FORECLOSED Review – PROPER CYBERPUNK?
Now you’re probably wondering “are the game’s developers just using that snazzy title to sound cool or something?” Well, believe it or not, it’s more than a mere marketing gimmick for angsty teens. Because the plot of the game actually follows a man on the run named Evan Kapnos who’s looking to unravel a major criminal conspiracy. Whilst at the same time, trying to dispute his identity before it becomes foreclosed. See what they did there? Ahah!
Missing The Mark
Nevertheless, I won’t reveal too much for spoiler’s sake. However, my main issue with the narrative of Foreclosed is that there’s nothing on show here that hasn’t been done better in a similar type of game before. And since it doesn’t exactly bring anything groundbreaking or special to the action-espionage genre, nor are its cast and voice-acting anything to write home about, the story and characters of Foreclosed remain largely underwhelming.
The same goes for the gameplay. Even though Foreclosed takes some major inspirations from the likes of XIII, Mass Effect and of course, Cyberpunk 2077, the game is always trying to find its own feet and never truly seems to nail down its core mechanics either. The third-person gunplay and skills like the levitate and explosion abilities do change things up a bit and feel great when it comes to sound, although their on-screen presentation lacks a solid visual impact. Plus, they’re also pretty jank-looking, not gonna lie.
Meanwhile, the occasional stealth sections are certainly fun for a moment, but they all too often descend into absolute controller-throwing, nightmare chaos when you realise how frustrating the AI scouts in these sections are. It’s hard to explain why they’re so annoying, but you’ll know exactly what I mean when you fail for the 20th time in a row. When it comes to the combat, however, it doesn’t help that the AI will basically just stand around and wait for you to take them out behind cover. They’ll hardly ever try and flank Evan or force him out with a more explosive option either. So this pretty much means that the player can just stand on the spot and crouch up and down for days until they win. Ultimately, if you’re not a fan of the gunplay, this one’s gonna be a hard sell. The flashy abilities and weapon power-ups probably won’t save the day here either.
Foreclosed Has Some Great Ideas… But Not So Great Execution
I think the underlying issue with this game is implementation, as most of the adventure has this constant feeling of “hey, check this out – what a cool idea!” But then they’re all too often followed up by a painfully drawn-out sequence of events. For example, several parts of this title have you backtracking into previous sections of a level only to scavenger-hunt these hidden hackable device thingamajigs. But when all’s said and done, they just end up killing the pace way too much for this style of game. That being said, I really enjoyed the more organic type of puzzles, like when you’d have to move these industrial-sized containers into place for Evan to cross, or deactivate some surveillance turrets that’ll decimate a careless player in seconds.
I also loved the aesthetic of the visuals. The way that certain scenes layer on top of each other and morph together with such ease, whilst also showing off various camera angles for the action really add to that feeling of a comic book brought to life. Foreclosed is also as smooth as butter at a near-constant 60FPS on the base PS4 (minus the odd moments of stuttering at checkpoints). However, I must say that the character models themselves definitely could’ve used some more time in the oven. I get that it’s a Cyberpunk-themed world, but I honestly thought that those yellowish implants on the NPCs’ faces were pieces of glitched-out cheese. I’m serious!
Does Foreclosed surpass Cyberpunk 2077? Well, the thing is, even though I’ve been quite negative over the past couple of minutes, new releases that hope to stand out in today’s market still need to bring something unique to the table or offer up a top-of-the-line experience. And as much as I hate to say it, I don’t think Foreclosed succeeds on either of these fronts.
That’s what makes it so disappointing though because the foundations of this game look ultra-cool on paper. The hacking abilities, the neon-drenched presentation and the hyper atmospheric music (especially that one battle theme – don’t know what it’s called but wow!) they’re all great as standalone elements, although when they all join together, that’s when the cracks start to form. Foreclosed is fun for a short spell of shooting and lite puzzle-solving, but that’s basically it folks!
Foreclosed is a classic case of style over substance, as the lacklustre gunplay and narrative leave much to be desired. The futuristic comic book presentation does look pretty decent, although it can’t mask the mediocre voice-acting, gameplay flaws and extraordinarily average story and characters.
This game was reviewed using a download code provided by Merge Games. The Beta Network uses affiliate partnerships, however this does not influence reviews or any other content published. The Beta Network may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links that are on the website.
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