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Forspoken (PS5/PC) - Information Thread, update: PC demo now live on Steam/EGS/Microsoft Store, "Official Launch Trailer"


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37 minutes ago, Phaseknox said:

It’s no contest for me as I’m not even really looking forward to Final Fantasy XVI all that much, I haven’t really been a big fan of the series since IX. :shrug:

 

I can’t wait for FFR7 but the style/theme of FF16 looks kind of meh for my tastes off what I’ve seen and I can’t shake the “solo version of the mmo game” feeling i get from it.

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1 hour ago, best3444 said:

I guess I'm in the minority here but I personally think this game looks freakin great. I'm looking forward to it.

 

59 minutes ago, Phaseknox said:

You and me both, but I’m almost always in the minority when it comes to games. :p

 

56 minutes ago, stepee said:

 

Im looking forward to this more than FF16

@Keyser_Soze we got the trifecta!

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am digging too:p

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  • 3 weeks later...
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Square Enix’s open-world fantasy has more going for it than grating dialogue

 

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Forspoken is a Japanese-developed game — it’s made by Luminous Productions, an evolution of the team that made Final Fantasy 15 — that is trying hard to look and feel like a Western AAA release. If it feels inauthentic, it might be because something is being lost in translation, or because the character design seems like it came from a marketing brief, or because the developers are striving too hard to connect with an audience that they feel distant from. Without any story context, it’s hard to judge Frey as a character, but touches like the way she derives stat boosts from her choice of nail design can’t help but feel forced. Beneath all this, though, lies a scrappy, but punchy and interesting, action role-playing game.

 

Roaming this land are corrupted animals and strange, scratchy, witch-like humanoid foes. In combat against them, Frey can switch freely between two magic schools. Frey’s Magic is coded purple and concentrates on ranged skills; Sila’s Magic is red, and melee-focused. Skills, obtained from a spidery skill tree, are fast-equipped using a radial menu into offensive and defensive slots. They often take the form of magical weapons, or combo attacks. Even in ranged form, the combat is fast, fluid and in your face; staggers and counters matter. In style, it’s more Devil May Cry than Dark Souls, although in truth it has the precision and depth of neither.

 

What it has instead is a great flexibility that reminded me a little of Diablo 3. The focus is on finding offensive/defensive skill pairings that you like in each magic school, and then flicking between these at will. (Enemies tend to be vulnerable to one school or the other, while some skills are all about transitioning between the two, like a purple ranged attack that pulls enemies closer and automatically switches you to red magic.) But you can swap your skill loadout around at any time, while mixing parkour moves and attacks adds another layer of combinations to discover. It’s very free-form, very organic, and it feels like there will be a fair bit of room to individualize your play style.

 

 

 

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Heartfelt, high-concept and the subject of much internet hysteria; there's plenty that Forspoken has in common with its…

 

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I've had a soft spot for Final Fantasy 15 ever since it came out, its abundance of character and sense of adventure atoning for some of its lumpiness, and despite a rough ride in recent weeks following its widely-derided trailer I'm developing a soft spot for Forspoken too. After spending just over an hour fleet-footing around the fantasy region of Avaolet, there's that same free-wheeling sense of adventure that warmed me to Final Fantasy 15, backed up by an abundance of systems that promise some serious depth.

 

Those similarities shouldn't be too surprising, given that Forspoken is only the second game built upon the Luminous Engine that powered Final Fantasy 15. It shares the same stupendous scale of world to explore, with the same propensity for a beautiful wide-open vista - the area we had to play around with was full of diversions and mobs and sub-bosses to defeat, but perhaps the biggest distraction was the photo mode I kept turning to, capturing our hero Freya dancing across the fantasy landscape with her magic-infused parkour. If your idea of a good RPG is a stunning open space to explore with plenty of distractions along the way - as is mine - then Forspoken looks like it'll deliver.

 

 

 

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Square Enix's Forspoken has been doing the rounds for a while - the second game built on the Luminous Engine that made …

 

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"It was unexpected to see the reactions to the social media post," Forspoken's creative producer Raio Mitsuo told us after a recent opportunity to go hands-on with the game. "Basically, we used existing footage from previous trailers and put something together as a social media post. And yeah, it went kind of viral in a way - that's not the direction that we thought it was going to go! But I have to admit, some of the memes are actually pretty funny, so I got a good laugh out of it.

