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Review: Forge: A high-fantasy, high-octane combat zone for players of all backgrounds

Review Rating 7.5 Good
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Each class's base attack is sufficient to secure the errant kill, but most solo efforts give way to group attacks and combined assaults to do massive amounts of damage. Long story short, simply spamming your main melee attack won't get you far. Coordinating lethal strikes with teammates is key. For this it's imperative that you communicate in both the rapid-fire 10-on-10 team battles and the face-offs that shatter into smaller scuffles here and there across the four available maps. Flipping between coordinated raids and solo altercations is satisfying, especially once you've had ample time to grow and learn with your favorite class.

Luckily, it's simple to become accustomed to the class of your choice. Forge takes a page out of the single-player shooter rule book, forgoing the familiar convention of number-keyed abilities for a clever mapping of class-specific attacks, curses, and buffs to the WASD keys. Should you require your warden to buff allies while gallivanting around the map dodging bullets, or if your shaman is called upon to heal himself or others in an immediate area, movement is not restricted to how fast your hand is able to swap between the number and WASD keys. Nimble fighters will find themselves rewarded, as the controls allow you to juggle movement and abilities with a minimum of physical fuss.

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In fact, movement is paramount to success. The whole of Forge is built on this very idea, with varied terrain allowing for surprise strikes and dynamic sprints to your enemy to surprise and scare the wits out of them. There's no map to reveal your enemies' location and no indicators to keep you focusing on where your opponents might be; you simply need to stay alert and keep abreast of your enemies' attack patterns to stay alive. Sometimes you won't, and an assassin will swiftly take you out from the shadows. That's part of what makes this the interesting beast it can be and is one of the reasons it's a pleasant change from standard fantasy battlegrounds. This lack of situational awareness doesn't put you at a disadvantage, however, but rather enhances the experience in a way that evens the playing field.

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While it's not a completely finish project per se, Forge finds its roots in classic PvP and entertaining tropes. A few grayed-out modes listed in the match-type list are still unavailable, and the paucity of maps currently diminish its appeal, but Forge is already a riotous competitive experience that deserves your attention. Make sure to come back once it's been fleshed out more fully.

Tags: Forge, MMO

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