Preview Forspoken: We played PS5 exclusive from the creators of Final Fantasy XV, our impressions!
Announced at a PS5 event in June 2020, Forspoken is one of the first PS5 console exclusives to be shown. After multiple postponements, the Square Enix title seems to have forever set its release date at January 24. Four months before the official launch of the game, we were able to experience this ambitious and magical open world and we give you our impressions.
- Spectacular magical gameplay
- Fluid and fun parkour but not without flaws
For this preview, our session was designed above all to be able to experience the gameplay of the game for the first time, so we could not find out more about the history of the title, beyond what has already been presented. trailers. As a reminder, Forspoken puts us in the shoes of Frey, a young New Yorker who finds herself mysteriously transported to the magical world of Athia. While the region is ravaged by the Fog, our heroine is the only one not affected by this phenomenon, making her the last hope of the inhabitants of this country.
To help her in her quest, Frey is equipped with a magical bracelet called Krav which gives her powerful powers, but also gives her permanent advice. And if the game intrigues more than one, it is because it is the new project of Luminous Production, the studio founded by Square Enix for the development of Final Fantasy XV, which created a still impressive graphics engine: the Luminous Engine. It is then with this information in mind that we were able to initiate our first Forspoken manipulation.
Spectacular magical gameplay
Forspoken is therefore an open world action role-playing game that has the particularity of emphasizing the magical powers of its heroine, but also her parkour skills. If Frey’s spells look impressive in the trailers, we’ve finally got to try them out with the controller in hand. At first glance, Forspoken’s gameplay takes some getting used to to be mastered properly due to the large number of spells on offer.. To put it simply, Frey can use different types of elements, such as fire or earth, each of which gives access to certain specific spells. If the right trigger is used to activate offensive spells that can be chained together to form a combo or charge, the left trigger is reserved for “support” spells that can both hinder enemies and protect Frey.
Each element offers different types of spells, three for the offensive skills and even more for the support ones from what we could see during our play session. When it comes to attacking spells, some share the same standard combos but once loaded they differ. For example, for fire, whether you are equipped with a sword, fists or spear, the basic sequence will always be the same and will be done with the sword. But with a charged spell, the sword makes a circular attack, the spear is thrown before exploding, and the punches allow for a barrage of blows. To bring even more variety, the assaults made from the air or after using the magical parkour give rise to different movements, such as the vertical circular stroke of the sword. In general, it is advisable to use parkour in combat to easily avoid enemy attacks and access different versions of spells.
With all the possibilities it offers, the gameplay of Forspoken therefore takes some time to adapt to be well mastered. At all times, the player is required to alternate the elements at his disposal depending on the vulnerability of his enemies, but also on the set with which the final attack is charged, a bit like in Genshin Impact. But once you have the controls firmly in your hand, the fights get a lot more fun and we find ourselves doing some really awesome things. This feeling of power is aided by the many effects that come with each spell. and this proves that the Luminous Engine has some in the trunk. For all these reasons, the title seems to have something to please fans of Devil May Cry 5’s spectacular combos who will enjoy doing pirouettes.
And in terms of framerate, the latter manages to keep the road in the middle of a fight against tons of enemies, even if it happens on very rare occasions to cough at unexpected moments. However, the problem with this deluge of effects is that it’s sometimes hard to read what’s going on on the screen, which occasionally makes perfect dodges difficult to achieve. To compensate for this, when Frey is hit, she can generate a shockwave to repel enemies around her, provided she respects precise timing. It remains to be seen whether this concern for readability will be bothersome in the long run in the final game.
Fluid and fun parkour but not without flaws
Beyond his fights, Frey’s magical parkour abilities are Forspoken’s other great strength. By simply holding a key, our heroine can soar through Athia’s vast landscapes and easily overcome obstacles in her path.. To complete this kit, the player also has a sort of grappling hook that can cling to certain specific walls, but above all to particular mineral structures that allow Frey to easily push through the air. As for the gameplay of the fights, once you have mastered the mechanics of parkour well, the latter is very pleasant to manage to effectively explore the region.
Despite its qualities, nor does parkour Forspoken do anything and all the style of Marvel’s Spider-Man. As with a wall of great height, it is not possible to climb it by running on the wall as for example spiderman does. Even as she whizzes through Athia, our heroine sometimes gets stuck on certain obstacles on rare occasions. Due to these small issues, it is sometimes difficult to move from one flight platform to another without getting lost in each other. Fortunately, the title has no fall damage and when you fall, you only see your stamina gauge empty all at once. It is important to have a constant look at the latter because once empty, it is no longer possible to run thanks to the magic parkour, nor to use the grapple since these two skills consume this resource. Therefore, it is necessary to grasp the limits of Forspoken parkour to master it properly and make it really enjoyable to play.
As for the open world, it is difficult for the moment to give a real opinion on this part of the game. the Luminous Engine works wonders with pleasing environments with a rendering obviously reminiscent of Final Fantasy XV. But as for the activities in the open world, our game session took place in a demo created especially for the occasion, the purpose of which was above all to allow us to try the gameplay. So, we walked from point of interest to point of interest, bumping into enemies along the way, just to get familiar with the combat system. We also came across chests that contained items of equipment, such as capes or jewelry that Frey can wear. These affect these stats and can accommodate additional passive bonuses. We just have to wait for the game’s release on January 24 to find out what is really happening to the open world and the story of Forspoken.
Forspoken is a title that promises to be pleasant thanks to the possibilities offered by its gameplay. This results in impressive and exhilarating fights for the player, provided they master his particular gameplay and Frey’s numerous spells. The clashes are all the more spectacular as they take advantage of the graphics and especially the effects of the Luminous Engine, even if this sometimes means overloading the action on the screen. And if parkour manages to be pleasant for its fluidity, it doesn’t allow you to do everything or anything and takes time to adapt. If the gameplay then looks as effective as it does in the trailers, it remains to be seen whether the other aspects of the title are on the same level to make Forspoken an essential console exclusively for PS5.