January 24 marks the launch of Forspoken, a new action-RPG game from Luminous Productions. If you’re not quite sure what to make of Forspoken, you’re not alone. It’s been hard to get a handle on what to expect from the game based on trailers and previews, and the review scores have been even more middling. Let’s examine what we know about Forspoken and why everyone is talking about it.
What is Forspoken?
As mentioned, Forspoken is a new IP developed by Luminous Productions (makers of Final Fantasy XV) and published by Square Enix (makers of all other things Final Fantasy).
Coming from those who worked on Final Fantasy and writers including Amy Hennig (Uncharted) and Gary Whitta (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), Forspoken has a pretty decent pedigree behind it. It also has a decent cast that includes Ella Balinska (Charlie’s Angels), Janina Gavanker (The Morning Show) and Monica Barbaro (Top Gun: Maverick). All good things so far.
The story follows Frey Holland, a young woman who is transported from New York City to the fantasy world of Athia. There she is gifted powers by a sentient bracelet (yes, it talks) and promises to help the citizens of Athia combat a dangerous blight that is corrupting their land and turning animals and humans into monsters.
What’s the gameplay like?
If you’ve seen any trailers for Forspoken thus far, you’ll know that its traversal system is one of the main drawcards.
Frey has a wickedly cool ability that allows her to parkour speedily and fluidly through the open world of Athia. She also has access to an arsenal of magic spells that appear to make combat very fun.
What’s got everyone talking?
Thus far on paper, Forspoken seems to have a lot going for it. But now that review scores are out, and players finally have hands-on with the game, some of its cracks are showing.
For starters, the game has been delayed multiple times, originally intended to release in May 2022 before receiving two more delays to bring it to January 2023, which is never a great sign.
A lot of attention has also been drawn to the fact that only certain media outlets were given review access to the game ahead of launch. A new trailer for Forspoken also points to the accolades it’s received, but it appears that the quotes may have been taken out of context to perpetuate a more favourable overview.
Let’s see what some of those reviews say, then.
IGN’s 6/10 review praised the fun combat and traversal systems in Forspoken but admitted they’re not very deep. The outlet had less favourable things to say about the rest of the game, saying, “Forspoken’s world and story are about as bland as they come, equal parts predictable and forgettable.”
GameSpot also had a less than enthusiastic response, saying, “[Forspoken] feels great when it allows you to really stretch your legs and magically parkour across its fantasy landscape, but combat is clunky and regular exposition too often stalls the action.”
Going more local, Press Start Australia had some better things to say in its review: “Forspoken is a game set in a well-developed world with some really fun and unique mechanics that I’ve never seen in other games. For that, it at least deserves some credit.”
What platforms can you play Forspoken on?
Forspoken is a PS5 exclusive on consoles and is also available on PC (although it requires some hefty specs).
There’s a free demo on the PlayStation store that will give you access to a couple of hours of the game if you want to try Forspoken before you buy.
Playing the demo is no doubt the best way to get an idea of whether the game will be for you. If you decide it is, here’s where you can snag a cheap copy of the game.