Elden Path of the Forgotten is the title presented by the dev solo from Onerat Games Studios. An 8-bit RPG title that will give you a lot of headaches, for having a difficult combat architecture and without any kind of guide in terms of the narrated story.
It all starts when Elden, the main character, sees his mother enter a black portal after performing a dark ritual. Elden is thus obliged to understand what happened and try to save his mother.
Telling stories contextually without any kind of narrative where the plot is presented through the world itself is an attractive idea for some, but difficult to achieve. As much as I would like to give credit to this title for having taken the risks of this decision making, it is difficult to point out something good in the narrative. After the initial cutscene where we see Elden’s mother entering the dark portal, the game doesn’t tell you anything at all. Each door or area has small phrases or names in an imperceptible language, which makes navigation and new areas discovered quite confusing.
In the beginning, the player has only one sword at his disposal, however, it is possible to find different weapons and even unlock some magic skills. The combat system is difficult and sometimes a little clumsy since sometimes the attacks do not produce any type of damage, not because the enemies have some kind of armor, but because the game itself does not record the damage. It is really an aspect that becomes frustrating, especially against the strongest enemies.
It is still possible to dodge enemy attacks, parry while trying to survive the enemy hordes. Three bars of different colors are displayed on the screen that indicates the character’s life, in purple, stamina, green, and the mana bar, blue. It is important to keep in mind these bars, because each melee attack, as well as the ability to dodge enemy attacks, use the stamina bar, and when it ends, it is almost impossible to escape taking damage. To regain life it is possible to consume elements such as apples or find random points on the map like a purple portal. The same happens with the save points, this time with a yellow color.
At your disposal, the player can count on three different weapons. The sword, with a normal type of attack and without spending much stamina, the ax is quite slow but powerful and the spear has a considerable range but with the weakest attack of the three options.
The premise of the game involves a lot of exploration of the whole environment shrouded in mystery, but with the character’s movement very slow it makes things quite boring. It is possible to walk a little faster when using the ability to dodge, but as combats take place so randomly, we are sometimes caught off guard and without a stamina bar.
The repetition of the formula makes the whole experience boring. The player needs to find a key to open a door from the location where he is to later fight against the boss. After defeating the Boss he is transported to a different area with the same idea, finding a key and confronting the Boss. Without any kind of side missions or history associated with each new area, it is really an experience that leaves a lot to be desired.
At the graphic level, Elden drinks much of the inspiration from titles of the SNES generation, in the style of the classic 16-bits and 8-bits. While the environment seems quite linear and without much substance, the enemies have a certain charm to their fortune.
That said, the Elden Path of the Forgotten adventure starts well but quickly drops down in all aspects. With the main focus on the level of “clunkiness” in combat mode that leaves anyone on the verge of a nervous breakdown. With an interesting premise, but which fails to reach the level of exploration satisfaction necessary to keep the player involved in his “story”.