Forspoken Review

Square Enix opens this year with an adventure with good ideas and very rewarding gameplay weighed down by an open world devoid of magic.

After several delays, many promises and a demo that has done more harm than good, Forspoken is finally here to offer us an open-world action-RPG adventure with two clear objectives: to make us enjoy exploring Athia with its magical parkour and dazzle us with the original combat system and with many possibilities. Gets it? Unfortunately, only halfway, although it is still an entertaining and successful title.

Frey Holland’s Adventure

Its story introduces us to Frey Holland, a 21-year-old New Yorker with many social problems, which one day, at her worst, finds an old bracer and ends up being transported to a magical world of medieval fantasy called Athia. Once there, it will not take her long to discover that everything is flooded by a strange miasma that corrupts living beings and turns them into monsters, although luckily for her, the bracelet she found (and cannot be removed) has its consciousness. It gives him magical powers with which to defend himself.

From here, a great adventure begins in which our heroine must find a way to return home, a journey of personal growth in which she will also have to discover the truth about this universe, her talking bracelet and, ultimately, about herself. We will not beat around the bush: history has been far from convincing us, and it does not eliminate the vast majority of clichés of this type of story.

It has a couple of curious twists in its final stretch, the occasional exciting moment, and a much more elaborate background than it might seem after we investigated it well. Still, the script has been somewhat bland for us and is very bad. He was written with some lines of dialogue that we could classify as embarrassing. At least, the relationship between Frey and Traps (the name he gives to his bracelet) isn’t all bad.

The pleasure of touring Athia

When it comes to its gameplay, the first thing that stands out is the way we move around Athia. Our protagonist can use her powers, in addition to fighting, to move at full speed through the world, which allows her to make significant jumps, fluently climb unevennesses and use the environment to reach seemingly inaccessible places. Its developers have dubbed all this magical parkour, and it is, without a doubt, what we liked the most about the entire game.

The controls are very intuitive, and once we get the hang of it, we’ll be surprised by naturally chaining all kinds of maneuvers as we cross the scenes from one end to the other in a matter of seconds and with a lot of styles. In addition, advancing in the story, we will unlock new abilities that will further increase our mobility, turning our trips through Athia into a pleasant and enriching experience.

Best of all, some very well-designed regions are entirely designed for us to get the most out of this system, with lots of slopes and elements to interact with, which ends up giving us the feeling of being in a frantic platform game in which we will have to work hard to take shortcuts and reach specific points of interest.

Thanks to this, the mere fact of moving results in something enjoyable, so there have been many times in which we have entertained ourselves trying to find a way to climb a mountain to reach a chest or jumping between floating rocks for the simple pleasure of doing it, among other things that served as an excuse to jump around.

the power of magic

Of course, Athia is a devastated and dangerous land where enemies lurk around every corner, so we won’t be short of fights to unleash Frey’s powers. Unlike other titles, our heroine is first and foremost a sorceress, so battles are resolved with spells instead of using traditional weapons, bringing it closer to what you’d expect from a shooter—third person than to a hack-and-slash.

In this way, we will have both attack and support spells. The first is our “basic shot,” which is used to carry out combos, being able to transform them into more powerful ones if we charge them. In contrast, the second has a recharge time, and their effects vary, such as placing an explosive trap, summoning a wall of flames or cure poisoning.

To this, we must add a meter that we can fill up as we fight and that allows us to unleash our final spell, the existence of several sets of magic that completely change our way of playing and the elemental attribute of our attacks, and the possibility of perform magical parkour to execute spectacular dodges and reposition ourselves, something that is limited by a resistance indicator that automatically recharges when we do not use it.

With all these elements, we have an original, different and very frenetic combat system that allows us to be creative while forcing us to be constantly on the move. How could it be otherwise? There are tons of spells to unlock in an extensive talent tree, so our arsenal will not stop growing throughout the adventure to allow us to experiment with new combinations and strategies from the beginning to the end, which also helps the progression to be gradual and we are not overwhelmed at first by having access to too many tools.

A world without much to offer

The magical parkour and the fighting are the two great pillars of this proposal, and we liked both. Navigating Athia is fun, and battles against giant beasts and numerous groups of enemies are exhilarating and entertaining as we master its mechanics and sweep the battlefield with style and grace.

