Foreclosed is a narrative-driven action-adventure game from the developer Antab Studio and published by Merge Games. Set in a cyberpunk world, you’ll play as Evan Kapnos, whose identity has recently been foreclosed along with the closure of the company that owned his identity. But it seems like there is an ulterior motive behind these events, and soon, unknown men are trying to kill him. Stripped of his identity, job, brain implants, and ability to leave the city, he must get to the bottom of this conspiracy before he’s killed or his identity is auctioned off.
Foreclosed plays more like an interactive comic than other action-adventure games on the market. The game emulates the visual aesthetic of comics with simplistic lines, Ben-Day dots, a healthy dose of SFX, and the use of rectangular comic panels to capture story moments and action. While the visuals are certainly interesting—it’s not every day you see comics come to life—it’s the changing perspectives in each panel that not only really make it feel like you’re playing a comic book but add some fun to the mix.
Kapnos acts as the narrator, which is apt since this is his life we’re experiencing. At first, I wasn’t entirely stoked about his voice acting; it sounded a bit too cheesy. He has a gritty, laconic voice that feels typical of 90s action heroes. But it eventually grew on me, reminding me of noir narration with its first-person structure. The rest of the cast follows suit with some splendid voice acting.
The action in Foreclosed focuses around 3rd person shooting along with powers you gain through upgrading your brain implants. You’ll gain experience from battling enemies but also finding and hacking technology. This experience awards points that can be used to upgrade your brain implants and gun. Curve bullets, penetrate energy shields, overload enemy cranial implants, use telekinesis to throw dumpsters at enemies, and much more. The mechanics are undeniably fun, but they’re negatively impacted by how slow the action feels.
My time was spent mostly peeking and shooting around corners, never getting too close, and often backing up when more enemies were spawned. You won’t be able to get too close to enemies because, at close quarters, one-shot means death (unless you use the shield power). There’s no running or sliding, though there is plenty of rolling to be had. The action is often prolonged, especially in the beginning when you haven’t unlocked many powers. At the same time, while the action tends to be slow, the puzzles and the required sneaking break up any monotony that might form. You’ll have to sneak around people and drones, along with following signals to find hidden technology to open doors.
The plot itself is enjoyable if just a bit too short. The cyberpunk influences are immediately recognizable, with megacorporations literally owning people’s identity. You’ll be battling against corrupt individuals and will have an interesting choice to make at the very end, which is a nice addition though unexpected since you aren’t afforded choices along the way. The game’s linearity isn’t necessarily a negative, but the fact that Foreclosed can be beaten in just a handful of hours leaves me wanting more story. Even the little bit of epilogue just wasn’t enough to really hit home the decision you make at the end.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed what Foreclosed had to offer, and a circular narrative is always a good way to get on my good side. The game effortlessly makes you feel like you’re in a comic book, and it feels immersive. But while there are some outstanding elements to the game, I just want more of it—more story, more action, more mechanics. Furthermore, I want to see Antab Studio use these same elements to build a longer game with more complexity. But for now, Foreclosed is still worth its price point.
Foreclosed is available on August 12th for PlayStation 4/5, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed what Foreclosed had to offer, and a circular narrative is always a good way to get on my good side. The game effortlessly makes you feel like you’re in a comic book, and it feels immersive. But while there are some outstanding elements to the game, I just want more of it—more story, more action, more mechanics. Furthermore, I want to see Antab Studio use these same elements to build a longer game with more complexity.