Honest review: sometimes happy, often annoyed, always empty

Who among us does not dream of somehow being transported to a magical world where there are talking unicorns, and you can throw lightning and control plants because you are a very special hero. of this universe? Such is the fate of Frey, who falls through a portal to Athia and finds that world in mortal peril. Although if I stayed here I would be a bit disappointed. It’s all good to be able to zoom in to do magic parkour everywhere, but there’s not much to do or places to go. Not a single talking unicorn was seen.

tell first somehow both complete and contentless. There’s a huge open world, but it’s mostly empty. There’s an epic story about magic, other universes, and saving the world, but it’s only been for a few days. I really enjoyed Forspoken, but the more you play the merrier, and then it’s over; I didn’t pre-order this game for sixty odd pounds, and if I did I would be disappointed. Even the things that are Tweeted a lot annoying dialogue doesn’t happen much and isn’t contextually annoying. However, Forspoken is annoying, not in the way you might expect if all you see is people discussing clips out of context from the cutscenes.

Yes, this is happening

Interpreting Forspoken means I have to use a lot of imaginary words, which I imagine people come up with using a name generator or choosing a random sound from a Porky Pig recording (so for example, the review guide asked me to please not reveal anything about Junoon’s dragon. I won’t.). The four former rulers of Athia that Tantas had, over the course of 20 years – why, it’s only been a while since Frey was discovered abandoned in New York at Christmas, but I’m sure it’s one coincidence – disappeared from their respective rockers. Each has retreated to their own castle and, since their magic is what holds Athia together, is passively creating an aura of perversion that Frey calls The Break. This turns everyone and everything into wonderful Annihilation-type monstrous creatures that grow increasingly strange in the fantasy, and only the large capital city Cipal remains untouched. Here, Frey from New York, occasionally swears at how weird things are, and discovers that she has a talking vampire, aka Cuff, tied to her arm. that.

So you set out to save the world, despite Frey vehemently protesting that saving the world is just a side effect of her attempt to get back to New York. Crawling enhances boss battles with Tantas, and you absorb their various magical flavors, color-coded and vaguely similar to the elements. Frey’s purple spells let you shoot machine gun fire or throw explosive rocks, red spells are all fire punches and fire swords, blue is water based and has AOE tornadoes, and color green, the last one, shoot good lightning darts for crowd control. You have a bunch of offensive (RMB or RT) and assist (LMB, LT) spells to cast and lots more to unlock.

A purple domestic cat with blue wings
It’s perhaps no surprise, but like most third-person RPGs, I think Forspoken works best when played with a controller. Mouse and keyboard controls aren’t bad, but they make things a little more unwieldy. Picture the cat just because it is a beautiful cat in the game.

Combat is potentially repetitive, especially early in the game when you only have Frey’s stones to throw. Later on, however, you can switch styles and combine spells to create some really cool stuff. Frey’s spells consist of some tangled vines to hold enemies in place, which you can then run in with your flaming sword’s massive sweeps or use a super massive attack with color magic blue. You can knock out enemies with lightning, or distract them with a fake Frey, then run around to the back to hurl a large pile of rocks at them. Your attacks are also modified if you jump or use parkour, which I enjoyed doing, riding around in the same place as the Tony Hawk of magic.

Magical parkour is basically the only way to move in Forspoken (there’s also a quick move, but you hardly need to do that). You zoom around the different areas of Athia – the green hill area, the red rock area, and the sparse pine tree area – at a fast pace and it’s hard to compete until you get the hang of it. In the middle of the game you have the ability to rotate and launch from grapple points, including trees, and you can drag yourself to large enemies before jumping away again. Moving, like fighting, the longer you play, the better.

The thing is, the story only lasts about 15 hours (I booked 24 hours for the whole thing, including a bunch of side activities), and you only get the full range of possibilities in one story cutscene right away. before the final boss battle. That’s a big part of the game not being as exciting as it could be. That’s the uneven balance you can see in most of Forspoken.

Frey attacks a large enemy in Forspoken.  It's like an armed female justice statue

Frey is observing a mini-boss enemy in forspoken, a giant wyvern with ragged wings

Frey, Protagonist of Forspoken, is standing looking at the terrifying black and gray rock landscape, a castle in the distance.  There are red clouds in the sky and red particles floating in the air

Frey critically strikes downed enemies, as explosive circles of light emanate from the enemy's body.

The story itself was so blatantly honest that in a sense it could be revealing evidence, but that’s okay; however, the tempo has the consistency of a non-Newtonian fluid. Frey insists that she is not interested in solving Tanta problems and is not a hero, so the characters have to be introduced and then quickly frozen to give her a reason to stay involved. . You thought you would have four battles with boss Tanta, but one of them was dead by the time you showed up. The classic explanation is that she was very tired, and so was I at the time. Frey and Cuff are well represented, and I like both of them and their joke dynamics, but neither of them behave with consistent personalities. They just react how they need to move the plot along.

All this is not to mention performance on PC. Forspoken takes up a lot of space (120 gigs), so I tried playing it on my SSD – this improved uptime, as in the map display it takes only four seconds to load – but ended up having to move it to my storage drive, where some load times were so long that I actually went and took the book I was reading to pass the time. To be fair, my PC isn’t quite up to the recommended specs since Forspoken is the first PS5, which means it’s theoretically lifting the game bar to the next generation. Strong. But even then, I can’t understand what it’s doing to justify going out and buying a new graphics card. I definitely recommend James’s Recommended PC Settings to squeeze a little more juice on top of the frame rate, but with the best will in the world, it’s impossible to look at Forspoken and say every penny is on screen, here. It doesn’t look bad, it just doesn’t look whatever. Maybe it’s loading a lot of things at once – there are a lot of tall landmarks you can see from a distance, but I don’t think that’s enough for me to go “phwoar, yeah, is this okay in the future” On the ground, it was a very empty world.

One of the Tantas, the magical ruler of the Forspoken world.  This tanta has a helmet that covers the upper part of his face and is wearing teeth
You could say Athia is a fantasy world unlike our own because there’s no asshole in it wearing a hat that’s too ordinary.

There’s so much to do in Forspoken in theory. Your gear is limited to necklaces, capes and painted nails, and new things can be found in the world. But once you get there, you can keep leveling up the gear you like, so there’s not much incentive to crawl in dungeons or face waves of enemies to get more out of it. . There are flashback shrines that put you in a time-test of the past (??) but they’re not particularly interesting; you can make friends with exotic cats, but the benefits (aside from having more cats) aren’t obvious; there are side quests and character interactions, but despite Frey saying something that suggests you can have a positive impact on Cipal to improve the city, I’ve never seen any change. There are vendors that trade artifacts for other weird stuff, but they don’t seem to give me anything useful.

There’s no incentive to actually do anything, and between the things you can’t do is just a bunch of nothing. I believe everything in Forspoken would be 100% improved if it was about 60% smaller. The world will be compact, but it will be denser, more interesting, and just right in scope. It can have characters in it other than a few hedgehogs standing on the street in Cipal dong, doing one of three “I’m scared” poses, and the cutscenes don’t go black every 5 seconds without There is a clear reason. It’s annoying, because I think a lot of the core ideas here are great, and it’s one of those games that I want a sequel where they make things better. Given the nature of these things, I hope we never will.


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