 

"But, you know, for us, it's not something that we're concerned with. We're obviously leaving a lot of information on the table, because we're taking dialogue and scenes out of context. Forspoken is a very narrative driven game. It's a very story based game. We don't want to ruin the experience in our marketing campaign. We're being very selective about what to use to generate interest and sometimes without that information about what led up to that moment, or what was the character's state of mind, we're leaving the audience the full freedom to interpret lines in any way they want. It's just one of those challenges that come naturally when trying to find ways to show the game without telling the full story, because we definitely don't want to reveal that."

 

 

 

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Forspoken hero Frey's magical arsenal is intricate, but chaining spells together feels phenomenal

 

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The combat in Forspoken feels like the zenith of what Zelda fans could achieve in Breath of the Wild. While some of us were running around Hyrule cowering in fear from Lynels and Guardians, other players were working out how to use every tool at Link's disposal, all at the same time. The result was incomprehensibly complex combos, or clips of players cycling through menus at impossible speed to chain together devastating takedowns. In Forspoken, that approach won't be the domain of a dedicated few – it's how you're intended to tackle every single fight.

 

Protagonist Frey's magical abilities are split in a number of different ways to make it easier to navigate between different spells in the heat of battle. At the start of the game, your skills are based around manipulation of the natural world; a shield wrought from earth, a magical barrage of rocks, huge vines to club or ensnare enemies, for example. With that early collection, you'll switch between spells intended for more traditional attacks, and those that have more powerful or lingering effects; spamming the latter while weaving the former in between each cast. Different spells (and different types of spells) are found on easily-navigable radial menus, and while efficiently swapping abilities in the midst of combat is a little tricky to begin with, it's easy to get the hang of.

 

 

 

 

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Forspoken is a lot more fun than I expected. It’s arguable its marketing campaign so far has actually done Forspoken a disservice by focusing on campy dialogue instead of what it’s doing best. Forspoken is actually an RPG lite with a very heavy emphasis on big, bombastic combat sequences that have an optional bonus challenge for try-hards like myself in a Devil May Cry-like combat rating system. Because of this misdirection, Forspoken surprised me with this focus on combat, roaming bosses to challenge, and a map filled with objectives to complete. I finished my demo excited to get better ratings in fights, and to see how this all ties into lead character Frey’s experiences in her fish out of water story.

 

The majority of this demo was focused around world exploration, controls, and combat. However, the little bit of banter we got between Cuff and Frey did give some insight as to how the dynamic between Forspoken’s star and her magical, talking bracelet will work. Cuff will often give you the details about a person, place, or thing, while Frey continues playing her role as an unacquainted stranger asking a plethora of questions. Nothing seemed particularly forced or campy, which you’d think would be oozing out of every corner given how the team was lambasted on social media for their marketing campaign. So I was especially glad to not find any grating filler conversations as the two explored the world. The only hint of worry was when I heard Frey would spew out the same string of cuss words for the third time as things got heated during combat. Repetitive dialogue is never fun unless you’re laughing at it; isn’t that right, Mass Effect “I will destroy you” person?

 

 

 

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It might not win any awards or sell 10 million copies, but I’d own Forspoken just to see it running on the PlayStation 5.

 

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But what if I told you that, actually, it’s not that bad? That – when you get your hands on it – it actually feels OK to play? Playing as Frey, the young black woman spirited away from New York and dumped in the land of Athia, you are tasked with helping the people of a dying land in order to get back home. It’s Wizard of Oz via all the JRPG tropes you’d expect from the studio that made Final Fantasy 15.

 

The core conceit is your use of magic. A sentient cuff has bound itself to you, and acts as your mentor-cum-friend in these strange new worlds. It also chats shit, constantly, but the incessant banter really isn’t as bad as you’ve been led to believe from all the memes and dodgy trailers. In context, it’s actually – whisper it – quite charming. No worse than what you’ve endured in Borderlands, Borderlands 2, Borderlands 3, or Tales from the Borderlands, Battleborn, Tiny Tina’s… you get the picture.

 

And then there’s how it looks – this is a PS5 and PC-only game, and it shows. Forspoken is unencumbered by last-gen constraints, and the result is a title that looks really, really great and plays like nectar in your hands. The studio’s focus on making the magic parkour feel right – and empowering you with over 100 usable spells – combines to give you a treat for the eyes and the, erm, fingers. There’s particle effects galore, Frey’s cloak billowing in the heat as she sets enemies alight, reflections of the sky glancing off the water as your camera spins around to watch you finish off one of the ambling enemies, all dressed up in black and gold.

