May 19, 2024

In The Foglands, developer Well Told Entertainment takes players on an action-packed adventure deep underground in this action-adventure roguelite title for the PSVR2. While the game offers a unique blend of atmospheric storytelling, combat, and roguelite elements, it falls short in certain aspects, leaving players with a mixed bag of impressions.

The Foglands immerses players in an underground world, tasked with a daunting mission to eliminate a colossal worm causing seismic disturbances. The game adopts the roguelite framework, introducing intriguing elements such as chests that present players with a choice of cards to enhance various stats. While this feature adds a layer of strategy, its impact on gameplay lacks the depth found in other titles in the genre.

Combat mechanics play a central role in The Foglands, with an emphasis on action-adventure elements. The game introduces shooting, punching, and throwing as viable means of dealing with subterranean threats. However, a notable imbalance arises as shooting, particularly with the starting pistol, emerges as the preferred and more effective combat method. This dynamic, coupled with the underutilization of melee combat options like punching and throwing, raises questions about the diversity of viable playstyles.

The rogue-lite structure introduces a loop of exploration and combat, with purple chests offering cards that supposedly influence the player’s approach. However, the optional nature of these chests and the perceived lack of impactful upgrades hinder the development of a truly varied and strategic playstyle. The absence of choices that significantly alter the gameplay experience leaves the rogue-lite aspect feeling somewhat underdeveloped.

The Foglands introduces environmental elements such as traps, explosive barrels, and oxygen canisters, promising opportunities for dynamic interactions. Unfortunately, the execution of these elements falls short of expectations. Explosive barrels, for instance, lack the desired impact on enemies, resulting in a missed opportunity to reward players for environmental awareness and strategic usage.

The roguelite structure raises concerns regarding the lack of substantial variation in subsequent runs. While the game encourages exploration and discovery, the optional nature of purple chests, combined with a perceived lack of meaningful upgrades, contributes to a sense of monotony in the progression loop. A more robust implementation of choices that shape the player’s preferred playstyle would greatly enhance the replayability factor.

Visuals and Performance: The Foglands showcases higher production value than many other PSVR2 games, benefiting from the Unreal Engine and incorporating Dynamic Foveated Rendering. However, the graphical experience is not consistently polished, with occasional issues affecting text readability and frame stutter during transitions.

Despite these minor hiccups, the game offers an aesthetically pleasing visual experience, complemented by an exceptional soundtrack and well-executed environmental storytelling. The variety of rooms and the sense of mystery add depth to the overall atmosphere.

Final Thoughts

Final Score
6 / 10
6/10

Summary

The Foglands presents a captivating narrative set against a backdrop of atmospheric visuals and a compelling soundtrack. However, its gameplay dynamics fall short of achieving a harmonious balance between combat mechanics, environmental interactions, and roguelite elements. The dominance of shooting over other combat options, the underwhelming impact of environmental elements, and the perceived lack of meaningful choices contribute to a gameplay experience that leaves room for improvement. While the potential for post-release patches to address minor polish issues exists, the fundamental question of whether The Foglands can evolve into a truly engaging roguelite experience remains open. Players intrigued by atmospheric storytelling and willing to overlook certain gameplay limitations may find a worthwhile adventure, but those seeking a robust roguelite may find the game's potential somewhat untapped.