However, there is a central element that ends up weighing down the fun much more than it would be desirable, something that weighs more and more as the hours go by, turning what starts as an excellent adventure into a challenging experience to combat. Tedium and boredom: its open world and its content design.

Yes, we have a fantastic movement system and confrontations with many possibilities that shine, especially when it comes to facing the big bosses of the main plot, but if the activities to be carried out do not go hand in hand, our motivations to play, explore and battle collapse. Do not expect exciting secondary missions, complex dungeons full of puzzles and traps or anything moderately elaborate since it has opted to offer a series of generic and bland tasks whose function does not go much further than bulking up so that we have a great list of contents Secondaries to complete in each zone.

Most of them consist of going to a place, cleaning it off enemies and collecting our reward, with some exceptions such as approaching magical cats without being detected, taking a photo with our mobile phone or finding a way to get to a place to be able to interact. With some. Sometimes these fights are presented to us as a challenge scored against the clock, through poor mazes with just a few rooms and corridors or challenging us to defeat a monster more robust than usual, but in essence, seen one, seen all.

Investing hours in Athia means repeating the same activities repeatedly, a problem aggravated by the low variety of enemies and bosses, not-too-brilliant routines and creature designs without any punch, turning confrontations into a somewhat routine procedure. Sometimes there are surprises, like being caught unawares by a storm with mighty enemies coming out of it. Still, in the end, we enjoyed our journey so much more when we focused on advancing the story rather than exploring, which is a shame.

Beyond all this, we have to add another series of problems, such as how soporific the sections that take place in Cipal are, the only city in the game, where we cannot use magical parkour and where we will have to suffer a series of small events and poor optional missions that break the rhythm of the adventure much more than we would like. Additionally, it should be noted that the few combats in closed spaces are a tremendous headache since neither the mechanics nor the camera adapts well to this type of environment.

On the positive side, we have to highlight the ability of the script to get to the point and not extend its duration artificially. Not surprisingly, reaching the credits playing on Hard has taken us less than 20 hours, a figure that easily doubles as soon as you set out to complete 100% of each region.

A great show with lights and shadows

On the other hand, it should be noted that this is a title with an exceptionally spectacular graphic section that also has its lights and shadows. The particle effects, the modelling and animations of Frey, the draw distance, the detail of Athia’s places, the loading times and certain textures are very high and turn our trips into an experience for the senses. Still, this good work then contrasts with some errors in the lighting system, some very poor modelling for most of the characters that we find in Cipal, some facial expressions from several generations ago and several problems with the textures that prevent them from loading correctly or that blink between high and low resolution.

It features three main graphics modes: Quality, Ray Tracing, and Performance, all of which can improve your frame rate and reduce latency by turning on the 120Hz option. Quality is the one that presents the best resolution and detail and, therefore, the one that shows us the sharpest and cleanest image, while Ray Tracing adds ray tracing technology to improve lighting. However, honestly, it is something that we have been utterly incapable of noticing. Finally, Performance will allow us to play at the always desirable 60 fps in exchange for lower resolution. Of course, none of them seemed stable.

Finally, the sound leaves us with a fantastic and very evocative soundtrack full of great, beautiful songs that help us immerse ourselves in this magical world, quality effects and outstanding voice performances where its two protagonists stand out. 

Final Thoughts

Forspoken is a game with good ideas and an excellent gameplay base, but with such an uninteresting open-world design that it ends up dragging down the experience much more than we would have liked, something that is becoming more and more evident with the passing of the hours. In its favour, we have to say that the combat system is original and very dynamic, that there are very spectacular and well-planned bosses and that going around Athia doing magical parkour is tremendously satisfying, virtues that are in a constant struggle to prevail over their various defects. Very uninspiring content. It is still an entertaining game with which we have had a good time and has its moments, but which, in the end, has fallen short of magic.

We prepared this review with a digital review copy for the PS5 version provided by Square Enix.



As far as I can remember, I've been surrounded by technology. My father bought us a Commodore 64 so I started playing games as a baby, following my passion with Amiga 500, then PC and so on. I love game related collectibles, and when I'm not collecting I review games, watch movies and TV Shows or you may catch me keeping a low profile at Game Events.

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