For­got­ton Anne

Some­thing to re­mem­ber

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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

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