Review – F.I.S.T.: Forged In Shadow Torch

F.I.S.T.: Forged In Shadow Torch is a first-person dungeon crawler with roguelike elements and a heavy emphasis on stealth and tactical gameplay. The game has been in development since 2013, but finally released to the public on Steam Early Access back in November 2018.

F.I.S.T.: Forged In Shadow Torch is a game that takes place in the year 2036 where you play as a hacker who is trying to save the world from an AI apocalypse

I know some of you have been waiting for F.I.S.T.: Forged In Shadow Torch for a long, including several of my WTMG colleagues, but I had never heard of it until about a week ago. With that in mind, I was sold the minute I watched the video and some of the gameplay footage. That edgy dieselpunk furry craziness seemed to be precisely what I was looking for in a fresh new metroidvania that would take use of the PlayStation 5’s capabilities. Now that I’ve played it, I can testify that it was all I hoped for and much more.

I’m making my way into town…

F.I.S.T. : Forged In Shadow Torch is set in a strange alternative world filled with anthropomorphic animals living in what can only be described as LITERALLY Midgard from Final Fantasy VII, all under the watchful eye of Shinr…, I mean the Machine Legion. You play as Rayton, a sassy bunny with a voice that sounds like a cross between Cloud and Master Chief from Halo. He embarks on a quest to locate one of his pals who has been abducted by the Legion. The story develops and gets much more complicated later on, as one would anticipate. While there are a few instances that seem a little unclear or cliché, I wasn’t expecting to be so invested in a disgruntled bunny in a mech suit.

In principle, we’re dealing with a classic metroidvania adventure in the vein of Metroid Fusion. The world is yours to explore as you want, as long as you have the required materials, but it is also divided into sections and is objective-based, with a marker on your map assisting you in navigating around Torch City’s maze-like landscape. F.I.S.T., on the other hand, takes movement cues from a totally other franchise: Mega Man. Mega Man X, in particular, with its heavy focus on constantly jumping on walls and dashing platforming.


F.I.S.T. is beautiful, however it has an inordinate amount of motion blur.

The combat, on the other hand, isn’t in the least bit influenced by Mega Man. Rayton’s suit can only attack with a fist-shaped attachment at initially, enabling you to do Platinum-style combos with two attack buttons and grab, with additional combinations unlocked in certain terminals. You may pick up additional weapons along the journey, which not only enable you to confront opponents in different ways, but also allow you to open context-sensitive doors similar to those seen in the Metroid series. It’s nothing out of the usual, yet it’s so nicely designed, with snappy controls and a solid progression system, that I can’t help but applaud it.

F.I.S.T.’s environment is remarkably immersive. You’re not just wandering around a maze of corridors with no rhyme or purpose. With sections depicting the streets, vertical slums with hidden passageways, the sewers, military bases, and so on, the city of Torch is as realistic as, if not more than, Midgard itself. Without a question, the level design excellence was the aspect of F.I.S.T. that I enjoyed the most, and this game isn’t lacking on praise.


This is how you hunt a wabbit, Elmer Fudd.

Its presentation isn’t terrible either, but it does suffer from some sort of financial restriction, which I can only guess is due to some kind of fiscal constraint. Despite its stunning visuals, particularly in terms of landscapes and character movements, a couple of F.I.S.T.’s assets and (most notably) particle effects seem to be a little cheap, a little too “Unreal generic.” During cutscenes, it is more apparent. Thankfully, the game plays very smoothly at 60 frames per second. I didn’t like how much motion blur was used, and how it couldn’t be turned off. In my view, this is a significant omission.

The sound design of F.I.S.T. is similarly impressive. It’s decent, although there are some flaws due to a budget that isn’t quite up to par. Its music is excellent, and I have no reservations about it, both in terms of diversity and compositional excellence. Unfortunately, the voice acting is hit-or-miss. It’s not awful, and I was really surprised by how much voice acting was included, but there are some problems with the quality of the recordings and their mixing. Some of the characters also sounded amateurishly voiced. Don’t get me wrong, they’re very excellent amateurs, but the argument still remains.


This game’s simple mode is basically the drill attachment.

F.I.S.T. : Forged In Shadow Torch appeared out of nowhere and immediately grabbed me with its incredible controls and map design. Even though the narrative and voice acting are sometimes tedious, the game’s presentation and gameplay more than make up for any financial shortfalls. If this is what we can expect from metroidvanias in the next generation of games, F.I.S.T. has already raised the bar, and I applaud them for it.


Although some of its materials and particles seem to be too “generic Unreal,” the game’s character design, animations, performance, and backdrops are all excellent, even by PS5 standards. However, I didn’t like how much motion blur was used.

The Mega Man X series’ gameplay and momentum, along with a fantastic metroidvania level design and advancement system, culminate in an extremely entertaining platformer with complex combat systems.

Even though the voice acting in F.I.S.T. is a little inconsistent at times, it’s a lot better than I anticipated. It also has a fantastic music.

Even if the narrative is a little simple at points and there is a lot of needless backtracking, F.I.S.T. : Forged In Shadow Torch was a joy to play, due to its fantastic gameplay and fantastic scenery.

Final Score: 9.0

F.I.S.T. : Forged In Shadow Torch is currently available on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.

PS5 was used for this review.

The publisher supplied a copy of F.I.S.T. : Forged In Shadow Torch.

As an example:

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Look at them!

F.I.S.T., or Forged In Shadow Torch, is a game that is inspired by the Dark Souls series and features RPG-like gameplay with an emphasis on combat and exploration. Reference: f.i.s.t. forged in shadow torch characters.

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