Set in a dystopian Mexico where ancient titans have risen from beyond the veil, Aztech: Forgotten Gods seamlessly blends Latin American tradition with cyberpunk-style aesthetics but is held back by dated gameplay.
At first glance, Lienzo’s Aztech: Forgotten Gods ticks every single one of my boxes. Ancient historical traditions: check, a cyberpunk universe: check – the list goes on.
Centering around Achtli, a young Mexican woman whose heritage intertwines with that of the ancients themselves, you’re tasked with walking in your ancestors’ footsteps and saving the planet from the vicious Forgotten Gods.
While the story has the usual action-adventure tropes, its sprawling universe melds two very different worlds together to create something entirely unique, but sadly it falls flat in its execution.
Aztech Forgotten Gods: Key details
- Price: £24.99 / €29.99 / $29.99
- Developer: Lienzo
- Release Date: March 10, 2022
- Platforms: PlayStation / Xbox / Switch / PC
Aztech Forgotten Gods: Trailer
¡Viva la Mexico!
Whether you’re exploring classic Mayan civilizations or traversing the neon-bathed streets of Achtli’s hometown, Tenochtitlan, you can’t help but admire just how beautiful Aztech: Forgotten Gods’ universe is.
With the perfect collision of ancient architecture and modern cityscapes, the world bears all the hallmarks of everything that is so quintessentially Mexican. Towering Mesoamerican step pyramids pierce the skyline, while the colorful, blocky patterns associated with past civilizations are emblazoned around the city streets. Each turn takes you down an alleyway brimming with secrets just waiting to be uncovered, immersing you in a world so far detached from our own yet so very familiar.
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This translates across to the character designs, too. Achtli’s neo-futuristic clothing incorporates traditional patterns, while her facial tattoos harken back to her heritage. Armored bosses are characterized by their soft pastel colors and golden inlays, making every encounter a feast for the eyes.
There’s a vibrant sense of life within the world of Aztech: Forgotten Gods, but sadly it’s marred by graphical issues and clunky combat that shatter the immersion Lienzo have worked so hard to create.
Rocky controls cause chaos in boss fights
One of the things that instantly lets Aztech: Forgotten Gods down are its controls. Everything feels a little clunky despite the supposed fluidity that the Achtli’s gauntlet provides.
Soaring through the air and chaining combos isn’t as easy a task as it perhaps should be, and controlling where you want to land can be a bit of a rollercoaster. I found myself falling into bottomless chasms despite my best efforts, and things quickly began to feel a little like ‘click loads of buttons and see what happens.’
Attacks are slow and lack direction, meaning it’s easy to overstretch by the time an animation plays out, or find yourself adjacent to where you wanted to end up at the end of a combo.
While this is irritating in general combat, fighting bosses became a bit of a chore despite their spectacular design. Defeating a boss left a bad taste in my mouth, as many of my deaths could have been avoided if it weren’t for odd mechanical issues.
Sure, the game is still a lot of fun, but it’s the simple things that leave you casting your mind back and feeling slightly irritated instead of absolutely wowed.
Is that meant to look like that?
For all the praise I rained on Aztech: Forgotten Gods’ world, there are so many visual issues that clash against the glorious universe Lienzo have created.
Characters in the game don’t speak and only emit a series of different grunting noises, which is already a little bit disconcerting and, quite honestly, incredibly off-putting. Not only is it just a bit odd, but it also leaves characters feeling completely soulless and devoid of personality.
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As I engaged with people I’d find their jaws so slack to a point where I was vaguely concerned I’d get whacked in the face. In numerous cutscenes I could see straight through the other character’s mouth, giving the whole ‘I can see what you had for breakfast’ a very different meaning. When Achtil runs she bends over into a contorted mess that even a chiropractor would have issues solving – unfortunately, the list goes on and on.
For every beautiful piece of scenery I encountered, these bizarre visual bugs stained these vibrant landscapes, souring my Aztech experience.
While Lienzo’s spectacular universe is a triumph in Aztech: Forgotten Gods, the game lacks the polish it needs to propel it from being average to something truly unique.
The mariachi skeleton of an amazing game lies trampled under a series of visual and mechanical bugs that just leave the whole thing feeling unfinished. I walked away feeling satisfied that I had played a pretty cool game, but not rushing around telling my friends about it in the way I had expected to.
As titans rise around it and seek to conquer the gaming sphere, Aztech: Forgotten Gods will likely be banished back into the annals of the history books it came from, but trust us when we say we’re sad to see it go.
Reviewed on PC