LifeisXbox’s Forgotten Fields review | In Forgotten Fields, we follow Sid, a young author suffering from writer’s block, who is sent searching for inspiration down memory lane on the day of a rapidly approaching deadline. Developed by Frostwood Interactive, and published by Dino Digital, this little slice of life allows us to slow down and look back at the simpler yet exciting times of yesteryear.
We played Forgotten Fields for 7.5 hours on PC. This game is available on Windows, Mac and Linux.
What we liked!
- Story and Gameplay | Sid, a struggling fiction author with a writer’s block, is hopelessly trying to write a draft for an all important grant he is hoping to acquire. On this Sunday morning however, his struggle is disturbed by an invitation from his mother. Sid’s childhood house is about to be sold, so he has been invited over for one last get together. At first this isn’t really opportune for our uninspired writer, but he reluctantly decides to attend. But as Sid goes about his day away from the confines of his apartment, and bumps into old friends and relatives he starts to rediscover the reason he began to write. Hopefully he’ll find the inspiration he is looking for to finish the draft and reach the deadline amongst these long “Forgotten Fields”. Gameplay-wise this game is rather light, focussing mostly on the story, and letting the gameplay follow its lead. Throughout the day you also help shape the story he’s trying to write by the end of the day. You’ll walk or run around the environments, solving the occasional story based puzzle and minigame thrown in. Forgotten Fields has a healthy amount of quicktime events sprinkled in to keep you from getting too relaxed.
- Graphics | The graphics of Forgotten Fields are a fine balancing act between keeping things minimalist, yet still adding enough detail. Almost as if looking at a simplified, yet vibrant, version of the world and the things in it. I would like to think that this stylistic choice is tied in with the message the story is trying to convey. The interactable objects however are a lot more detailed, yet retaining the overall level of detail. Kind of like how when you read a book, the setting of each chapter and scene can be described to you, but the important things will be described to you more clearly. During the moments when the third person camera gets reeled back into first person, this style really comes into its own in my opinion. The memory of a lush forest walk, when you run and dive headfirst into the ocean or your scooter rides across the countryside are some examples that really did the style right.
- Good boy | There is a dog, and you can pet it. Don’t forget to pet it m’kay!
- Audio | The audio in Forgotten Fields has me torn on where to put it in this review. I would like to think myself to be easy going on most game audio. I can appreciate the dulcet tones playing throughout most of the game. How the sound of the wind in a forest is captured and gently brushes past Sid or (book character) during memories or the book scenes. When moving between locations, you’re also treated to some songs, while looking down the steering wheel of your trusty scooter. All these help to enhance the relaxing and nostalgic scenes that Forgotten Fields takes place in. So then why is this in the “Somewhere between” portion of the review then? Unfortunately, on a number of occasions there are certain sounds that are just horrendously loud. Sounds that don’t seem to fall under any of the provided settings in the options menu. From one scene that didn’t have the fire sounds from a previous scene turned off, to a scene at the beach where the, rather active, sea sounded like it was in the middle of a storm. These may get fixed or tweaked at a later date however, which would move this back to the “liked” category.
- Controls | I’ve got some gripes with the controls. The control scheme is rebindable for keyboard & mouse on the launcher, before you launch the game in earnest. So having rebound the cardinal movements, and adjusted the inputs to my trusty Belgian azerty keyboard. Sadly these changes did not reflect once I started Forgotten Fields, so I grabbed my Xbox controller. Problem solved right. Not entirely. While the game is fully functional with a controller, it’s a bit too sensitive in places where you have to aim at things, or control a cursor on a computer screen. Sometimes it also doesn’t immediately pick up on an input, or recognise you are in the backpack menu. A quick wriggle of the mouse tends to help it remember however.
What we disliked
- Camera | If Forgotten Fields had a boss to overcome, it wouldn’t be Sid’s writers block. It would be the camera and how it wrestles with you for control at many a scene. Or sometimes outright refuses to listen to the inputs you give it. For example, when you wake up in your apartment, if you want to swing the camera around when coming out of the bathroom there’s a certain point where it will straight up not budge until you move further towards the kitchen. Or when you are at your nephew’s place running around the neighborhood, the camera will at times pan to a specific angle, supposedly to best follow the characters. When I am also moving the camera, it can get disorienting very fast. This is a lot better during the first person sections of Forgotten Fields, it’s just a tad sensitive there with a controller, and there aren’t any sensitivity sliders.
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