Forever Ago is an indie title that is currently very early in development by Third Shift. Little is known about this game, however, it is stipulated that it will be a single-player story-driven title. It will be about a seasoned man named Alfred hitting the road to run away from the neverending pain of the past. Heading north, Alfred will document his travels, meet new friends, and re-connect with himself, in the process. As far as video games are concerned, this IP isn’t a standard adventure about saving the world or surviving a dystopian landscape. No, instead this game is very much a human tale in which it can be relatable in many degrees. There is no combat or enemies in this title to speak of. There will be challenges to overcome, of course. This is a video game, after all. However, this game will focus on the elements that other titles tend to overlook.
Meaning, that the focus will solely be on dialogue, making choices, exploring, character development, and having revelations. In the indie sphere of gaming, this type of sub-genre is slowly starting to leak through the cracks. Games like Lake and Road 96 are two prime examples. Forever Ago appears to be a linear journey, with branching paths along the way. Given that this is made by two guys, chances are this won’t be an open-world title. Nor, does it need to be. The concentration on the character arc of Alfred is the key factor in this project. It’s not to say that there won’t be a variety of locations in this game, because there will be. There will be deserts, mountains, forests, and towns to cross and interact with. How much freedom players will have in terms of exploration is speculation, at this point. At the very least, there will be a slew of options of what to say and do during this adventure, no doubt.
Forever and a Day
Forever Ago will be played from a third-person perspective. Alfred will be limited with his movement, due to his age. However, he will be accompanied by his dog which will act as a supplement to Alfred’s limitations. Chances are this dog will help players find certain items, act as a distraction and give hints on where to go. Alfred will be able to interact with his canine companion by petting him and doing other activities. Throughout this adventure, Alfred will have an old-fashioned instant camera with him. Taking pictures will be the main source of both connecting with characters and solving puzzles. In terms of puzzles, they will involve environmental situations that will take basic engineering ingenuity to overcome. Thusly, common sense will also play a factor in solving enigmas.
The environment will be highly interactive, as well. Alfred will have the ability to pick up and examine items that are all around him. By observing objects, players will digest important environmental narratives related to the location and even different characters. Through his journey, Alfred will encounter all manner of people, who will have problems happening in their lives. Players can choose whether or not they can help out. Human bonding is the core of Forever Ago and this is something that players will need to keep in mind. Voice talent that is well-established in the industry will be lending their voices to these characters. Basically, this game will be a slow-burn type of story. The exposition will drip feed to the players until they gradually reach the end. Alfred’s main goal is to document everything he comes across during his trip. Therefore, players will be free to take pictures of whatever they want.
Old Man’s Heart
This game will be a very emotional one. It will center on loss and how to cope with it. In Alfred’s case, he’s dealing with his pain by simply driving through North America and piecing himself back together. The details on exactly what happened to him are scarce. Perhaps, this will be unveiled throughout the unfolding of the plot during the playthrough. Even though most of the game takes place on the road in Alfred’s van, there will be some places to explore on foot, as well. Alfred will be venturing into forests, caverns, seedy bars, beaches, and other places. Here is when gameplay will be it’s most pronounced. Alfred and his dog will face all sorts of harrowing situations and he will need to either talk his way out of it or simply outwit the opposition. He will encounter dangerous people, dank locations, violent storms, and other elements. Also, camping will be a feature in Forever Ago. Most likely, there is where players will get organized, few their progress, and perhaps even nurse Alfred back to health, if possible. It is currently not established if these are scripted scenes or if they can be set up at the player’s whim.
In any case, Forever Ago appears to be a valiant effort for the team at Third Shift. For their first project, there is definitely some ambition behind it. Sometimes, a small intimate journey with a character is a palette cleanser that some gamers need. Especially, since the industry is getting oversaturated with FPSs, RPGs, and PvP titles. This game will be an old-school single-player affair that will offer insights that very few games touch on. Since this game is very early in development, there is no telling when it will actually be released. However, from what was shown in the most recent trailer, it appears to have some potential.
Love and Other Poisons
Forever Ago currently doesn’t have a release date in place, of course. However, the development is going steadily onward. There are still quite a few questions on how Forever Ago will actually play. Hopefully, the developers will release a gameplay trailer down the line to help players get a better understanding of the mechanics. There is some potential here and for their first title, Third Shift appears to have something unique in its hands. Hopefully, the gaming community will give it a shot whenever it will be released.