He is taciturn, this rabbit. Grumpy, disappointed, she drowns his dismay in carrot juice and lets time slip away. In Torch City, there’s only so much to do, anyway. Counterattacking Empire style, the Resistance was swept away by the Legion, who held the city in check. Rayton, the rodent with beautiful fangs who was once a warrior, doesn’t want to know anything more. Well, until his best friend, the bear Urso, is captured and imprisoned. The hour of revolt, for the ancient hero, may well have (re)sounded.
First contact with FIST, from his full name Forged in Shadow Torch, is confusing. A matter of concept: a dieselpunk urban universe that Gibson would not have denied, resolutely technological and rusty… And occupied by animals that have taken the place of hominids. The place and, obviously, the ideas of society: all this brave new world seems to have decided to reproduce, a dystopian version of the Second World War, the eternal tragedy of humanity. War, occupation, oppression: even at the animal level, it sounds terrifyingly familiar.
The challenge ? He wants to give hope to the occupants of this retro-futuristic universe designed in 2.5D. For the player, FIST offers an Ori or Metroid-style challenge, combining play area exploration, platforming sequences, and unrestrained action. Here again, it is music that we know, but we have to recognize it: it is quite well performed.
The Art of War
The great strength of the concept is its clear orientation towards action. If Rayton has frankly limited capabilities at the start of the epic, his arsenal and abilities quickly expand to soon offer a surprising range of possibilities. The game mode not only provides dash, double jump, levitation, light hits, heavy hits, ranged combat attachments (drill or whip), defense and counter elements, but quickly combines all of these possibilities into devastating combos built around of the Warrior Rabbit’s primary weapon: a massive, overpowered mechanical fist, regularly optimized to give Rayton even more efficiency. It will not be too much for the bosses, real calamities that will be difficult to get out of.
And then FIST is a long, rich, deep game. Little by little, the universe of the title opens up, extends, until it becomes a true labyrinth worthy of the family of games that it intends. Secret passages and treasure caches are legion, and it’s fashionable, once you’ve progressed in skill, to regularly retrace your steps to explore initially blocked game areas. In this sense, the Chinese from TiGames seem to have understood the metroidvania formula very well, to which they even contribute an important plus: very well created environments (thanks to Unreal Engine IV) and, above all, endowed with authentic personality. Immediate impact: we lose a little less, in this proposal, than in many other titles that claim the same kinship. Nothing insignificant when it comes to activating the few mechanisms that punctuate the adventure and that very often require real skill: the platform sequences to which they are linked are particularly salty.
Invariably addictive, FIST is therefore a nice surprise. Generally well optimized – the title has had a year, since its release in dematerialized version, to improve – the title has rightly built a real notoriety, to the point of now being available in physical version on PS4, PS5, Switch and , in dematerialized form, on PC. Expanding the field of deserved fight: Microïds’ new target audience shouldn’t have too much trouble succumbing to the charm of the bad boy hare who has embarked on a crusade to break everything…
We love :
– The making, between the very fine environments made with Unreal Engine IV and impeccable animation, is a feast for the eyes on PS5.
– The playing space, which at first we think is a bit restricted, is actually quite considerable. And we don’t get lost (not too much), which is a sign of a well thought out level design game.
– A really sticky atmosphere for this production that is aimed at controller veterans. We will leave the children in front of Pokémon.
– Coincidentally, the dieselpunk art direction is very consistent. FIST has a real personality.
– Those who waited will be happy: this time the French version is included.
– About fifteen hours to complete the adventure, without forcing: in terms of content TiGames has not skimped
We like less:
– The bestiary is a bit repetitive in the first part of the adventure. Fortunately, the game becomes more generous afterwards.
– Difficulty sometimes jumps, and you have to get past yourself to get past the hurdle before returning to a much more accessible challenge
– Overall, the accuracy, collision handling, and input lag issues identified at launch have been resolved fairly well. They’re not entirely absent, though, and we’re always bothered by oddities, like Rayton’s refusal to turn to face the action at certain crucial moments in the game.