 

 

 

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Forspoken Hands-On Preview – The Most Fun I've Had Flinging Spells

 

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Forspoken speaks to me for a lot of reasons. First and foremost, it’s a brand-new AAA IP in a landscape where only the brave dare tread new ground. It’s also something different, sporting bold gameplay ideas and a genuinely interesting lead character. And to top it all off it’s coming from Luminous Productions, a team made up primarily of ex-Final Fantasy XV talent and using the same in-house engine as that game. It’s a cocktail of ideas that are exciting and risky in equal measure, so I was keen to finally get my hands around the game in a recent preview session.

 

I’m fairly intrigued by Forspoken’s setting, which seems to be taking the familiar ‘isekai’ formula of transporting an everyday person from their life in the modern world to an unfamiliar fantasy world and putting a unique spin on it. Rather than put too much emphasis on the world of Athia, Forspoken seems to focus the attention as much on Frey’s personal growth and struggles as a modern-day woman as it does her efforts to understand and become the saviour of this strange world.

 

 

 

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Hands-on with Frey’s moveset in a lengthy demo showcases what the moment-to-moment gameplay will be like.

 

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That tutorial introduces Frey’s magically-imbued mobility, combat options and crucially how the two are interlinked. A few slow-moving humanoids to test these abilities allow for relaxed experimentation. By demo’s end, a tense battle against a ferocious and fast alligator-type being tests everything learnt up to that point. Juggling attack and support magics and knowing when – and how – to cast them, precise use of parkour to accent those spells and dodge out of harm’s way. 

 

Between these clashes that bookend my play time, a slew of enemy types dot the land, ready to be fought or raced past: wandering crowds of corrupted souls and herds of aggressive stags, gold horned crocodiles, winged aggressors. One objective directs Frey to a bridge patrolled by bow-wielding fiends who, once downed, give way to a larger mini-boss opponent. These are servants to the Tantas, Athia’s malevolent rulers, who Frey will eventually face one by one. Whatever shape those confrontations take, conquering each will see that Tanta’s power added to your arsenal. At the demo’s start, I can tap into two sets: Frey’s earth-based magic as well as Tanta Sila’s fire spells. 

 

 

 

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Though we only played a small slice of the game, getting hands-on with Forspoken showed us a fun combat and traversal system in what might be a fairly standard open world.

 

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If you imagine Spider-Man slinging a variety of deadly magic spells rather than webs, you have a good idea of what it's like to play Forspoken. Square Enix's upcoming open-world action game puts equal emphasis on quick movement and all manner of magical bombardments to create an experience that encourages you to think on your feet and defeat enemies with overwhelming force.

 

Square Enix recently gave GameSpot a chance to play about an hour of Forspoken in a curated demo. We didn't play the actual game, but rather, a specifically crafted slice that demonstrated how Forspoken will feel and also gave us a sense of how its open world will work. While the demo didn't demonstrate exactly what the full game will be like, it did give a sense of the moment-to-moment experience, how its traversal and combat systems work, and how it might stack up to similar games in the open-world genre.

In some ways, what we saw of Forspoken felt familiar for anyone who's played a lot of open-world games--there were a lot of locations to unlock, small challenges to complete, and items to collect to upgrade protagonist Frey's powers. Where Forspoken stands apart is in its traversal and combat, once you get the hang of both. Especially in combat, it can be a fast and frenetic game, thanks to a huge amount of magical abilities to use against enemies. While you'll have to think about how to best use all the magic weapons at your disposal, the fun of Forspoken is in the speed--it relies less on methodical planning and more on hitting opponents with everything you've got.

 

 

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Frey Holland sure loves to swear a bunch.

 

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I am conflicted about Forspoken. Its combat is great, its parkour is mostly satisfying, and there is so much across its open world I’m eager to uncover. But all this builds upon the foundation of a narrative and characters that so far I have nothing but derision for. The writing isn’t good, there is no beating around the bush about it. Even when I put aside the cringey dialogue, it is teasing a fish out of water storyline we’ve seen explored for decades now, and its misplaced assumptions about modern youth and what it means to be cool and rebellious in spite of your own existence is misplaced at best, and downright disrespectful at worst. It is a focus-tested homunculus of a game nobody asked for or even wanted to make.

