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GDC 2013: Man vs. Wild: Environmental interaction in BetaDwarf's Forced

Posted by: Mike at 3/26/2013 5:25 PM
Forced is an old school player vs. environment game with a new twist on gameplay: environmental manipulation.
 
A hands-on demo of BetaDwarf’s upcoming title illustrated the need for said interaction, propping cooperative fighting against arena-style competition.
 
Similar to Russell Crowe’s Gladiator, players are forced into brutal competitions in combative arenas, only gaining freedom when they’re completed their trials. Appropriately, each level acts as a set arena wherein players complete certain objectives and, in general, try to survive.
 
This isn’t always easy though; the combat of forced is difficult, even brutal at times. Enemies can take damage and deal it out in equal amounts. The game can be played single-player, but playing with one or two other friends is the preferred method.
 
Co-op partners can assist in combat, but also puzzle-like objectives, which sometimes include manipulating an orb between themselves. The orb has several abilities, one of which is showcased in the gameplay demo.
 
With a simple button press, players can summon the orb to their character. One arena tasks us with destroying six statues that are protected by thick walls. In the center of the arena, a flaming hand opens its palm toward the sky.
 
Standing on either side of the hand, we summon the orb so it passes through the hand, igniting the orb, and imbuing its ability to destroy the statues.
 
Constant combat permeates our attempts to complete our objective, and we use every power at our disposal to survive. The four classes, which can be changed between trials, fall into the brawler, tank and ranged classes, with a shield-bearing fighter reminiscent of Captain America.
 
The enemies present in the demo are smaller, more agile creatures, but developer BetaDwarf promises a wide variety across the title.
 
Forced will launch on PC, Mac, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It has no set release date as of this writing.