Update: 4/2/2016: Forced Showdown has been released to an expected critical acclaim. BetaDwarf held a twitch video event leading up to the release of Forced Showdown. The response from the community was outstandingly positive with more then 110,000 hours streamed on twitch and to reward its user base Forced Showdown released with a 12% discount bringing the initial price of the game to an incredible low price of $17.59. Also update 40 is now live on steam which brings with it many fixes and performance enhancements. Continue reading to find out what my initial impressions of the game.
Forced Showdown is a game by indie developer BetaDwarf scheduled to come out on March 29th. The premise of the game is that you’re a contestant on a game show with your life on the line.
The objective is to get through different arenas until you get to the final showdown with the boss of that particular quest line. You have many different attacks at your disposal and can also unlock different companions to give you a helping hand while you fight for you life! You also collect different cards that you can use at the beginning of each match to unlock certain attributes, some only last one match while others stay active until you finish the gauntlet or until you unfortunately die. The best way to describe this game is a mixture between Running Man (the movie), Diablo combat and Magic The Gathering all woven together and the result is absolutely fantastic!
There are different “contestants” or players that you can unlock to use in the game. Each one has different main attacks and secondary attacks which makes playing with different characters a totally different experience. As your popularity in the game show grows you can start unlocking different pieces of armour, attacks, and also more cards. The sheer amount of content in this game is astonishing considering this is coming from an Indie developer, and keep in mind that the version of the game that we got to try is Alpha .036 so there is still much more that can be added or polished before the final product is out.
Lets get to the mechanics of the how the game brings all these things together in perfect harmony. After selecting your character, you have the chance to choose from a massive amount of quests, that are set up as a gauntlet, meaning that you have to clear each stage and kill the boss to finish the quest. If you die at anytime during the quest, you have to start from the beginning once again and any upgrades or consumables you used are deactivated for your next play through. At the beginning of each round you are shown what cards you can use, but using them requires an amount of mana. Your mana starts at 1 during your first match, which doesn’t let you use many cards, and slowly begins to build up as you progress further through the quest.
The aspect of having these cards give the game a very strategic element because you have to pick and choose which cards to use while keeping an eye on your mana and understanding that you only have one chance to pass the level. Forced Showdown also has a deck editor that lets you make different 30 card decks, you can make numerous decks for each character and it will allow you the chance to use certain decks for different situations you encounter during the game show. Forced Showdown also has a wheel of fortune mini game. You use currency that you win during the matches to pay for wheel spins, giving you the opportunity to win different items, including new cards.
Presentation wise, the game looks and sounds fantastic. The sound design for the game is very well done. The announcer, C-SAR, is always calling the action and at points makes you laugh with his dialogue. The graphics for the game are also very good, and look really polished. Plus I was very surprised to see how optimised the game was. I was able to run this game with the “gorgeous” setting which is the equivalent to Ultra on many other computer games using a single Nvidia 980 Ti and the game ran at a lightning fast 160+ FPS.
Another important thing to note is that while BetaDwarf states on their steam page that Forced Shutdown only has partial controller support, I was able to play using an Xbox One controller on my computer without any problem. Both the keyboard and the controller worked very well for Forced Showdown. I personally rather use the controller because I find it easier to aim with the joystick instead of the mouse, but that is up to each players personal preference.
I truly enjoyed this game and I’m looking forward to the final product coming out on March 29th. BetaDwarf is teasing about a secret reveal being announced on March 23rd, since this game has totally caught my attention I will be one of the people tuning in to see what the reveal is all about. I highly recommend this game to anybody who enjoys Diablo, Magic The Gathering or slash-em games.