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When games come out first on PlayStation, we PC gamers usually have to wait a while before they pop up on Steam or wherever. FIST: Forged in Shadow Torch came out for the PS5 back in September, followed by an announcement late in that month that the game was coming to PC. A few days later, it was stealth launched. The game is a 2D Metroid-like featuring animal people versus robots. While it has received plenty of praise upon its console launch, the question stands: is FIST: Forged in Shadow Torch worth it on PC?

FIST: Forged in Shadow Torch centers around a rabbit named Rayton who lives in Torch City. He used to pilot a big mech suit as part of a squad and fought against the Machine Legion, which overwhelmed the city’s forces and put it under their rule. Six years later, Rayton is commiserating with his former squadmate, a bear named Urso, who insisted on fixing up a backpack fist weapon similar to the fists of the mech Rayton used to use. But Urso gets arrested by the Legion. So Rayton initially sets out to save him only to discover that another former squadmate is involved, and things are far more complex than he imagined.

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The game is almost fully voice acted and quite decently at that. The story is compelling, and it has a good variety of characters and writing that kept me invested. The graphics are also outstanding. Levels have plenty of personality, and the models and animations are very high quality. It runs quite well too, as I often got upwards of 90 fps at 1440p on an RX 5700 XT. I do get some hitches now and again, plus I got a crash that locked up my whole PC, but this wasn’t a regular occurrence. Regardless, I’m mostly very satisfied by the performance this version offers.

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I’m even more satisfied by the gameplay and level design. FIST: Forged in Shadow Torch  is one of the best Metroid-likes I’ve seen in years. Unlike many similar games, it’s not super short, contains secrets that actually require you to pay attention, and has plenty of things to upgrade and do. It’s also quite rare for games in the subgenre to have production values this high. FIST: Forged in Shadow Torch truly is a treat. It’s easy to just stop what you’re doing, poke around for secrets and walk away satisfied.

Combat is similarly capable. Rayton gets a couple of additional backpacks, including a drill, that all have their own upgrades. He can dash to avoid damage, jump, double jump, wall jump, glide, you name it. The mobility is killer here. There’s a lot of platforming too, but the controls are so good that these sections are an absolute joy. The amount of specificity afforded by the navigation often left me pleasantly surprised. The only thing I don’t like is how the dash can’t move through enemies. Regardless, the combat still has a lot of weight and is responsive in addition to being perfectly fair.

I love the Metroid-like subgenre, and FIST: Forged in Shadow Torch definitely gets it right in a way that many games don’t. Having it on PC is great, since so many more people now have it at their disposal. The performance only serves to make the experience that much more worthwhile. FIST: Forged in Shadow Torch is absolutely worth buying on PC, as the subgenre doesn’t often treat fans to an experience of this high a caliber. I strongly recommend this one.

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