There has been a renaissance with action side scrolling games in the last five or so years with some really great titles. And who doesn’t love a good action side-scroller? The best action games have tight mechanics, fun action, varied levels, and interesting enemies. Luckily, Foregone is a rare game that manages all of those elements, and does a pretty good job of it.
Foregone is a 2D side-scrolling action game. It’s not a roguelike, rogue lite, or even a metroidvania—though it does have some role-playing game elements and some looter style gameplay. In it, you play as a super-soldier, tasked with defeating a force called the Harrow. The Harrows is reanimating the dead, and you have to stop them and put an end to it at its source. Foregone is narrative driven, and while the story is interesting, it just serves as an excuse to get to the fantastic combat.
Fast, super tight combat is what Foregone is all about. It’s seriously fun. You have the ability to dash to avoid damage, and have abilities that can give you buffs or even heal you. Eventually you will get an air dash that opens up a few more platforming challenges. But Foregone isn’t really about platforming, it mostly focuses on action. There is a good amount of variety in that action thanks to its looter nature. You have a main weapon, and a gun that acts as a side weapon—both with about 4-5 different types each. There isn’t much variety, but there is enough that you’ll probably find something you like.
Foregone definitely has some role-playing game elements, but not many of them. There is, of course, the tiered loot system. There is also a branching skill tree that allows for a tiny bit of variety in your build—but not by much. There aren’t so few options to make the choices feel worthless, but it’s pretty close to that. I wish there was more variety in how to build your character—but I also wish there was more variety overall.
My biggest complaint about Foregone is how little variety there is. Enemies in Foregone are interesting, but many of them repeat throughout most of the game. There aren’t many types of weapons, so they severely lack in variety too. Even the levels, interesting at first, feel very samey, despite their different appearance. I had fun with Foregone from beginning to end, but that’s by virtue of its amazing combat. Otherwise, it feels a bit light on content. There is a hub world you will return to that allows you to upgrade gear, change your assigned skills, and even take on challenge missions—it’s all very basic. But simple isn’t always bad, and I can also see the argument that Foregone works with the content it has. Its combat is just so damn fun, I wish there was more to do and see.
Not only is the combat great in Foregone, but the art is fantastic. Developer Big Blue Bottle took 3D models and finagled them into 2D pixel art. The effect is smooth, and incredibly satisfying to look at. I haven’t seen smoother animations in a pixel-art game outside of those that are rotoscoped. Also, I would expect an effect like that to be jarring, but the character models blend in perfectly with the gorgeous backgrounds. Foregone is a pleasure to behold.
I really enjoyed Foregone, but it’s definitely a case of liking as aspect of a game I wish there was more of it. It feels like Foregone is a solid framework that could have benefited greatly from having more enemies, gear, weapon types, etc. But the combat is undeniably fun, and there are some fun (but mostly easy) boss encounters. If you like action platformers, then Foregone is definitely something you will enjoy—but you may find yourself wanting more than is offered.
Foregone is available today on Steam.
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