Now Playing: Bioforge (1995)

Apologies for the low quality screenshots. There was a problem with the videos so I just made some hasty pic replacements so there was at least something to see here, if anyone actually ever looks back this far…

Ah. Another classic Origin game. This one has you trying to discover your identity and survive as you wake up in a strange place, having apparently been experimented on by a crazy future scientist.

While Bioforge is mainly an adventure game that deals mostly with exploration and obscure puzzles, it stood out by having a complex (in theory) melee fighting system. To illustrate, here is you meeting the first person in the game and beating them to death with their own severed arm:

Or beating the shit out of an invincible cyborg raptor for some reason:

What seemed amazing at the time though, does not hold up well AT ALL today. There is sooooo much wrong with the combat system. There are something like 16 different attacks you can do using different combinations of CTRL or ALT and a key on the number pad (remember that thing?), none of which are remotely effective blocks or dodges, but most of them are useless. Most of the punch attacks have such a short reach that they’ll just miss almost every time. Kicks work much better, but are still not very reliable. You’ll find yourself dying a lot when your kick somehow goes right through your opponent and in the later fights that’s all an enemy needs to get you into an unbreakable combo of death.

If you are foolish enough to set the combat to anything above easy you will also be forced to switch moves after each one, as repeated moves get slower and slower, and while most enemies can take you down in about 4 hits, you will have to tediously beat on them anywhere between 10-30 times, which can be quite a lot when one magically missed kick might mean your death.

Oddly enough, I found that my success rate increased by about 90% when I simply just stopped using left kicks altogether, because they miss way too often for some reason, and just kept spamming the same two right kicks back and forth over and over again. Deep fucking combat. Reminder to self and all others: never play this on medium combat or above again.

So, this definitely doesn’t hold up as well as the Crusader games in terms of gameplay, but it is still a fun and interesting old game. The story and puzzles were pretty great for their time.

Another weird thing is that for all your searching, your identity turns out to be pretty meaningless in the end. Yes, if you go out of your way to get a certain code near the end you can go back to the doctor’s computer and look up your file and find out who you are, but that’s all it is, a little text file on a computer with a picture and some info that doesn’t really mean anything to you now, because now you’re a weird cyborg/alien hybrid that’s going to go off into space to fuck aliens or something so who cares if you were a flutist in your past life or not (actually a possibility for your identity, yes).

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