Genre: Action, Adventure, Indie, Simulation
Compatibility: PSVR2, Meta Quest 2, Meta Quest 3, Meta Quest Pro, SteamVR
Platforms: PlayStation Store, Steam Store, Meta Quest Store
Release date: 31.10.2023
Developer: Well Told Entertainment
Price: 37 $
The Foglands is a VR Roguelike game set in a post-apocalyptic society. Players take on the role of a runner to help the settlement survive.
Though the game has an exciting gameplay loop of dying and retrying, it has been met with disappointment due to a lack of depth and variety.
Additionally, frustrating mechanics and design problems have contributed to players’ dissatisfaction.
In our review below you will find our opinion on the game.
The Foglands offers a unique VR Roguelike experience with a dystopian setting where the player takes on the role of a runner, collecting supplies and aiding the settlement in their survival. It utilizes a player progression system, with each retry earning upgrades to character and equipment.
There’s also a tutorial to help explain the unique mechanics and introduce the world.
Based on our experience, we found the game’s mechanics initially confusing. The tutorial helps players understand the resource gathering, runner keys, and other aspects of ‘The Foglands’ as they prepare for the journey ahead.
Resource management is a key element in the game, with scrap, runner keys, and stuff to be collected each run. Scrap can be used at vendors during the run or sent back for future use. Runner keys unlock cards and rooms with varying buffs and special abilities.
Exploring nooks and crannies is necessary to find hidden items and maximize success. Procedural level design ensures no two runs are the same, making for an ever-changing and thrilling experience.
Lack of Depth and Useless Items
Despite the player’s progression system and their ability to upgrade their character and equipment with each retry, The Foglands lacks depth when it comes to the items found in the world.
Exploration value is low as the items the player can pick up are mostly useless, offering little in terms of resource management and settlement interactions.
Crafting items is also impossible, meaning the player is limited in what they can do to help the settlement survive.
Guns and ammo are plentiful, making melee attacks unnecessary and the player unable to enhance their gear with looted items.
This lack of depth and variety in the items available makes it difficult to have a meaningful impact on the game and settlement.
Challenges and Difficulty
I face various challenging obstacles while playing ‘The Foglands’. With the lack of explanation of roguelike elements, the learning curve can be a bit confusing. Even with the optional tutorial, the hit detection with fists as weapons can be quite frustrating. Furthermore, the lack of an actual map makes it difficult to stay on track and explore the procedurally generated levels.
Enemies are generally not too challenging and can often be exploited. Moreover, the game can become repetitive and lead to a loss of motivation after the final boss is defeated.
Issues and Bugs
During the game’s review, I experienced a few issues and bugs that may be fixed in the day one patch.
The slow-motion mechanic in VR caused problems with gun handling, often leading to missed shots and frustration.
A bug when ducking caused me to get stuck in the floor, and the barrier created by the first boss was highly exploitable.
Interacting with chests and lockers can be finicky, as the items inside only appear if fully opened.
All of these issues can be annoying but can be resolved with the day one patch.
Story and Atmosphere
The game’s story and the atmosphere provide a unique world and lore to explore.
Through character development and world building, players uncover tidbits of information about the past while also being challenged to explore every nook and cranny.
Special rooms offer backstory about the world and previous runners, plus buffs and special abilities.
The dystopian future theme and unique setting may be a motivation for some players to continue playing and learning more about the story.
Visuals and Audio
The environments are detailed and colorful, with a unique aesthetic that makes it stand out from other first-person shooters.
The sound design is top-notch, with dynamic music and sound effects that add to the tension and atmosphere.
With each new room and enemy encounter, the music shifts and adds an extra layer of excitement.
All of the sound design and music work together to create an immersive experience that allows the player to become fully immersed in the world of The Fog Lands.
The combination of visuals and audio creates an atmosphere that will draw players in and keep them coming back for more.
From close-quarters scrapping with fists and knives to long-range sniping with rifles and shotguns, the gunplay is varied and exciting. Enemies aren’t very intelligent, often using cover and flanking tactics to gain an advantage.
While the challenge of the game may be low, it’s still thrilling to feel like an unstoppable force as you mow down waves of enemies. The weapons feel satisfying to use, and the dynamic AI behavior keeps the combat fresh.
Overall, The Foglands is a thrilling ride that will keep players coming back for more. With its unique roguelike elements, hidden items, and procedurally generated levels, the game offers plenty of replayability.
The story provides just enough information to keep players motivated to uncover the secrets of the world. Despite some issues with hit detection and a lack of an actual map, the game still manages to be enjoyable and immersive.
The atmosphere of the dystopian future and the lore add to the game’s charm and provide a great backdrop for the action. With some tweaks and improvements to the gameplay, The Foglands could become an even more rewarding experience.
However, there are lots of bugs that we are looking forward to be fixed in a future patch. Developers need to adjust the gameplay as well, as it is very difficult to pick up a found item, ammo, and other treasures, and you need to be very precise with the actions in order to execute them properly.
The Foglands is a thrilling roguelike shooter that takes players on a gripping quest. With its gripping visuals and intense combat system, it’s a must-play for fans of the genre.
Sure, there are some issues and bugs, but overall, the game is a great experience. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a newbie, The Foglands will keep you engaged and entertained for hours.