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F.I.S.T.: Forged In Shadow Torch

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5
Genre: Action/Adventure
Developer: TiGames
Release Date: Sept. 7, 2021

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'F.I.S.T.: Forged In Shadow Torch' Introduces the Game's Protagonist, Gets Release Date - Trailer

by Rainier on July 8, 2021 @ 2:10 p.m. PDT

F.I.S.T.: Forged In Shadow Torch is a dieselpunk-style action adventure featuring an anthropomorphic bunny wielding a huge, weaponized metal fist.

Supposing there was a beautiful, peaceful world, inhabited only by animals. What would happen if it were invaded by a race of machine-like creatures? Amidst the backdrop of the inevitable conflict that would erupt and consume the planet, we pictured the emergence of a lone warrior, a hero. 

Meet Rayton. A battle veteran who has spent the last six years in hiding after his city was lost. Yet when his friend is kidnapped by the Machine Legion, this silent yet determined fighter heads back out into the world on a desperate rescue mission. In F.I.S.T., flesh and blood will clash with metal, idealism will war with realism and faiths will be tested. 

Exploration is a key gameplay mechanic of the genre. Yet unlike open world titles, an exploration platformer’s areas are usually multiple interconnected ‘rooms,’ the sudden change to the look and feel of your surroundings can be jarring. It erodes cohesion. 

Every district is distinct yet feels part of a larger whole. As you explore, subtle yet increasing alterations in the background and level design makes the transitions between each region feel wholly natural. Torch City will feel even more convincing when you factor in a lack of loading between areas.

And of course, it is a city packed with secrets. Some of the best spots in real-world locales are only found through exploration. Numerous hidden areas await, with platform or combat challenges in each, rewarding you with new upgrades or cool collectables for their completion.

It all came from the basic idea that an outstanding, iconic protagonist helps players love and remember a game, and we believe Rayton, the rabbit in F.I.S.T.: Forged In Shadow Torch, is a great example of that. We’d like to share what we tried to express when we designed him.

When we first started to create the world of F.I.S.T., we tried to design a human protagonist, but soon we realized that no human character would be as universal and acceptable for everyone as an animal character.

Compared to cats or dogs, a rabbit with two long ears has a more recognizable shape in a side-scrolling platformer. And more importantly, people imagine rabbits as a kind of weak and vulnerable creature, so when a rabbit becomes a silent veteran wielding a giant mechanical fist, a significant conflict comes out, and Rayton comes out.

But why a fist? Swords or blades would definitely be cool, but a fist contains a rage that you want to vent on the enemies in your way, especially since it’s so disproportionately big.

In the story, this mechanical fist was removed from Rayton’s armor from a war six years ago. We designed Rayton wielding one fist instead of two because the imbalance and incomplete shape would be an external symbol of his psychological trauma from losing that war.

Along with the fist, the drill and the whip are the other two unique weapons that Rayton will obtain during his journey. Each has its own advantages, covering various damage, range, or special abilities for exploring the map.

There are also some other designs to make the character vivid. For example, Rayton will drink carrot juice to recover when he is injured, and he really loves it. But never drink too much or you can’t ignore the change.

F.I.S.T: Forged In Shadow Torch's deep and satisfying combat system is built around the trio of weapons Rayton brings with him into battle: the mechanized fist, drill and whip. 

Each has its own unique features and combo chains. The fist is a good all-rounder with the easiest combo strings of the three. The drill is slower to deploy but deals out the most damage. In direct contrast, the whip isn’t as powerful but is lightning quick and also boasts the furthest attack range. Yet you will need to become adept at using all three to survive your travels through the dense cityscape.

And what’s great weaponry without some challenging villains to test them out on? F.I.S.T: Forged In Shadow Torch features a devilishly diverse bunch of baddies that would challenge you with dozens of enemy types – normal grunts, stronger elites and tough bosses. Each has a unique appearance and a distinct combat pattern. The Machine Legion will not fall easily. 

Dieselpunk might not be as well-known as cyberpunk or steampunk, but its style is just as fantastical and fascinating, interweaving oriental-style architecture into the diesel-powered designs, inspired by industrial technology as well as military weapons of the interwar period. 

Powering all this is the Unreal Engine 4. Using the engine’s physically based rendering with extremely detailed textures has perfectly captured the aesthetic. Though the gameplay is 2D, the world of F.I.S.T. has been rendered in beautiful 3D, with background details enriching every location and making the city feel alive. 

F.I.S.T: Forged In Shadow Torch is coming to PS4, PS5 and and PC (Steam) on September 7, 2021 for $29.99.

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