You don't know where you are, or who is in control, even the most
essential concepts of identity have been stripped from your mind. Only the
realization that something is not as it should be makes you take control of
your destiny to rise, seek answers and fend for yourself in an insane and
nebulous reality. Make your way through different indoor and outdoor
environments, and get swept into a breath-taking drama upon which the fate
of the universe depends. When you break free of your security cell, you
enter a laboratory set on the ruins of an ancient and long-dead alien
civilization. Fighting your way through superior forces vies with the need
to discover alternative ways of manipulating yourself and others.
BioForge is an action-adventure game that was one of the first to feature fully textured 3D characters over pre-rendered backgrounds. In this unique cyber-thriller you collect items and solve mind-bending challenges to discover the secrets of your imprisonment and recover your lost identity. Fight against your robotic and human oppressors using a combination of melee weaponry and guns. Break out of your prison and show your foes what you’re made of. Half metal, half flesh, all vengeance!
Age requirements: ESRB Rating: MATURE with Animated Violence, Realistic Blood, Realistic Gore.
Minimum system requirements: Windows XP / Windows Vista / Windows 7, 1.8 GHz Processor, 512MB RAM (1 GB recommended), 3D graphics card compatible with DirectX 7 (compatible with DirectX 9 recommended), 2GB HDD, Mouse, Keyboard.
ACCEPTANCE OF END USER LICENSE AGREEMENT REQUIRED TO PLAY
Posted on 2012-11-20 23:00:15 bySweetz:
I played Bioforge when it was new and remembered it quite fondly like others here. However, time sugar coats memory and I suspect many of the reviews here aren't based on recent playthroughs. Having bought and played the GoG release, I can unfortunately say that this is one game I should have left as an old memory instead of a recent one.
Just to get it out of the way: The technicalread more quality of the GoG version is fine. This is a DOS game and like every other DOS game on GoG it comes with Dosbox pre-configured to run it. As such, it's pretty much trouble free on any Windows machine. However, if there's one technical caveat, it's that cursor movement is oddly laggy in the save and load menu screens, yet is fine when using in-game control consoles and log books. I'm not sure if that's a problem that was in the game originally or if it's due to the emulation, but given the amount of saving and loading you need to do in the game, it becomes a little annoying.
That segues into my main beef with the game: death greets you seemingly every 10 steps. Player progression in Bioforge is mostly about trial-and-error. You advance through the game by going into dangerous situations essentially blind and dying a bunch of times before you eventually stumble upon the solution. An example from the early game is that you walk to the end of a tunnel and there are 3 paths you can take. 2 of these lead to an instant death - which the game doesn't really give you any way to know until you try them. That's endemic of the overall design philosophy. Every so often you'll have a vague idea of the goal you're trying to accomplish, but more often you'll just be trying things out until you find the option that doesn't get you killed. All adventure games have trial-and-error at some point, but usually not in such a punishing manner. It leads to saving every other step you take just so you don't end up repeating significant chunks of the game, and that has a devastating effect on flow and immersion, as do the deaths and subsequent loads themselves. From a modern perspective it feels frustrating and clunky - a game where, at least it me, it seemed especially prevalent that I was just jumping through the developer's hoops.
Then there's the combat - quite simply, it's atrocious. You've got Resident Evil style character-relative controls (some call these "tank controls") with fixed camera angles, most of them poor for fighting, and an incredibly slow responding and cumbersome attack system. Simply getting lined up with an enemy is a chore with the low resolution, poor angles, and ponderous movement speed. After that you've got to wrangle with the game's fighting system where both attack and reaction animations are slow and uninterruptable; consequently both the player and enemies can get trapped in hit animation loops and never have a chance to react. The overly complex fighting system (where 1-9 on the numpad combined with either Ctrl or Alt perform various attacks) is largely wasted as a result, since the safest option in such an awkward system is often to simply spam fast kicks or punches and trap enemies in animation loops. A 3 button (punch ,kick, guard) system that rolled through a few different animations would have been more than sufficient for the game.
There are some redeeming qualities, namely that the game's story remains interesting and reasonably original even today, but even that relies on much of the world building and backstory occurring outside of the game in the "Field Personnel File" companion fiction.
In the end, while I regret having a sugar coated memory turned sour when reexamined, I do enjoy the appreciation that playing an old game like this, which hasn't stood the test of time, gives me for modern games and older games that DO hold up. In any case, approach this one with caution. I wouldn't recommend it to those who've never played it, and for those who have and are looking to recapture and old feeling like I was, be prepared for the possibility that the only thing you'll come away with is a renewed appreciation for modern games :)
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Posted on 2012-10-18 06:37:46 byBoBFiSh:
A game from my younger days where it wasn't just all about quick-time events and cinematic cut-scenes.
This game is hard, not always because of the game's actually difficult but due to controls that weren't 100% great but perserverance and you'll discover a gem hidden beneath that difficulty.
The game uses a classic standard for adventuring genre's with the amnesia aspect - utilisingread more audio logs and cutscenes to reveal more and more of what you've both become, and who you were. The narrative is a great hook and kept me playing through the entire game in a single sitting.
It was also one of the early 3D games which means the graphics, for their time, were good but clunky looking. Don't let this spoil the game for you, as it is a great fun adventure, some awesome scenary and settings and overall great fun to play through even if it does look a little ropey in comparison to modern standards.
I encourage anyone who hasn't experienced this to give it a whirl, you'll enjoy it I'm sure. Something I'll definitely purchase even though I still have the disc copy lying around here somewhere.
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Posted on 2012-10-18 06:22:35 bythe_algebraist:
Ah, this one was a childhood favourite. Tough as nails, clunky controls, but what a fascinating plot it had. On top of the story, the environments and atmosphere were captivating. Besides its flaws (let's be honest here -- how many 3D games in the early 90s didn't have clunky controls?), it was far ahead of its time and had some fantastic gameplay elements.
Four stars, becauseread more it was far from perfect, but slotted some very vivid memories into my head.
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