Forgotton Anne Review

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Forgotten Anne on PlayStation 4

Under the Square Enix Collective banner, some wonderful games have been released over the past year, many of which are focused on the platform. Black The Fall is an ingenious, puzzle-centric experience built around the Romanian developers’ experiences with communist oppression and Octahedron is a dynamic, fast-paced vertical platformer with a heart-pounding soundtrack. Now the next game to be in the spotlight is Throughline Games’ Forgotton Anne, a cinematic adventure game set in a world where everyone’s forgotten things will live out their own lives, and it continues the series of releases from quality of the collective.

You play as the titular Anne, Enforcer and one of only two humans in The Forgotton Lands. The other inhabitants are all everyday objects that we get rid of without a second thought. That old pair of boots, that lost sock, or that bookcase gathering dust in the basement leaves our world and starts afresh, gaining its own personality. They are called “Forgotlings” and they are central to the game’s story. Master Bonku, the second human living in The Forgotton Lands, creates an ether bridge that will bring him, or some of the other inhabitants of the world, in the human world, but there is the beginning of a rebel uprising that distracts Anne and Bonku. Anne’s role in the world is to keep the peace, making sure that every Forgotten behaves as they should. Using the power of “Arca”, which plays an important role in gameplay and is the resource that powers the entire world, she can distill them to their lifeless form, making her a respected and feared figure throughout the realm. . With this power in hand, you set off to catch the rebels who have begun attacking the grounds of Master Bonku’s tower.

Throughout your journey to catch the Rebels, you encounter a variety of puzzles and obstacles. Forgotton Anne is a platformer, so there are jumps to make and puzzles to solve that involve flipping switches, moving platforms, opening doors, and changing Arca currents. They’re mostly simple, requiring little more than some forethought and quick movements – nothing too complicated. The ones that involve altering the currents of Arca are the most engaging as they require you to turn dials in the correct order to start or pause a machine. They aren’t overused either, with only a few in each area.

However, Forgotton Anne’s jump mechanic can be frustrating. Anne’s jumps often seem inaccurate, especially when using her Arca-powered wings, with the impression that she can only jump from a few different angles. She will often jump too far or too low for a platform, or straight up when you wanted her to jump at 45 degrees to her right. This can lead to some frustrating moments, especially during the few platform-heavy sections spread throughout the game. Anne can’t die from a fall, but you’ll climb the same sections multiple times after missing a jump or of them. There are also Arca-based puzzles that can see Anne without her power at an important moment, and if you fail a puzzle multiple times or forget to complete it, there doesn’t seem to be any choice but to restart the game. and revert to the last save. This is by no means a regular problem, but it certainly detracts from the enjoyment of a few puzzles.

Forgotten Anne

However, gameplay is not Forgotton Anne’s focus, nor her strength. It’s primarily a cinematic adventure game with a whimsical fairytale-style story set in a beautiful anime-inspired world. Anne is not the menacing character that her role as Enforcer entails. She’s a sweet young girl who is driven by her dreams and determined to do what she knows is the right thing. She grows as a person as the six to seven hour story unfolds, learning from the other unique characters that inhabit the world. The sheer number of them playing roles and the wonderful characterization work gives the world a real sense of community. There’s a gun that’s the town’s chief inspector, a refrigerator that serves drinks in a secret bar, and a pad that’s tasked with clearing the walls of the tower one brick at a time, to name a few. only a few. There are others who also play a vital role in the story, each with their own voice and personality. They may be silent cliché characters, similar to those you’d see in classic Disney animation, but they fit well into the mystical world of Forgotton Anne.

There is, however, some off-putting dialogue in the interactions with the minor characters. Performance is good for the most part, and the writing is of a basic level that really matches the tone, but suffers from it at times. Some sentences seem oddly written, some words sounding like the wrong choice. Two halves of sentences can feel disjointed, like they were recorded at different times or like they were rushed due to the amount of dialogue and the way most voice actors play multiple characters.

The overall story is also excellent. What is initially presented as a typical tale of a hero’s adventure in a magical world evolves into a deeper narrative and explores darker themes, especially in its second half, but without losing the charm of storytelling tropes. fairies. There’s real emotion to Anne’s journey, both in a personal and larger way, and the pace at which you progress makes the story feel like something that involves a whole world, rather than just the few characters you spend a lot of time with.

What makes it more compelling are the choices you can make that greatly affect how the story unfolds and how Anne is viewed by the Forgotlings. From the first scene, when a seemingly innocent red scarf bursts into Anne’s room, there are several things you can do. You aren’t faced with a choice per se, but a message pops up once you’re done that “outcome could have been different,” adding weight to simple actions. These moments crop up throughout the story, giving you the chance to slightly mold Anne into the person you want her to be, making her a truly endearing character, even in a short amount of time.

The world of Forgotton Anne itself is also a magical place. The animation is stunning – the hand-drawn visuals are clearly anime-inspired. The game’s animators have spoken about their influences, and there are obvious similarities between Studio Ghibli and Throughline’s game. It’s impeccably detailed, but it’s the lighting and use of color that stand out. Whether it’s the orange of the smoldering fires and the brilliant emerald greens of the underpasses, or the deep purples and blues of the rain-soaked city, lighting plays a huge role in conveying the tone of every location and highlighting the level of detail. Cinematic presentation and level design only accentuate the art. There are a few anime-style cutscenes, but most of the cutscenes involve panning the camera to show a certain part of the world. It comes close to Anne as she explores puzzle rooms and narrow passageways, but zooms out as she passes through an abandoned train station, showing more of the city on the horizon.

The beautiful soundtrack, created in collaboration with the Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra, also fades with the camera to emphasize the change in perspective. Camera changes are also so seamless, with no loading between conversations, rooms, or locations, which helps keep the story moving. There’s literal depth on many levels, with Anne being able to explore multiple horizontal paths in one place, with secrets lurking everywhere. Layered levels are often more open than they appear, not only adding to the complexity of some puzzles, but introducing you to new characters that add to Anne’s backstory and paint a more detailed picture. from the world of forgotten Anne.

Its puzzles and platforming might not be anything to shout about, but they’re not Forgotton Anne’s focus. The way it develops a detailed world, full of unique and interesting characters, while keeping the central story gripping and surprising, is remarkable, especially in such a short time. Anne is a strong and emotional character and her adventure is worth living, even if you want to do nothing more than marvel at the amazing animation.

Rating: 4/5 – Excellent


Advantages

  • Stunning hand-drawn animation.
  • Cast of eclectic and wonderfully created characters.
  • Choices that have a real impact on the already captivating story.
  • A fascinating, deep and whimsical world.

The inconvenients

  • Some awkward dialogue.
  • Imprecise jumps that make heavy platforming moments frustrating.
  • Poor puzzle design.

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