I liked Foreclosed. Well, I mostly liked its stunning visual style and partially the setting as the rest well, it’s not that good.
You control Evan Kapnos whose whole identity is taken away from him by the government after SecureTech, the company he works for, goes bankrupt. This whole premise that you don’t actually own your own identity is really captivating and intriguing, to say the least. But that’s it, it doesn’t expand on this premise.
Like, are all people like this? Does everyone have a chip on their head? Can everyone lose their identity just like that? Can you buy your own identity back? What are the rules of this world? These questions remain unanswered.
So Evan wakes up, learns of this major problem, and must present himself to court to solve this problem. However, on the journey there he gets attacked by people who want him dead. Luckily a voice starts to help him. This voice is the boss of SecureTech and she uploads and updates the chip in Evan’s head with an experimental firmware that allows him to do some cyberpunk-y “magic” stuff.
Stuff like hack unguarded terminals, use an experimental gun, and telekinesis… yeah. Gameplay let’s just say is so-so. On one hand, some parts where you have to sneak around, hack some terminals by pressing a combination on the d-pad, match some signal frequencies with a Gameboy-looking oscilloscope or follow a signal to activate a doodad are somewhat interesting. On the other hand, gunplay, which is what you will do for most of the 4-hour game, is not that good.
Shooting feels very unsatisfying. There’s no kick, there’s no impact, there’s no feedback from the enemy. There are a couple of upgrades that you can unlock by leveling up, but again they don’t seem to do anything to change the flow of combat. In all encounters you just hide behind something otherwise, you will die in a heartbeat, and spam the shoot button to kill the enemies one by one.
If you have any upgrades attached to your gun, you need to pay attention to not overheat your chip. Using the telekinetic powers where you can launch a dumpster to an enemy, lift them up, slam them down or just explode them is fun, but it also overheat your chip to basically 99% and you just have to wait until it cools off completely to reuse that power and cooling off takes some time. Yeah, gunplay is not good and that’s unfortunate as you’ll have to shoot your way through most of the game.
Luckily, the art style kinda redeems the unsatisfying gameplay. The simple vibrant cell-shading combined with the graphic novel style presentation works really well with the cyberpunk-y aesthetic. Mostly you will roam around empty streets or abandoned warehouses, but there are also some cool environments like the club level, the “blockchain” level, and even a level that felt very similar to the nightmare section in the first Max Payne. In some moments, the game adds and shifts panels like in comics showing different perspectives like isometric, top-down, or a side view and I wish that there were more of these instances.
The subtitles also sport a comic book style where instead of just appearing where subtitles usually do in games or movies, in Foreclosed you get bubbles next to the characters and that’s cool in my books. The music is also good and helps in building the overall cyberpunk vibe. Voice acting on the other hand is passable at best. The supporting cast does a better job than Evan, who just sounds really serious at all times, you know like he has a stick up his rear entry.
As I said at the start, I liked Foreclosed for its presentation mainly and just cause it’s a short experience you can finish in a sitting or two. Gunplay could have been a lot better and some more variety in the gameplay would have been nice. I don’t know if I can recommend this game. Maybe when it goes on sale, give it a try, at least for its beautiful art style. Thanks for reading!
A PS5 code was provided by the publisher to review the game. Foreclosed is now available on PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Switch and Stadia.