Bleak Faith: Forsaken does a great job emulating your first Dark Souls experience but is bogged down by bugs – Hands-on Impressions
Like Dark Souls meets Hellpoint.
There have been many Souls-like games over the years, with Bleak Faith: Forsaken being one of the latest in a long list. This title does a great job of bringing back the nostalgic feel of an old Souls game with a massive map that will take ages to explore and enemies that are a treat to fight. I quickly found myself getting lost in the world and admiring the scenery before getting bludgeoned to death by robots, knights, and giants. Bleak Faith: Forsaken offers a little bit of everything you’d expect from a game in the genre but ultimately gets brutally punished by wonky mechanics and bugs.
What it means to be a Souls game
Everyone who has played a Souls game probably remembers the first time they saw the world, embraced death, and continued the cycle. The branching paths opened endless possibilities, and it all felt a little overwhelming. Bleak Faith: Forsaken is one of the few games in the genre that emulates this experience well. The beginning area of the game quickly opens up, allowing you to explore multiple paths (not all of them good) that connect via shortcuts, climbing walls, and jumping puzzles. There are so many paths that it might not make sense at first, but after a few tries, everything clicks in a eureka moment.
Few games offer the same experience as stepping into Firelink Shrine for the first time and deciding whether you want to go to Undeadburg or march your way to the Catacombs, but Bleak Faith does a great job offering the same experience to those who enter the omnistructure. Everything from the first swing of the pipe to blasting a foe with magic is nostalgic, while at the same time having a distinct feeling that is unique to the game.
Tackling threats big and small
One of the things I love the most about action RPGs is the diverse number of builds that you can come up with. At first, I was iffy about how Bleak Faith ranked with this until I defeated my first boss, explored the central hub, and discovered a decent number of weapons. Bleak Faith offers many possibilities, from simple swords and axes to massive spears, staves, and bows. The ability to wield any weapon means you don’t need to focus your stats until you have found weapons that work for you. I favored a staff with a strong bow so I could pick enemies off from a distance.
The diversity of the equipment is furthered by the number of armor sets you can find. At first, I was a hardened knight, but then I switched my style to that of an acolyte for better movement. Of course, doing this left me open to getting hurt badly if I got caught by an attack up close. All of this mixes well with the game’s upgrade system, which allows you to place crystals on your gear to enhance specific stats and grant special abilities. You can even place special attacks on weapons to perform weapon arts.
The bad in the good
Souls-like games are known for being difficult, and Bleak Faith: Forsaken is no exception. While I had my fair share of struggles with enemies, nothing prepared me for the number of bugs I would need to deal with. Before this game can really rival its peers, there are many issues that need to be addressed, such as teleporting enemies (when they aren’t supposed to), weird deaths, sudden frame drops, and broken boundaries.
As I explored the map, I found myself getting plagued with issues that frustrated me far more than any of the numerous enemies. Occasionally, I would fall through the map, while other times, an enemy would touch me, and I would go flying. I even had issues with climbing, where I would randomly fall off or clip through the wall. Once all of the issues surrounding the game have been handled, there is no doubt that Bleak Faith: Forsaken will be a game that many remember for years.