 

Square Enix has felt increasingly out of touch for years, and I fear Forspoken could be its biggest misstep yet if it all falls apart. I pray it doesn’t, or I’ll just play it with the volume down.

 

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  • Commissar SFLUFAN changed the title to Forspoken (24 January 2023) - Information Thread, update: new hands-on previews posted
  • 1 month later...
  • Commissar SFLUFAN changed the title to Forspoken (24 January 2023) - Information Thread, update: "Deep Dive: Magic Parkour" video
  • Commissar SFLUFAN changed the title to Forspoken (24 January 2023) - Information Thread, update: "Deep Dive: Magic Combat" video
  • Commissar SFLUFAN changed the title to Forspoken (24 January 2023) - Information Thread, update: "Deep Dive: Exploring Athia" video
  • 4 weeks later...
  • Commissar SFLUFAN changed the title to Forspoken (24 January 2023) - Information Thread, update: demo is now live on PSN

Well, that was definitely a thing. Tried one last thing (using a completely different display) and for some reason that worked, despite having many things connected to said display and the PS5 being the only troublemaker... even though it has been connected to it since I got it. Whatever.

 

Anyway, the demo was okay, but I struggled to really care about anything going on. The world looks fairly nice I guess, on a technical level, but is very barren and at least in this demo, not fun to traverse. Your magic parkour mostly consists of you running forward and holding circle until your magic stamina runs out and recharges a second or so later. Very dull. You do have a grappling hook on square but when you use it on something that's not a grapple point or an enemy, it's very weak and barely does anything.

 

I unlocked an ability to climb up walls better by repeatedly jumping using magic, but the giant wall I wanted to scale right next to this power-up was far too tall, but worse still, the magic feels artificially limited. i.e. You'll use that ability once where you do multiple hops up, and then until you properly land you can't do it anymore, even if you have stamina remaining. This makes it extremely unsatisfying and kills any creative use of the power. I actually never got to use that power in any way I could describe as "intended" because after that disappointment I didn't even try. Nothing seemed to require it. Scaling walls seems similarly artificially gated behind grapple points. Maybe later on you get better magic that allows more free traversal, but as it stands 99% of the time I was just holding circle and forward. Thrilling shit.


Combat was fine. The controls for swapping magic are weird and feel needlessly convoluted. You can hold R1 and L1 I think to switch magic types, but it's easier just to hit the D-Pad, which I don't even think the game tells you about. Then you select an individual spell for R2 by holding R1 and accessing a radial menu, that's your attack magic. On L1 you're choosing the magic for L2, which is support magic. This is clunky and weird and massively slows combat down. I'd rather R1 and L1 have their own spells and I just equip a 2-spell loadout or something rather than opening a slow ass radial menu. Radial menus suck in combat!

 

I feel like at least based on how I was playing, the combat would be more fun with a keyboard and mouse if you could just freely use magic by hitting appropriate keys instead of using a shitty menu, plus there's a decent amount of aiming ranged spells which just sucks ass on a thumbstick as there appeared to be very little auto-aim, and I don't like auto-aim to begin with so it's kind of lose-lose when I'm aiming with a controller. Also this marks the first game where I think the adaptive triggers hurt more than help. It felt like I was fighting against them which in a game about moving and attacking quickly just made the controls feel even more squishy and slow.

 

Literally all the missions were just running across the landscape, getting into fights with zombies and shit, and quips between the bracelet and Frey. There were no NPCs, no one else talking, it felt very barren and dead. Completely devoid of personality outside of these two characters, which just made it feel even more strange.

 

After you complete the main demo objective, there's an optional boss you can go fight. I just spammed attacks on it over and over and eventually killed it. The combat in this way honestly just reminded me of FF15 except if you had to actually manually attack.

 

I don't know if I was playing right, or if I was missing something crucial, but nothing ever really clicked. Also the performance died terribly when fighting that optional boss. All the fire effects made my PS5 want to die.

 

Here's that incredible boss if you want to see some incredibly skilled "spam R2 until it dies" gameplay.

 

Spoiler

 

 

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  • Commissar SFLUFAN changed the title to Forspoken (PS5/PC) - Information Thread, update: PC demo now live on Steam/EGS/Microsoft Store, "Official Launch Trailer"

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