Descent-like hoverbike FPS Forsaken rides again today, remastered by Nightdive. A fascinating relic from an era of over-filtered textures and lurid coloured lighting, Forsaken Remastered takes the ‘6 degrees of freedom’ concept and makes it faster, louder and dumber. Fun, too, especially in its many messy multiplayer modes. While most of Nightdive’s remasters have been as authentic to the source material as possible, this one breaks from the norm, combining the remarkably different PC and N64 versions of the game into a single gestalt whole.
Having played both versions of the game back in the 90s, the decision to stitch together Probe’s original PC Forsaken and Iguana’s (they of the Turok series) N64 edition is a daring one. While the two games shared many of their core systems and art, they were two very different experiences in practice. The N64 levels tended to be shorter, faster, more arcade-styled, and occasionally capped off with entirely new boss battles. I’m eager to see just how well the two halves have been integrated in this new version.
Forsaken Remastered is the work of porting powerhouse Samuel ‘Kaiser’ Villarreal, who had previously ported the Turok games and Strife for Nightdive, as well as Doom 64, just for fun. I’m personally hoping that his next project is a return to Powerslave/Exhumed, another FPS remembered semi-fondly on PC. It was a radically different, almost Metroid Prime-esque experience on consoles, as covered in this excellent DigitalFoundry video. Most of his work on porting the PSX version to PC is done, but licensing issues prevented an official release under Nightdive’s banner.
On a tangential note, Forsaken Remastered isn’t Nightdive’s only release today. While it launched on GOG on the 21st, those who prefer DRM on their older games can now pick up Zono’s (underrated, in my opinion) stompybot RTS Metal Fatigue via Steam.