Foreclosed is at its best when control is taken away and its nifty comic book art style can be briefly appreciated. Unfortunately, the act of playing this utterly broken stealth-shooter hybrid is one of the more painful experiences on the market today.
Staying true to the recent trend of cyberpunk-fueled failures, Foreclosed is yet another broken mess of a video game that you should look to avoid. While it opens with a promise of engaging third-person action intertwined with various RPG mechanics, much like the basis of its genre, Foreclosed feels soulless at its core.
Decent comic-style visuals will draw you in but dull voice acting, mindless level design, and outright flawed gameplay mechanics will have you wishing you never booted up Foreclosed in the first place.
Although it’s a more affordable title, you should steer clear; this game isn’t worth the install space on your hard drive.
Foreclosed – Key Details
- Price: $24.99 USD / £19.99 / $44.95 AUD
- Developers: Merge Games & Antlab Studio
- Release date: August 12, 2021
- Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Xbox One, Xbox Series S | X, Nintendo Switch
Did anyone playtest this game?
Foreclosed starts as a run-of-the-mill stealth game. You’ll crouch behind cover, sneak through areas to avoid detection, and get up close for silent kills. While enemy AI is laughable and the camera feels like it’s working against you, it’s when you get your first upgrade that the game truly starts falling apart.
There are a number of unique abilities to unlock in Foreclosed and early on, the game gives you the impression that these can be selected in any order. However, the more you progress, the further that notion gets from the truth. Certain encounters are simply impossible without particular abilities and if you chose different skills, there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it.
The first ability I unlocked was a personal shield. For a brief window, this ability served to block incoming fire, allowing me to reposition before the shield expired. Next up, I unlocked an ability to pierce armor with every shot and for a short while, it all seemed to work as intended. Then enemies with enormous blue shields rocked up to the fight.
These shields encompass the target and they’ll turn to face you no matter where you are. Regardless of your skill, timing, accuracy, or any meaningful factor, you simply can’t engage with these enemies unless you have the one specific ability designed to pierce their shields.
It was when these foes joined the mix that I ran into a brick wall. As there are no side objectives and no ways to abandon the current mission, the only way was forward yet these bright shields blocked my path. The only choice was to restart the game from scratch and ensure I had this one specific shield-piercing ammo ready to go.
Even after retreading these steps and facing the dreaded blue shields once again, the ability often decided to just not work, making those hours redundant once again.
If that inexcusable oversight wasn’t enough to deter you, things only continued to get worse as Foreclosed went on.
Compounding this issue is the fact all abilities are tied to the same energy system as every other mechanic in the game. Foreclosed doesn’t explicitly inform you that this is the case, but using abilities, hurling objects with telekinesis, and firing your weapon all draw from the same cooldown.
If you overcharge this meter, your character enters a ridiculous animation, forcing you out of cover and directly into enemy fire. In certain games, this may work as a neat mechanic, having to balance your actions and keep this energy meter in mind. In Foreclosed, it outright breaks every combat sequence.
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Say for instance, enemies are getting close so you use the shield ability to gain a few seconds of invulnerability. You might think this brief window would be a great opportunity to aim down sights and line up a few headshots. In reality, using this defensive ability prevents you from getting any offense in, as every bullet you fire adds to the same meter.
This led to an utterly brainless dynamic where using abilities prevented from using weapons and vice versa. If I wanted to use my shield, it meant I had to wait for a cooldown period to end before standing up and firing my gun. While waiting for the said cooldown, the shield obviously expired, thereby wasting its effect altogether.
Further adding to these frustrations was the game’s broken control scheme. At least on PlayStation, it felt as though a magnet was pushing against your aim at all times, rather than easing you towards a target. When not aiming down sights, sensitivity was outrageous, making it impossible to form any sense of accuracy.
With all of these factors piling up, it becomes all the more aggravating when Foreclosed hits you with an archaic checkpoint system that sends you back to the beginning of most levels regardless of your progress.
Broken beyond repair
Even if the gameplay issues outlined above were patched over time, nothing else Foreclosed has to offer is worth your time or money. This game has deep-rooted issues far beyond what appears on the surface.
An incoherent narrative is bogged down by some of the laziest voice acting you’ll hear in a 2021 release. Oftentimes, audio doesn’t even match up with what characters are monotonously spouting.
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Yet even when things do miraculously align, the cast has about as much passion for the material as you’ll have after five minutes of playing.
Foreclosed also lacks any notable depth in its dialogue trees as well. While the game presents you with a number of options for every conversation, they all lead to the same conclusions making it a curious decision why player input is allowed in the first place.
Perhaps the only positive throughout the brief experience came during a handful of comic-style intermissions. During these scenes, the full-screen perspective is done away with as smaller comic panels begin to fill out the space instead. These transitions gave a nice reprieve from the typical combat when they worked. As with most things in Foreclosed, however, they didn’t always work.
Far too often did the camera get caught up on something out of focus. Far too often was the perspective completely out of whack. Far too often your character was left off-screen entirely, leaving you puzzled with what to do next.
Foreclosed deserves praise for trying a number of different things though ultimately, it falls short of doing any one thing particularly well. Every aspect of the game’s narrative, design, and mechanics all end up catastrophically missing the mark in a title that truly isn’t worth your attention.
For fellow Trophy hunters out there, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to note Foreclosed does come with its own Platinum. If you absolutely must add to your PSN level, it seems to be a fairly simple one at that.
But when one of the only redeeming factors of a game is that it has a full Trophy set, it’s usually a good sign to steer clear.