F.I.S.T.: Forged In Shadow Torch Review – Metal Rabbit Solid
I recall a time when the Metroidvania genre was uncommon, but thanks to indies, it has seen a notable increase in new releases. Even iconic games that helped create this genre, such as Castlevania and Metroid, are making a comeback with new entries or successors, thus it is no longer a niche genre in the traditional sense.
F.I.S.T.: Forged In Shadow Torch is a Metroidvania-style game in which you play a rabbit armed with a robotic iron hand. The game is set in a world filled with Anthropomorphic animals. The basic foundation for FIST includes some identifiable elements of a dieselpunk city mixed in with a dash of sci-fi. The name definitely raises eyebrows due to its length and use of an acronym, but perhaps the developers were just attempting to be fashionable.
Based on the trailers, I would never have imagined that the game placed such a high value on the plot. It definitely does, as seen by the extensive exposition displayed in cutscenes and the backstory revealed in dialogue with the characters. The devs have spent a significant amount of time developing this universe and mythology in FIST, so I doubt it is simply for this game. Having said that, the narrative has its highlights as well as its flaws. It’s difficult to remove the impression that the presentation is lacking and that the writing could be better. Regardless, it’s interesting to see everything unfold in real-time.
Rayton is the titular character of FIST, and he definitely packs a punch with his robotic iron fist. Rayton, you see, was a resistance soldier who wanted to bid farewell to his former life until circumstances compelled him to return after one of his close buddies had been kidnapped. FIST’s metropolitan city is governed by a faction known as the Iron Dogs. They undoubtedly have their own ‘dictator’ methods of keeping citizens in control, which inevitably leads to fresh opposition.
In FIST, it’s easy to fall in love with the world. It is beautifully built to revolve around your abilities and steadily expands as you go. The fighting system is a little sluggish at first, but it quickly picks up as you upgrade your techniques and unlock new ones. It still has a clumsy feel about it, which is difficult to shake. It’s not necessarily a terrible thing, but as someone who has played a lot of fluid action games, this was a major hindrance for me.
FIST’s platforming aspects are actually pretty enjoyable. They are frequently employed in the delivery of environmental puzzles. The true thrill comes from employing new abilities to explore previously unreachable locations. The level design in FIST is just wonderful, satisfying that desire in our heads to investigate everything. The map structure is extremely intricate, and as you explore more regions, you will be able to appreciate it more.
FIST’s combat lets you freely build combos, but don’t anticipate the fluidity of movement that we’ve come to expect from titles like Ori and Hollow Knight. Uppercuts may be thrown, enemies can be juggled in the air, and strong punches can knock them out. Because there is no ability to cancel into other combos, it appears to be a pretty simple system that is reliant on your upgrades. You can cancel out of strikes by dashing, but you can’t modify your movement when in the middle of a combo. FIST relies on hard-hitting punches, with Rayton pummeling his opponents with his Iron Fist.
Enemies continue to seem repetitive in FIST, and the game takes a difficult turn when you have to defeat a crowd of them in a room. FIST doesn’t have a lot of spectacular boss fights, which I found disappointing. Most of the so-called bosses, on the other hand, feel like a stopgap, functioning as a mini-boss in the game. The battle complexity feels inconsistent; one minute you’ll be handing out damage to a slew of opponents, and the next you’ll be battling to keep up with the number of foes on the screen.
Because of how well it executes the Metroidvania formula, F.I.S.T.: Forged In Shadow Torch shines. Although the combat is serviceable, the game’s difficulty feels unjust. While FIST’s plot may make you feel as if you’re watching an anime, the world’s lore and mythology are rather rich, and there are several intriguing characters who you may engage within the game’s universe. The game is a hidden treasure on the PS5 and an example of games being created in China with a level of quality that can be readily compared to that of a top-tier independent developer.
F.I.S.T.: Forged In Shadow Torch Game Information
- Price: $29.99
- Publisher: bilibili Game
- Developer: TiGames
- Platform: PS5 (Reviewed)
- Disclaimer: A review code was given by the publisher