Yesterday saw the release of PC game Forced Showdown by BetaDwarf. An RPG action plus strategy plus cards, this mouthful does a pretty good job of balancing everything that is going on. From what I saw, anyway. I played the Beta version and experienced quite a few bugs, but I’ll get to that soon. If you ever wanted a Diablo meets Hearthstone game, this could be what you dreamed of.

Forced Showdown follows four gladiators in the “Galactic Game Show” and that includes your host, Caeser, and cameras that capture all the action. Each gladiator has it’s own fighting style, two melee and two ranged. You also collect powerful cards to improve your attacks and build your deck. After several rounds of killing minions, you reach the boss. If you die, you have to start all over from the beginning of the level.

The graphics are stunningly beautiful and richly detailed. Due to some bugs, I had to turn down the graphics which was heartbreaking really. The audio and writing is also fun. I tried both keyboard and Xbox controller. Personally, I preferred the keyboard as the Xbox controller was a bit more difficult to aim, but I think that comes down to personal preference.

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Now, as much as I wanted to be impressed and have fun with Forced Showdown, I had a hard time because of the bugs. It made the game nearly unplayable for me. I’m really hoping patches come out soon to correct them. First, there was a ton of lag during the battles. The fights froze quite often and then came the big one: the graphics started flashing. This happened quite a few times and each time, it required me to restart the game. It gets frustrating when you’re mid level and it happens. Due to the way the game is played, you have to restart from the beginning of the level after each crash. I also dealt with audio dropping out and, sometimes, only dialogue missing.

Minus the bugs, I would still be playing this game. You just lose heart after starting and restarting a level so many times due to something that isn’t your own fault. Forced Showdown is getting a lot of amazing reviews though and, obviously, bugs are to be expected from Beta games. Would I recommend it? …Yes, I would. There will be a lot of updates coming out to correct these issues soon and BetaDwarf is already aware of them. I also want to add that some people experienced no issues at all. I will be keeping an eye on the updates to try it again.

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Currently, Forced Showdown is on Steam for 12% off until April 5th. Want to see more? Check out their Youtube trailer.