BioForge, PC

BioForge is a cyberpunk action/adventure developed by Origin Systems and published by Electronic Arts for PC MS-DOS in 1995. It is similar in style to Alone in the Dark or Resident Evil, with static backgrounds and animated 3D characters moving over them.

You take on the role of a cyborg (Experimental Unit AP-127) who awakens in a cell with no prior memories and who must escape and find out what is going on. Reading log books and accessing computers provides you with the backstory of the game, but – in essence – it seems like you’ve been kidnapped, operated on, and turned into some kind of cyborg assassin by a group of rogue scientists called The Mondites. As you progress into the game you begin to realise that you’re one of the few survivors of an incident on a Mondite research station. You must unravel the truth about the incident, the Mondites, and – ultimately – yourself, and escape from the research station.

The gameplay in BioForge is mostly about exploration and puzzle-solving, but there is also a beat ’em up-style combat element that you need to get to grips with to deal with certain hostiles. You press ‘C’ to enter combat mode and then hold ALT or CTRL and use the direction keys to punch, kick or defend.

You also need to manipulate a variety of items and objects to make progress. You press Enter to pick up items (then press ‘I’ to add them to your inventory); press ‘J’ for journal; ‘D’ for diagnostic information; ‘P’ for datapad, and ‘S’ and ‘L’ for saving and loading.

One thing that becomes apparent rather quickly is that BioForge is a very clunky game to play, and it won’t appeal to everyone. While there are multiple ways of solving some puzzles, BioForge is mostly linear, extremely unforgiving, with death coming often. So it pays to save your game regularly. Just getting out of the opening area takes a fair bit of thought and effort, and playing without reading the manual (or a walkthrough) is a real test of patience.

If you can get over the clunkiness of BioForge, like a challenge, and like old school Resident Evil-style adventures, then you might enjoy this game. It’s currently still available to buy on and occasionally drops down to pennies in a sale, when it’s probably worth a look-in.

More: BioForge on Wikipedia
GOG: BioForge on

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