An atmospheric cyberpunk shooter with interesting comic book aesthetics and a pumping soundtrack. Gameplay feels a little repetitive but the story is short enough to keep your interest.
Genre: Shooter, Cyberpunk
Developer: Antab Studio
Publisher: Merge Games
Release date: 12 Aug, 2021
Foreclosed is a narrative driven cyberpunk shooter set in the style of a graphic novel.
Evan Kapnos awakes to the news that the company who owns his identity have gone bankrupt and his account has been foreclosed. He has lost his job, his implants and access to restricted areas around the city.
As per regulations he has until 4pm to attend the court and witness the auction of his identity to the highest bidder.
After leaving his apartment he gets shot at, and it becomes obvious that someone is trying to kill him. The question is who and why?
Gameplay consists of combat, stealth and puzzles.
You have a gun with six upgrade slots and up to six implants can be used during combat. There is no ammo shortage and you can fire to your heart’s content but if your gun has upgrades then it will heat up and need cooling before use again.
Shooting enemies is your main objective whilst trying to make your way to the Court.
You can crouch behind cover or use objects to hide behind. When you press the trigger of your gun you will immediately stand up and when you finish shooting you will go back to crouching again. There are no mechanics to lean around corners or stick to walls in a cover position. It is all quite loose and free but works nonetheless.
There are a few different enemy types differentiated by the armor they wear.
Some have no armor, some have helmets and some have energy shields, or a combination of the three. Each enemy has its own pattern which they will follow religiously; If you die, you will know their movements and what to expect next time.
Enemies with helmets and shields are much harder to kill and require certain upgrades to deal with effectively.
Enemies can be seen through walls by their red silhouette which gives you a bit of preparation time whilst others will jump out without warning.
Increase your shooting rate; exploding bullets; armor and helmet penetrating bullets; energy shield penetrating bullets; use telekinesis to propel bullets; and reduce implant heating are the six upgrades you can equip. You can only equip three upgrades at a time.
Create a mind shield; create a health draining shield; cage an enemy; cause an explosion; lift enemies; and slam enemies into the ground are the six implant upgrades.
Four of these can be assigned and mapped.
Acquiring upgrades costs experience points which you gain from killing enemies or finding hidden signals.
Using implant powers causes your microchip to heat up. If it gets too hot it will incapacitate you for a few seconds and leave you vulnerable to attack.
You also have the ability of telekinesis and can make certain objects fly into enemies, either killing them or removing their armor.
There are a few dedicated stealth sections but stealth plays a big part in the game. Each enemy has a viewing zone and if you are detected for too long will trigger the alarm and all operatives will engage.
You can crouch and approach enemies slowly and quietly and then perform a stealth kill. This doesn’t attract any attention and is a good way of eliminating enemies without being discovered.
There are very light puzzle elements in the game mainly involving moving objects to create pathways. Occasionally, your path will be blocked and you may have to find an alternative route by finding air ducts and navigating through them to bypass the area.
Now and again, you have to perform some very crude hacking mechanics to open doors by repeating directional combinations within a time frame.
The game has a nice narrative running through and you will have dialogue choices to perform when meeting various characters.
Foreclosed is an enjoyable game but it is more of a casual narrative adventure than a serious shooter.
I’m a big cyberpunk fan and I loved the atmosphere the game created. It had a futuristic feel with a dystopian underbelly.
The comic book aesthetics displaying different scenes on one screen looked nice and give the game that graphic novel feel. The art direction was very attractive and imaginative and made moving between scenes a lot more interesting than normal. Main characters were drawn well and environments felt like they had been ripped out of a comic book. It was effective.
What a wonderful soundtrack! I loved the cyberpunk vibes it created and it injected drama and excitement into proceedings very well. I thought the voice acting was very good too. In true comic book style, the villains sounded like stereotypical villains and the hero was downtrodden and out for revenge. It was marvelously over the top.
Although the story was intriguing to begin with it eventually petered out and didn’t amount to much. I don’t think the game was long enough to really develop a strong narrative but it held my interest until the end. It should take between five or six hours to complete. The dialogue choices are pointless as they have no bearing on the story whatsoever; Each answer results in the same reply. This is a shame because some of the choices were difficult and I spent a while deciding which answer to pick.
Gameplay was a little trial and error. Enemy AI was nonexistent as they would behave exactly the same each time and once you knew their strategy it was easy to formulate a plan.
Earning XP to upgrade your gun and implants came quite easy, especially if you take the time to locate the signals, but I didn’t mind this as it made gameplay more interesting, if not a little too easy.
Some implants and gun upgrades are better than others and you’ll find your favorites and stick with them. Most of the time I would use the lift enemy and slam enemy, which made it really easy to pick them off from behind cover, and the armor piercing rounds were essential too. This sort of made the other upgrades obsolete.
I tried to mix things up by using telekinesis on objects and perform stealth kills just because it made it more interesting. Combat can become a little stale and easy if you let it.
One annoying feature was that your upgrades were removed after you die so that you had to add them again. Sometimes, I forgot to do this and shooting becomes much harder without them.
The variety of enemies was disappointing. There were no bosses and only three different types of opponents. I was expecting an advanced cyborg to appear or something a bit more imaginative but it never happened.
Foreclosed is an enjoyable game with a pleasing comic book aesthetic and a wonderful soundtrack. The combat is quite basic and there is little variety between enemies and tactics.
If you love cyberpunk and are after a casual shooter then the graphics, soundtrack and gameplay will suit, but if you’re after a challenging and diverse shooter then this might not be a good fit.