Over the past few years, indie games have been stirring waves in the industry. Unlike AAA titles, these games do not require you to have a beefy gaming PC. Although indie games do not stack up anywhere near AAA games, when properly developed, they deliver some of the best gameplay experiences ever!
Bleak Faith: Forsaken is one of those recent indie video game titles that has managed to steal the stage light for now. Hailing from the souls-like genre, Bleak Faith: Forsaken promises to deliver players challenging gameplay amidst intricate level designs and a gripping storyline!
So, is Bleak Faith: Forsaken one of those “properly developed” indie video games? Let’s find out in this dedicated game review.
Developed by Archangel Studios, Bleak Faith: Forsaken was released on 10th March 2023. As of today, it is available to play only on Windows via Steam.
Admirably, the studio is comprised of only 3 dedicated developers, and the game development took about 4 dedicated years to complete. While the game was in development, the team launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund their project. Their initial goal was to accumulate a targeted support of $30K funds but managed to get a little over $31,000.
Bleak Faith Game Plot
Bleak Faith: Forsaken takes place in a fictional setting where humanity, apart from a handful of survivors, is all but extinct. It features a very intriguing game plot which is an artful blend of cyberpunk and dark fantasy.
Set in a fictional omni-structure world inhabited by a number of factions/races, the indie game takes players on a breathtaking journey filled with captivating lore and hidden secrets. At the start of the game, players assume the role of a forsaken warrior guarding one of their last outposts. In the game, forsaken are a legion of hunters condemned with protecting whatever is left of humanity’s remaining remnants.
Since the true nature of their struggle is a mystery, the player character decides to venture out into the looming omni-structure to seek out forbidden answers. Little do the players know that the ensuing journey is soon going to make their worst nightmares come true!
Bleak Faith Gameplay
In terms of gameplay, Bleak Faith: Forsaken is played from a third-person perspective set in an open world.
In the beginning, a player chooses a character from one of the many in-game classes available, including Vanguard and Jaeger. Each class has its own set of attribute values that pre-determine its preferred playstyle. As such, some are good with swords, some excel at archery, and some master at casting magical spells.
As far as combat is considered, the indie title definitely takes its inspiration from the likes of the Dark Souls series. However, there is no target “locking” system in the game and every battle has to be fought manually.
Instead of bonfires which usually act as a typical resting place for the player character, there are shelters in Bleak Faith. Being survival souls-like, the indie game also incorporates a crafting mechanism as well and this allows players to further tune their preferred gameplay style.
Moreover, the omni-structure world is a labyrinth of interconnected realms where one passage leads to another. Although the indie game is open-world, there are also some linear sections of game levels present.
Unlike other souls-like games, Bleak Faith implements a sort of living ecosystem and character factions. NPCs not only attack the player character but also each other as well. Time plays a very crucial role here and this, in turn, affects in-game events which render a unique gameplay experience for each player. If, for instance, an enemy with which you previously fought at the start of one playthrough may get killed by another faction NPC if that same player returns to that enemy location later in the game in another playthrough!
Bleak Faith Reviews
When Archangel Studios first launched Bleak Faith: Forsaken on 10th March 2023, many players were quick to purchase the game on Steam. However, unfortunately, the game did not manage to garner considerable positive reviews. Sooner than later, the indie game was bombarded with a number of mixed and negative reviews.
One of the major drawbacks surrounds the game’s combat system. Since the core element of Bleak Faith revolves around fighting, many players were left hugely disappointed. There is no sense of consistency in attacking animations. The same attack by an NPC which barely scratches a player may become a one-shot kill on the next attempt!
In another instance, attacks that are guaranteed to land, either by the player character or NPC, simply pass through and cause no damage. The same goes for “confirmed misses” that somehow get land and result in a player’s character getting killed.
Although Bleak Faith showcases top-notch compelling lore, it falls short when it comes to giving directions to a player. When the game starts, there is no any context given where to proceed and, more importantly, why to proceed in such a route. It seems like the developers have left the game unfinished and put it on players to figure out the remaining part. Of course, unlike you love being totally on your own and buzzing around to figure things out, this gameplay element did not sit well with many players.
Moreover, unlike typical souls-like genre games, there is no leveling system in Bleak Faith: Forsaken. Character stats are all determined by what type of gear is equipped which can be further customized by slotting in additional upgrades. Because of the lack of leveling system, when a player dies in the game, they only lose game progress. On the contrary, in souls-like games, there is some sort of experience currency (mostly souls) that are lost upon death.
Last but not least, upon release, the game also sucked at incorporating controller support. Even the developers confirmed this issue and recommended gamers play via keyboard and mouse.
Elden Ring Plagiarism Controversy
In yet another recent incident, Bleak Faith: Forsaken developers found themselves in a highly controversial matter relating to plagiarism theft. The character attack animations in the game seem to be exactly copied from the 2022 GOTY winner Elden Ring. When compared side by side, both the game’s character attack animations are exactly identical.
The developers responded by saying that they, in fact, outsourced 10% of the game’s development. They also clarified that they purchased the animations on Epic Marketplace and assumed that the digital asset was unique.
Epic Games took notice of the matter and, consequently, removed the animation packages from its marketplace ever since.
Bleak Faith: Forsaken is a relatively new game that has been developed by only a handful of developers. While the game has its issues, the team has been optimistic about negative feedback and has been releasing updates almost on a daily basis. Hopefully, the game will soon be free of its issues and everyone will be able to enjoy it at its fullest!
What do you think of this souls-like indie game? Share your thoughts with us and let us know in the comments below!