FORCED review

Looks may be deceiving… watching the FORCED videos before I played the game, I got the impression that the game was a co-op action RPG. While it does have some RPG elements, the game is more of an action puzzle game set in what looks like a RPG themed game. This is not necessarily a bad thing, it is quite unique and hopefully helps it stand out from the crowded genre.

You play as a gladiator, forced into the arena to complete trials. The RPG elements play their part in the class and their skills and passives. There are four classes to choose from; green is a fast dual blade, red is a heavy hammer, blue is a shield and yellow is an archer. Each class have their own set of skills and passives, of which up to three each can be equipped at a time. The classes have their strengths and weaknesses and you notice these while playing by yourself. The classes compliment each other very well when playing co-op.

There are over 25 trials which challenge up to four players to complete the trial with the aim of beating three challenges. The first is simply completing the trial, the second is to complete a themed task such as destroying five enemies with a bomb, and the third is to complete it within a certain time. Completing each challenge earns you a crystal which unlocks new skills and passives. The challenges are quite competitive and you will often have to replay a level a few times to perfect your strategy for the best results.

Meet Balfus, your Spirit Mentor

You are guided by Balfus, a Spirit Mentor, who not only gives advice but becomes an integral part of the game mechanics. Balfus can be controlled by any player, tapping a button will call him towards your location, holding the button for a few seconds will make him follow you. Balfus is the only character that can perform actions such as activating shrines or carrying bomb charges. So you need to guide Balfus around the level and make him pass over a shrine for example. While playing on your own you find this a bit of a hinderance as you would have to move twice to line up a shrine. With two or more players you can ‘tag-team’, with the first and second players at the start and end locations and each calling Balfus respectively.

The combat system works very well with what the creators call a ‘mark’. Each time you hit an enemy it adds a mark, up to five can be applied. Each mark increases the damage done to an enemy when you use a special on it. The green class attack is very fast and can fully mark an enemy in seconds, while the slower red hammer class takes far longer. It is here that working together in a team, using the green class to mark enemies before unleashing a devastating red attack, quickly clears enemies. This works great in co-op but you can be at a slight disadvantage if playing by yourself.

Generally a trial follows a pattern. You must first kill a wave of enemies, then perform a task such as activating a shrine or blow up enemy spawning machines, kill another wave and then another task. The puzzle element really comes to life in co-op and while at first it can be hectic as each player fights for control, a well coordinated team can complete the level objectives in record time. For example, two players can keep the enemies at bay while the other two perform the tasks simultaneously. Oh, and please use the great Chuckle Brothers ‘to you, to me’ phrase when controlling Balfus with friends for hilarity 😉

Some co-op action

As a single player game I don’t think you would get the full benefit of the game as the classes are designed to compliment each other, you miss out on a lot of the fun working with others. Make some friends and get playing! As you have probably guessed from my comments, the game is aimed towards co-op play. It is a great example of a team-work based game and if you have a few friends available online or locally then this is definitely a game you should play. 

It can be very challenging in single-player. Get a few friends for co-op and it is a great example of a team-work based game
The game looks like a RPG brawler game which can be a little deceiving, the graphic style does work and looks fine.
The music is forgettable, the sounds and speech are good and keep the action going
8/10Final Score

You can purchase FORCED via Steam here, visit the homepage at


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