PS5 – F.I.S.T.: Forged in Shadow Torch Q&A
The Metroidvania genre has enjoyed a solid resurgence in recent years thanks to masterpieces like Hollow Knight, Ori and the Blind Forest (and its sequel), Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, and Guacamelee! to name a few.
Chinese developer TiGames is following in those revered footsteps with F.I.S.T.: Forged in Shadow Torch, a dieselpunk Metroidvania action game featuring a rabbit-like protagonist who leads a rebellion of anthropomorphic animals against the overlord machines.
The game is launching on September 7th on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, priced at $29.99 (though PS Plus subscribers can use their exclusive 10% discount to bring it down to $26.99). A PC version is coming later via Steam with NVIDIA DLSS support alongside advanced ray-traced effects for reflections, shadows, global illumination, and water caustics.
We had the chance to briefly chat with Yang Xiang from TiGames to discuss the main features of F.I.S.T.: Forged in Shadow Torch.
How long did the development of F.I.S.T.: Forged In Shadow Torch take? How many developers worked on it?
It took us more than three years to develop F.I.S.T., and fewer than twenty developers worked on it.
How did you come up with the idea for the rabbit-like protagonist Rayton?
When we first started to create the world of F.I.S.T., we tried to design a human protagonist, but soon we realized that no human character would be as universal and acceptable for everyone as an animal character.
Compared to cats or dogs, a rabbit with two long ears has a more recognizable shape in a side-scrolling platformer. And more importantly, people imagine rabbits as a kind of weak and vulnerable creature, so when a rabbit becomes a silent veteran wielding a giant mechanical fist, a significant conflict comes out, and Rayton comes out.
But why a fist? Swords or blades would definitely be cool, but a fist contains a rage that you want to vent on the enemies in your way, especially since it’s so disproportionately big. In the story, this mechanical fist was removed from Rayton’s armor from a war six years ago. We designed Rayton wielding one fist instead of two because the imbalance and incomplete shape would be an external symbol of his psychological trauma from losing that war.
How many hours of gameplay do you expect for the average player?
It depends on the kind of players. Actually, we define it as a full-size game and won’t be shorter than the average Metroidvania game.
Does F.I.S.T.: Forged In Shadow Torch have any built-in features to extend replayability after the first playthrough?
Yes. As a Metroidvania game, F.I.S.T. has a lot of hidden corners to explore and collectibles to find after the first playthrough. Players can go back for them even he defeat the final boss. We are considering adding more modes or content for the 2nd playthrough but nothing is concrete.
Will there be any DLCs or expansions?
We do have some exciting ideas and really want to tell more stories about our characters, but as a new title, whether there be DLCs will depend on sales.
When is the game coming out on PC?
It hasn’t been decided because we need more time to adapt to the complicated PC hardware environment. We are still focusing on bringing the best experience to the PlayStation versions now.
On PC, F.I.S.T.: Forged In Shadow Torch will take advantage of NVIDIA DLSS. Do you have any plans to add AMD FSR as an option, too?
AMD FSR is an amazing technology and we keep in close contact with AMD. But we are still focusing on PlayStation versions and cannot reveal the detail of the PC version.
Your game is also one of the first to feature ray-traced water caustics. Can you tell us about the implementation of this advanced feature?
There are a lot of underwater exploring levels in F.I.S.T., and ray-traced water caustics will improve the visual effect of the game. Because you can’t rotate the camera enormously in a Metroidvania game, the real caustics can well show the junction of the water surface and the light, which will guide players’ exploration very well.
Will any ray traced features be available on PlayStation 5? Beyond ray tracing, how will the PS5 version compare with the maxed-out PC version?
We are collaborating with SIE, trying to bring the ray-traced features to the PS5 version, but it won’t be supported on the launch day. It depends on the difficulty of integrating PS5 ray tracing with Unreal Engine. Beyond that, the PS5 version supports 4K 60fps, and benefiting from the ultra-high-speed SSD, it accomplishes a no-loading experience in an interconnected game map, which is essential for players to explore in a Metroidvania game.
Are you going to take advantage of the DualSense controller and if so, how?
Yes, F.I.S.T. supports the Haptic Feedback of DualSense. You will feel different kinds of haptic feedback when unleashing different kinds of skills or being attacked. We believe it’s an amazing function that really improves the immersion and could be the standard for future games, so there is no reason we don’t take advantage of it when we have a chance.
Some games are starting to support DualSense features even on PC. Will F.I.S.T.: Forged In Shadow Torch follow this trend?
Yes, we are planning that. We hope every player who uses DualSense will be able to experience the Haptic Feedback function. we will make it happen once SIE provides us the devkit.
Are you planning to eventually release the game on other platforms, such as Xbox and Nintendo Switch?
I don’t believe we can promise anything because the PlayStation versions are exclusive for the consoles currently, and PS5 is the best place for players to experience the game at this time.
Thank you for your time.