Something to remember
When it comes to detailing the virtues of games, the term ‘cinematic’ is bandied around so often that its significance is all but lost. However, there are few games as deserving of the accolade as Forgotton Anne. Its picturesque visuals and the seamless transition between cutscenes and gameplay make this one of the most cinematic adventures we’ve ever had the pleasure of playing. The striking anime style makes it feel every bit like you’re playing through a Studio Ghibli production, while its tone and narrative is delightfully reminiscent of the Eighties live-action/animated movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
Forgotton Anne explores the concept of Forgotlings. Think of that missing sock, discarded toaster or old journal you’ve cast away or lost: in Forgotton Anne all of these abandoned items end up in another world where they can walk, talk and do things far beyond their intended purpose. For instance, a handgun heads up the police, while a fridge spends his days tending the local bar. It all makes for a set-up that’s wonderfully zany and undeniably endearing.
You play as Anne, tasked with maintaining order by dealing with the world’s rebel objects. Underneath Forgotton Anne’s painterly visuals and colourful characters lies a surprisingly dark and layered plot that’s rife with player choice. Dialogue options give you the opportunity to be a merciless law enforcer or more sympathetic towards the plight of the freedom fighters, and player actions have an effect on the story and the outcome of events.
While narrative is the main focus here, gameplay certainly hasn’t been overlooked. Anima is the life-force of this world and its inhabitants, and it serves as the driving force behind the game’s intricate puzzle elements. Most conundrums involve redirecting the flow of anima through pipes to power levers and open doors to progress forward. Puzzles often have multiple components that require a decent amount of thought, however, they don’t jeopardise the flow of the story by being overly taxing or numerous.
Light platforming sections are also present. Anne can run and jump around this gloomy, industrial city, and thanks to some mechanical wings, she can even soar into the air. While the animations are spectacular, the controls can feel rather unintuitive and clunky. As well as context-sensitive climbing sections that require pinpoint accuracy, Anne wings require manual activation, so feats like running jumps require four buttons to perform. This becomes particularly cumbersome later in the game when obstacles such as timed platforms are introduced.
With an engaging plot that’s as much a commentary on consumerism as it is a tale of morality, Forgotton Anne’s inspired narrative is backed up by some solid and engaging gameplay. A fair warning, though, discarding everyday objects will be met with a considerable amount of guilt after playing this.
details Publisher square enix Developer throughline Games PSN Price £15.99 Players 1