Tale of the Forgotten King Review
Over a year ago, Redlock Studio released Shattered: Tale of the Forgotten King on Steam to mostly positive reviews. Now, more than a year later, it has been released on console. With beautiful visuals and Soulsborne gameplay, Shattered is one to look forward to, but the Switch might not be the perfect platform for it. Shattered: Tale of the Forgotten King follows the protagonist, a Wanderer who has just awakened from Limbo. The King and creator has disappeared and the Wanderer must explore an ever-expanding world called Hypnos to find him. The game evolves as the player fights and solves puzzles en route to multiple endings. The Wanderer will collect objects and memories along the way to piece together what happened, while carrying a small skeleton man on their back. In terms of its graphics, Shattered: Tale of the Forgotten King is good. The artwork is something special and reminiscent of the movie MirrorMask. Encounters with NPCs unfold into conversations with beautiful character designs. The maps themselves range from a very dark Limbo to bright, snowy mountains and deep green valleys. A previously linear path opens up into an open world where exploration is encouraged. The more the player explores, the more shards are found. The more shards collected, the more the player can level up, similar to other Soulsborne games. Unfortunately, no amount of beautiful character and environmental design can make up for the game’s poor mechanics on the Switch. From the very beginning, the character will have issues when it comes to movement and interacting with the objects around them. The camera is particularly sensitive, requiring adjustment to avoid feeling dizzy. While that is easy to fix, the item interaction problem is more difficult. There will be many instances when it will take multiple tries to retrieve an item and add it to the Wanderer’s inventory. The inventory system isn’t anything spectacular, but the game certainly doesn’t hold the player’s hand in terms of teaching items and using the inventory. There is a nice tutorial on movement mechanics at the beginning that will teach the player how to double jump and how to phase forward to help with the platforming elements. Speaking of platforming, most of the game will be a 3D experience until The Wanderer wanders through mini dungeons. There the perspective will change to a platformer, which is a detriment to the game as opposed to a welcome change. The game strives to create a world full of fresh designs and although it may not be so obvious, there is a narrative to follow throughout Shattered: Tale of the Forgotten King. But the mechanical issues and the problems with the camera angles are frustrating. The game gives players access to an open world where they hop on a hoverboard and traverse the map. Unfortunately, the game doesn’t provide a mini-map, which means players have to open and close their map to figure out where they’re going. While there is no standard fast travel, some items will allow the player to fast travel to special locations. The game also includes wells, which act as respawn points if the player dies. However, just like the Souls game, when the player respawns or simply activates a checkpoint, all enemies will return as well. There are bosses, both mandatory and optional but few of them stand out. The combat mechanics feel great with light and heavy attacks, charged attacks, and the ability to parry. The character can run and roll during battles, allowing for great defense as well as offense. Hand-to-hand combat feels very well done but takes some time to remember that The Wanderer can roll from ranged attacks. The player will die a lot and for some that is a bit frustrating, but this type of game is not for everyone. Shattered: Tale of the Forgotten King is available now for Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series S/X. Today Technology was provided with a Switch code for this review.