of legends. Whether she will be respected or feared, though, is up to the player. Anne's choices will frequently be divided between persuasion or threats, honesty or lies, and, most importantly, life or death, as her Arca bracelet can be used to drain 'forgottlings' of their life essence. The ramifications of your choices will take their sweet time to appear, but this is certainly the strongest part of the narrative, as it makes you actually think, and thus, get immersed in everything.

In conclusion, the plot could definitely be better, but it's generally quite good, and actually makes one want to learn what's going on and reach the end, and the hand-crafted visuals, while not as stunning as many pre-release articles have claimed them to be, are very pleasing to the eyes. The real issue with Forgotton Anne, however, is that it's basically little content that has been stretched out way too much, and padded with simple platforming and puzzle segments, when it would be much, much better if it had a shorter duration, and a heavier focus on the storytelling part.

Starting with the platforming, this follows the more "realistic" approach of games like Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee, although it's not as strict... or accurate… or challenging - and that's the main problem with this part. From the first jump, to the "harder" leaps that will have to be made with the aid of a set of mechanical wings, the challenge is non-existent. Apart from the fact that the controls are irritatingly clunky at times, there's not a single segment anywhere in the Forgotten Lands that will test your agility, and, as such, platforming here feels more like a needless speed bump.

As for the puzzles, they aren't something special, either. As an example, the most common kind are those where Anne must use her Arca to "refuel" a machine, and then fiddle a bit with the energy flow in order to guide it where it's needed to activate a door, lift, light, or whatever. Once again, however, these don't really "evolve" throughout the adventure, and thus end up feeling like chores …and that's the thing with Forgotton Anne: it makes the common mistake of narrative-driven titles, by attaching subpar gameplay next to the main dish, undermining the rest of the experience.

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Final Score
[i]Forgotton Anne[/i] is a charming little adventure, with an interesting, and good-looking, hand painted world that's fun to live on for the eight or so hours that this will last. Unfortunately, the story never really manages to become as emotional and engrossing as it thinks it is, and the rest of the experience, the actual jumping and puzzle-solving, feels more like useless baggage.

6

/10

User Comments
#1 Insanoflex - on 13.05.2018 at 13:51

whats going on with the graphics?
 theyre awesome


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