Foregone is a game that I would describe as a hybrid between the Metroidvania and the platforming genre. Nowadays, pixelated video games tend to play and feel similar to one another; they often take inspiration from different genres while, sometimes, sprinkling their final touch. Foregone is one of those games that combines a chunk of inspiration from various places. Surprisingly, it works well but sadly doesn't introduce anything so mind-blowing to the table.
Foregone is a fast action-platformer loaded with graphically stunning pixel art visuals that will seriously remind you of the likes of Dead Cells. The aforementioned was developed and published by Big Blue Bubble back in 2020. So far, the company has only made 4 games, but we can expect more in the future.
In Foregone, players take control of a blonde heroine called the Arbiter who has to fight through hordes of corrupted enemies known as Harrow. As players progress, they'll learn more about Harrow's origins and try to thwart their plans to destroy the world.
Once the intro scene is over, you start in a destroyed part of the city of Calagan. The game then teaches you the basics: How to jump, roll, attack and use your guns. One thing you'll notice at the beginning of Foregone is that it's all about upgrading and looting what's left after vanquishing your enemies. Enemies often die by exploding into tiny pixels that you collect for upgrade purposes. Needless to say, these explosions are often exquisite to look at as they're splashed, causing the collectibles to be all over the place which makes collecting them engaging.
Foregone doesn't only excel in explosions but also in the surroundings such as the fresh fountains, the level structure, and the canvas-like backgrounds when jumping from one platform to another or fighting a myriad of foes. All of these visuals play a role in keeping the player engaged with the game for hours.
Another thing that may keep you hooked is the soundtrack. The second level (woods) kicks off with a nicely performed soundtrack that I have instantly saved on my Youtube playlist. Don't blame me if the soundtracks were great enough for me to enjoy listening to them, and I think you may too.
At first glance, the gameplay is pretty similar to Dead Cells but, thankfully, it's less punishing. Despite this, while dying in Foregone may not revert you to the beginning of the game, you will lose every coin and diamond you've collected. Luckily, you get to keep half of what you've collected when dying the first time. All you have to do is talk to the skeleton beside you. Yet, dying a second time will decrease that percentage. Hence why you should strive not to die many times in the same spot. The game is not a walk in the park, but it's not super hard either.
Diving deep into the gameplay, Foregone includes a combination of melee attacks and gunplay that will hook you instantly. The Arbiter is capable of carrying a plethora of guns such as shotguns, pistols, bows, and more. Also, she can carry a handful of melee weapons such as a regular sword, a heavy sword, two swords, a scythe, and more. All of your weapons can be upgraded using your coins and diamonds. Each weapon possesses certain advantages over the other, so make sure to pick what suits you better.
Unfortunately, while Foregone contains a good set of weapons, there's a lack of combo channeling that I personally think would have worked well. I would have personally preferred if the game could have introduced a combo system where the player could press different combos simultaneously. While it's true that you can switch between the gun and the sword at any given time, I still wouldn't call that a "combo" such as something similar to Devil May Cry, where you could hack and slash with style, but in 2D.
Foregone puts heavy emphasis on platforming and backtracking. Players will find themselves running and double jumping from one corner to another. Every corner is filled with enemies ready to finish you off, but the Arbiter is quick enough to dodge that by sliding.
Sliding is a crucial mechanic in Foregone; without mastering it, players will have a hard time progressing further into the game. The Arbiter isn't an overpowered character, but as I mentioned above, you can upgrade her weapons along with other abilities you may stumble across throughout your journey. These abilities not only make the game way easier but much better. These new abilities include the possibility to heal, dash into the air, put on a shield that protects you from enemy attacks, and more.
The exploration in Foregone is linear as most of your time will be spent going from one level to another. However, you may also go back to previous places for the sake of farming gold and diamond or unlock corners that weren't accessible in the beginning. In addition, Foregone includes puzzles that are easy to solve, although they can sometimes be confusing, especially when you've completely forgotten your way back. In the end, if you're a Dead Cells fan, or enjoy fast-paced platformers, Foregone is the game for you.
All in all, Foregone is a great game. The visuals are nicely crafted, and the gameplay is pretty solid despite not introducing anything new to the genre. The story may seem generic and bland for some, but thankfully, the game has multiple endings. This opens the door for a new game plus playthrough with all of your collected weapons, and upgrades, but the difficulty will increase, giving you a new experience compared to before.