Another game flying under the Square Enix banner is a beautiful looking adventure game called Forgotton Anne. It has a gorgeous anime style to it that looks like it could be straight out of Studio Ghibli. Most of the gameplay that I saw was that of a standard 2d adventure game; exploring buildings and locations, having the odd conversation and solving puzzles, with a smattering of platforming thrown in for good measure. Forgotton Anne kind of just starts abruptly, you wake up from sleep and take a look around and it is very apparent that the story is already ongoing, there’s no intro, there’s no text crawl or any of that, it just begins and things are already happening. To that end for the first little while at least you are getting all these terms, characters and situations thrown at you and it’s very obvious that part of the mystery of this game is finding out; what is going on? Who are these people?
Part of what is going on is the Forgotlings, Forgotlings are the things, the everyday items we have forgotten about like old furniture, a toy or a shoe, and seemingly disappeared into their own magical world, known as the Forgotten Lands, where they have somehow become animated. Among these Forgotlings is a rebellion, what they are rebelling against is so far unknown, but there are Forgotlings on two sides; the verified ones, who have a wee green tick sticker on them, like twitter profiles, come to life, and the rebels. Anne, the titular character has the job of finding these rebels and stopping them by essentially draining them of their magical essence, known as Anima with a device she wears called an Arca. The first encounter I had with a Forgotling, it turned out it was a rebel and it appeared I had to drain it so as I felt I had no choice I drained it. I felt so guilty afterwards and I wondered if I did indeed have a choice and no sooner had I thought this than I got a text box in the corner of the screen saying this could have been resolved another way, or something similar, so it does indeed look as if choices and how you act towards these Forgotlings will play a major role. Anima, the magical essence also seems to be used as a power source in the Forgotten Lands, part of some of the puzzles involve draining canisters full of Anima and putting it into various machines and devices to power them. I can only wonder if this will take on some kind of dark twist involving the Forgotlings? But that’s all part of the mystery isn’t it?
As I have said above I absolutely adore the animation of Forgotton Anne, all the character animations suit the anime style of the game so well to the point everything looks satisfying to watch from just wandering about and walking up and down stairs to jumping around and running into walls. The character designs as well, especially that of Master Bonku (The old dude in the mirror in the above pic) takes me back to animes of the 90’s, which is my preferred era of the genre. This game has charm and personality in spades, I have my suspicions where the story is going to go but I am eager to see the rest of it and find out if I am right.
Forgotton Anne will release in early 2018 on Xbox One, PS4 & PC.