When I look for video games to check out I am always intrigued by a game that tries to do something unique. While I generally prefer unique gameplay mechanics, I also appreciate a game with a unique setting/theme as well. Both kind of describe the game that I am looking at today. In the past I have looked at Hunter’s Legacy and Mulaka created by the developer Lienzo. Today I am taking a look at their newest game Aztech Forgotten Gods. What intrigued me about the game was its futuristic Aztec setting as well as the aerial combat against huge boss creatures. Aztech Forgotten Gods is a little rough around the edges, but the boss fights and combat can be quite enjoyable.
Aztech Forgotten Gods takes place in an alternative timeline where the Aztec civilization not only survived but thrived. Over centuries the civilization has become technologically advanced while still maintaining connections to its past. During an excavation of ancient ruins a young woman named Achtli finds an ancient gauntlet which is connected to an advanced source of power. By activating the gauntlet a barrier that once held back the forgotten gods is released allowing them to return to our world. With the power of the gauntlet Achtli must defeat these forgotten gods before they destroy everything.
I am not entirely sure how I would describe the gameplay of Aztech Forgotten Gods. It is mostly built around the gauntlet. The gauntlet acts like a sort of jetpack. It has a limited charge which is restored by standing on the ground or hanging off walls. In addition to flying through the air the gauntlet also has various combat abilities such as a charged up punch.
Much of the gameplay is built around combat. As you can fly through the air, the combat mostly takes place in the air. You can lock onto targets which helps with attacking enemies as you can quickly move between them. You have various combat abilities such as a simple punch, a charged punch, and a number of other abilities you unlock as you advance in the game.
A major focus of the game is the boss fights against the forgotten gods. Each of them are based off of different gods from the Aztec pantheon. In each fight you are ultimately trying to deplete the bosses health by attacking their weak areas. Each battle is quite different though as the weak points of each boss are different and requires you to use different abilities and approaches to damage them. The boss battles generally consist of a couple phases as the weak points change and new boss attacks are added.
Outside of the boss fights you will be mostly told to go to different destinations around the city. These are basic fetch quests combined with occasionally having to fight enemies that get in your way. Around the city there are also various optional activities that you can complete. The optional activities include challenges to beat a certain number of enemies within a given amount of time, as well as time trials as you race around the city.
Ultimately I had some mixed feelings about Aztech Forgotten Gods. Probably the game’s biggest strength are the boss fights. Some of the bosses are better than others, but I would say that they are generally pretty enjoyable. The general approach to each boss is similar, but each fight feels different. The whole idea of fighting against a boss considerably larger than you is exciting. The aerial combat in general is quite fun as you fly around the large boss to target their weaknesses. If the premise of fighting against large bosses intrigues you, I think you will enjoy the boss fights in Aztech Forgotten Gods.
The combat in general is enjoyable. I usually am not very good at these type of aerial combat games as I have a problem controlling characters when you can move in every direction. Aerial movement in Aztech Forgotten Gods does take some time to get used to. The lock on targeting helps a lot though as you don’t need to really aim your attacks as you will automatically move towards your target. The whole flying around with your jetpack mechanic is just quite satisfying. If the idea of using a giant arm that also acts as a jetpack to attack enemies intrigues you, I think you will have fun with the gameplay.
The problem is that outside of the boss fights, there isn’t much to the game. The game has an open world, but it never really utilizes it. There are various optional activities that you can do, but they are pretty basic fights and races around the cities. Because of this the game basically turns into an experience of moving between checkpoints on your map until you eventually get to a boss fight. These sections of the game become boring rather quickly. The game really needed something between these boss fights as the game just feels like a set of boss fights with some filler material added in to separate them some.
As for the game’s difficulty I would say that the game is pretty easy. This might be because I focused heavily on upgrades for my health and the time I could use the jetpack without having to recharge. I really didn’t have much trouble in the game and rarely died. I was never in danger of dying outside of the boss fights. Even in the boss fights I died rarely. Whenever you do die you are only sent back to the last checkpoint you reached in the boss fight, so you don’t even lose much progress. There were several boss fights that I didn’t even die during. The difficulty isn’t so low that the game becomes boring. If you were looking for a challenging game though, you won’t find it in Aztech Forgotten Gods.
As for the game’s performance I thought the game was pretty good for the most part. I ended up playing the game on my PlayStation 5 so I never really encountered any slowdown or other significant issues. I don’t know how the game will work on PCs or last generation consoles though. I did encounter a couple bugs while playing the game. In one of the boss fights the bosses weak points wouldn’t spawn preventing me from dealing any damage to it. This was fixed after restarting the boss fight so it wasn’t a big problem. The automatic targeting can be a little finicky at times as well. This review was based on a pre-release version of the game though, so these issues may already be fixed or likely will be fixed soon.
When it comes to the game’s story and atmosphere there are things that I liked and others that I think could have been better. Overall I liked the premise behind the game. Video games far too often utilize the same types of settings. Thus it was refreshing to see a game utilizing a unique theme. Games based around the Aztecs are not particularly common, and when you add in the futuristic theme I think the game deserves credit for creating an interesting world different than most video games that you will play.
As for the story I was a little more mixed. The overall story is interesting enough. I will say that I found it a little predictable though. Outside of the main plot of stopping the forgotten gods, the story focuses on Achtli learning to believe in herself and live with the regrets of her past. I wouldn’t say that the story is the best, but it was interesting enough that I wanted to see how it would end.
I would say that Aztech Forgotten Gods weakest element in this area is the visuals. Aztech Forgotten Gods is an indie game so it is understandable that the visuals wouldn’t live up to games developed by much larger teams. I generally liked the game’s overall style as the mixture of old Aztec architecture with futuristic technology creates an interesting world. The graphics are okay, but they feel a little outdated at times. Unless the visuals are really important to you, they won’t ruin the experience. I just wish the game had either gone with a more stylish approach or the visuals were a little more polished.
As for the length I would say that it isn’t super long, but not short either. The game features six main boss fights along with the content inbetween. How much time you get out of the game will somewhat depend on if you want to take the time to do the optional tasks or explore the city. It will also depend on how long it takes you to beat the bosses. I would say that most players will probably take between 4-7 hours to beat the game. The game doesn’t really have a lot of replay value as the gameplay is quite linear.
I ultimately had some mixed feelings about Aztech Forgotten Gods. The game’s greatest strength by far are the boss fights. While they can be quite easy, the boss fights do a good job differentiating themselves and are quite satisfying. While it takes some time to get used to, the aerial combat is quite fun as you soar through the sky and punch enemies to death. Outside of the boss fights though the gameplay is pretty limited as it basically feels like a follow the checkpoint adventure. As for the setting I really liked the creativity in using a futuristic Aztec setting which is something that I haven’t really seen used before. The story is solid if not a little predictable. The graphics are not the greatest, but they serve their purpose. I enjoyed playing Aztech Forgotten Gods even though there are some areas of the game which I wish were more polished.
My recommendation mostly comes down to your thoughts on the premise/theme as well as the aerial combat versus giant bosses gameplay. If you aren’t really interested by either, I don’t know if the game will be for you. Those that are intrigued by the game’s premise though will likely enjoy Aztech Forgotten Gods and should consider picking it up.
We at Geeky Hobbies would like to thank Lienzo for the review copy of Aztech Forgotten Gods used for this review. Other than receiving a free copy of the game to review, we at Geeky Hobbies received no other compensation for this review. Receiving the review copy for free had no impact on the content of this review or the final score.