Review: F.I.S.T: Forged in Shadow Torch (Nintendo Switch)

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F.I.S.T. is the latest in what feels like the forever-growing list of metroidvania games. Fortunately, where so many games come out and disappoint in this genre, F.I.S.T. sticks the landing pretty well. It may not offer anything to reinvent the formula, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t worth your time.

The biggest problem with F.I.S.T. is playing it on the Nintendo Switch. There are genuine limitations with the hardware and it is noticeable when, for example, the game stutters to maintain its framerate. It also doesn’t look anywhere near as nice on the Nintendo Switch as it does on other consoles. This is admittedly understandable when being compared to the heftier PS5 and Xbox Series X, but considering how the game generally just struggles to run, it feels like an ever bigger shame.

The plot is pretty simple, but there are tons to learn and uncover along the way in the incredibly rich world presented before the player. You play as a rabbit named Rayton in a world set after a big war, which has left it in a sorry state. Rayton was a mech pilot during the war but has since put those days behind him. That is, until he is obviously called back into action. He uses his big metal fist from the aforementioned war to retrieve his kidnapped friend, getting her back in one piece. 

The story is a fascinating one and, in true metroidvania fashion, it is the world that reels you in. It’s dripping with neon, and every background is a rich tapestry to stare at. Honestly, I would love to see more games in this gritty Zootopia-style world, exploring more about the anthropomorphic animals and the world they live in.

Outside of the general atmosphere and world presented, the gameplay is also a lot of fun. It may start a bit slowly, especially whilst you only have one weapon available to you, but as you progress and collect more weapons, it really ramps up. F.I.S.T is really, really challenging. There were a few occasions, mainly towards the end, where it does almost become a bit too much. It is doable, though, and for those who love a proper challenge, you will certainly love this. 

F.I.S.T is a truly enjoyable metroidvania that goes a long way to justify its existence. It would also be great to see a bit more set in this world if the developer is given the chance. The only downside is that the Switch is far from the best place to play the game thanks to the hardware’s lack of power.


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