Forgotten Fields Review: A Journey of Nostalgia and Introspection
As we age, we are become overwhelmed with nostalgia. Things were better in the old days! The present and future looks ever bleaker the more we reminisce. Forgotten Fields touches on this subject along with other introspective thoughts about ourselves in a lighthearted narrative about family, friends, and home.
In Forgotten Fields, you play as Sid, a writer who is experiencing a few dilemmas this Sunday. They are struggling with writer’s block and need to pitch their second book by midnight. At the same time, Sid needs to attend a family goodbye party as his childhood home is being sold the next morning. It is up to you to navigate through Sid’s mid-life crisis by chatting with friends, doing some chores, and listening to chill tunes.
Forgotten Fields is a slice of life narrative game with light gameplay sections. There are few player decisions to make, so buckle down and enjoy some long, thought-provoking conversations. These dialogues are accessible as they are written naturally and do not get too philosophical term heavy like some narrative games. The subject matter is definitely aimed at people in their twenties and older. Younger players may want to skip this one as you may not relate to the topics and characters yet.
Throughout the adventure, the perspective flips to the new novel developing in Sid’s mind. Events that happen in the novel are often parallels to Sid’s predicaments. Epiphanies in his life often lead to alterations to that storyline. I think this is a rather neat concept and helped showcase Sid’s doubts and worries without giving him long inner monologues.
Forgotten Fields takes place in a small town in India. An issue I often see with foreign representation in media is stereotyping the landscape and culture with the emphasis that it takes place in x location. While there are certainly some crammed cities and slums in India, there is so much more! There are countryside towns, beautiful beaches, and people pursuing their passions like the rest of us. The developer is from and based in India which results in a fresh and more relatable perspective of the daily lives of those in the country.
Aside from the landscape and a few Hindi words sprinkled in, Forgotten Fields could take place just about anywhere. Sid orders takeout from a nearby restaurant, kids are playing football (soccer) in the street, and people go on trips blaring sweet tunes and drinking beers. We all have so much in common, even across the boundaries of continents and cultures.
The buildings and landscapes pop with color. The sunset at the beach is breathtaking. Oh, and the fields are pretty too of course. The world feels so pleasant to look at and makes me wish I could be there in person. While the fantasy world can feel a bit simplistic at times, this is understandable from a narrative perspective as that world is incomplete and constantly undergoing changes in Sid’s mind. The character animations are simplistic and sometimes clip into objects, but they get the job done. The dialogue and environments do the heavy lifting here.
The music and sound design is pleasant and relaxing. I should note that there are a few licensed tracks by Altadore, so heads up if you are a content creator and want to avoid copyright claims. As a streamer, I was saddened to discover this, but at least I found a new artist to listen to.
The camera is a bit weird. It feels like the developer wanted to use fixed camera angles for most situations, but allowed players to rotate the camera themselves in case something was blocking their view. This lead to issues where I fought the forced angle changes at times. Simple quick time events exist, but they feel out of place and unnecessary. I suppose they show that the protagonist likes video games, but they did not add enough to justify using them here. I did encounter some minor bugs, including a softlock that was remedied by loading an autosave.
I had some great conversations and laughs with friends while playing Forgotten Fields. It is a game that made me feel refreshed while also reflecting on my own life and future.
Note: GameOctane received a digital code from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing this game. Any code or product intended for reviews is distributed to the team to review and stream for our audience.
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