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Sniping with the Pyromancer

If you are craving for a classical PvP with over the top battles and addictive gameplay, Dark Vale’s game, Forge is here to fulfill your needs.

The game is set on a fictional world called Forge, in which the heroes tirelessly battle till death, bringing them closer to set in freedom their own gods and themselves, thus counteracting the deeds of a malevolent form of life called The Devourer. Anyway, being mainly a PvP game, the plot is not really what makes Forge shine, so let’s get down to the real deal.

Forge is an online, player versus player game that puts players in control of one from five distinctive characters: the Assassin, the Pathfinder, the Pyromancer, the Shaman and last but not least, the Warden.  Each class is strategically geared with characteristic abilities and spells, to aid them in the everlasting war unleashed in the world of Forge. Needless to say, proficiency with the different techniques through practice is required, since each class is provided eight unique attacks, one of them being the main attack and the other seven having special additional effects. Forge features a crosshair system, having to lock on to your target before releasing your spells and attacks as fast as your fingers make it possible, therefore aiming practice will help considerably to survive when hell breaks loose.

Each special attack utilizes resources, often referred to as energy.  The resource regenerates over time, though at a slow rate, therefore the abilities must be used wisely in order to prevail in the heat of the battle. The main attack does not drain resources, instead, when it does hit an adversary, it grants you back a little portion of resource. This is done so players have a balance and don’t find themselves without any energy left, and helpless in the middle of the match.

All of the various classes count with a similar pattern of skills, having at least one stun attack and one  attack used to slow down opponents. Aside from said similarities found among the arsenal at the disposal of the heroes, I can safely say that every class has their own functionality. For instance, a Shaman is the healer of the group, as well as being able to cast spells for support and protecting himself once engaged. The Assassins is a more stealthy type of class, plays better against a single enemy. The pathfinder is the archer class, with mainly long range abilities and the possibility to set traps in place. The Warden is the bulky character that is able to take a ton of damage before falling, and the Pyromancer is the fire bender of the group, even looks like one, but still one of the most aggressive when it comes to offensive force. Even already inside a match, you can leave behind a class and select any other one to try out all styles that classes on Forge have.

The game has three modes and 4 maps as of now, and is yet to receive the rest of the greyed out gameplay modes. At first a Tutorial mode will guide you through the basics of the game, and after beating it, the other game modes will be unlocked and available to play as will. Due to the low ammount of players currently on Forge, a ‘Random’ option is the most viable choice I got top lay, since most people are found playing there. Random will alternate between all the modes, and each one consists of two rounds.

There’s the classic Team Deathmatch, where a number of total lifes is displayed, and the first team to reach zero looses. The respawn time may seem overwhelming, with up to 30 seconds of wait till you get to play again, but it’s balanced enough to keep the flow of the battle. Another mode featured is Capture the Relic, which is a tweaked Capture the Flag encountered in a large amount of games. In this type of gameplay, a ‘tower’ is set on the middle of the map and staying near the tower will dominate it and grant either team a bonus for the points received when capturing the relic. However, the many times I played Capture the Relic, both teams were more focused on fighting for the tower tan actually capturing, and that alone won't decide the match. The third mode is King of the Hill, which basically consists of yet more towers, and the teams need to fight in that spot, to gain control of the tower and deplete the other team’s counter of 1500 points. The first team to reach zero looses the match. The tower does not stay in the same place for long though, it will change positions from time to time.

There is a leveling system in Forge, up to level 99. So far I’m level 16, but the experience earned utterly depends on Medals gained through your own very skills. To give more insight about it, killing three oponents without dying will snatch you a Cold Blooded Medal. Each medal has four tiers, and each tier gives you more experience. Generally, the team with the upper hand in the battle will have more chances of getting more medals, as they will stay alive longer, and will make more damage and kills. Levels can be “bought” in the main menu, and each character is leveled up individually, meaning that you will either focus on one class and have a high level main class, or divide your experience points between different classes, giving you more room to choose from, and have a mixed balance of different classes.

Although level 99 may sound overwhelming, there’s not such a large gap between a max leveled character and a first time player, aside from the personal experience gained through the time playing Forge. Each level will give you customization points, armor points, skins and personal titles, the latter to brag between your friends. Armor points will allow you to swap the status from say, Magical Armor to Physical Armor, giving you more defense against Assassins or Wardens, but weakening your resistance when facing Pyromancers or Shamans. Customization Points gives you the chance of lowering your speed or resource points, and upgrade your Armor. Customization feels a tad weak, limiting you to do only minor changes to your class of preference.

The difference between Armor and Customization points relies on the fact that Customization will grant you a bonus of +60 armor at the cost of either Speed or Resource, instead of just taking and placing 3 points from an armor type to another. Of course, Speed can be sacrificed for more Resource, and vice versa. Said points gained through levels can even get to mess up your character, as well as reinforcing it to endure under the mad frenzy that battles tend to turn to, so players must be sensible and decisive when doing so. Through leveling up you also earn Abilities Customization, but as of now those can’t be used, but will arrive in Forge later on.

Graphics, matched with the background ambient music sets the mood in Forge, with sleek animations and immersive landscapes. Some issues with the level design can be found, as I have many times now got stuck in different spots of the Forest Ambush map, and left to death helpless at hands of raging enemies. Other inconsistencies found in Forge is the occasional glitching when a Warden uses her Charge Leap ability towards an enemy, getting stuck with another player and affecting the game experience, resulting in the need of re-entering the level.

Forge will be receiving more content as time goes by, with very promising future plans of Matchmaking, server browsing, deep class customization and yet more modes of gameplay and maps to play on. Updates are very welcome, since the state of the game now might not seem sufficient for an enjoying gameplay, although Forge will do for a great fun time playing against skilled people and make for a competitive gameplay in a very action packed PvP game.

Shamans, the difference between victory and failure