The Forbidden Arts, the first title developed by the indie studio Stingbot Games, aims to emulate the action-platform titles of the past, trying to renew the formula with some original ideas.
Will he have succeeded in the enterprise? Find out now in our review.
The story of a pyromancer apprentice
The protagonist of the story is Phoenix, a boy with a mission to stop the evil wizard Voltaire to use the art of necromancy to upset the balance of the world.
To achieve this, he will have to travel to the various regions and be taught by the masters various magical arts, starting with Pyromancy.
The narrative however it is not too interesting or engaging, proceeding through dialogues a little too hasty. The protagonist, above all, it lacks real characterization or personal reasons for embarking on this adventure.
Good level design but ...
The Forbidden Arts gameplay is divided into two distinct phases, also characterized by a very different graphic presentation.
The moments of plot progression, in which we will have the opportunity to move within a fully 3D setting to find secrets and reach our next goal. Although the treasures are well hidden, these maps appear to have been made quite hastily, with very few screen elements it's a lack of attention to detail.
Then there are i dungeon, characterized by large horizontal scrolling levels and with numerous secondary routes that hide important collectable. The hidden gold pieces can be invested in certain points of the overworld to unlock special levels which, if completed, will increase our characteristics.
These levels too however, there is no shortage of flaws: it is not always easy to understand on which surfaces it is possible to jump to the wall, sometimes by clinging to a climbing wall it is possible to get stuck, and once again the backgrounds are not particularly accurate.
The biggest flaw is however the combat system. Our main form of attack is a single melee combo with a pair of daggers, often enough to kill any enemy without giving them a chance to fight back, unless the enemy does not activate an attack that gives them a period of invulnerability.
To make matters worse the controls they don't always appear immediately responsive, especially when we need to roll to dodge an attack.
The mechanics of pyromancy on paper it should increase the options available to us, however it is not well managed. The overabundance of fires where you can recharge your energy bar removes the need to assess whether it is appropriate to keep some for later obstacles.
Even so the best option in most cases is overcome enemies without engaging them in boring fights, as they will lose interest in chasing us after a very short time.
As already mentioned, both 3D maps and 2D levels appear extremely poor in decorative elements, thus creating the impression of an empty and bare world.
The graphic style however it is particularly pleasant, with the few models present quite detailed and with a good texture job, with the exception of some background elements.
The soundtrack of the game is catchy but not particularly memorable. Opening the pause menu will stop it completely, throwing the game into complete silence.
The Forbidden Arts promises an epic adventure, with thrilling combat and an intriguing storyline, however fails in execution.
Between a barely sketched combat system, some annoying bugs and good art direction but poor settings, fails to fully achieve its goal.
However, the level design is good, composed of environmental obstacles and secret collectibles placed in an intelligent way. A shame that the enemies inside are not treated equally.
It turns out enough play, capable of entertaining for ten hours of its main campaign but that you will hardly want to complete 100% or take back in hand for a second game.