If I were to sum up Forspoken in one sentence, it would be wasted potential. The game may please with its world architecture, pleasant if formulaic storyline, and exciting fighting system, but it also disappoints with outdated cutscenes, stupid humor, and repetition. This is not a title worth the price of a limited-edition AAA title on par with God of War Ragnarok or Horizon Forbidden West.
In the game, we follow Frey Holland, a young lady from modern New York who, on her 21st birthday, discovers a sentient, magical bracelet called Cuff and is transported to the mythical realm of Athia. The continent is on the point of collapse because four strong sorceresses have gone insane and unleashed a disaster. As you would expect, Frey’s only way out is a showdown with the witches. Already in the initial chapters of the campaign, we confront the game’s most noticeable flaw: low-quality cutscenes. Some of them seem great, but others appear like they were plucked from a ten-year-old game. Sony’s exclusive titles have conditioned us to expect an almost cinematic experience in this regard, with dynamic and well-thought-out camera work and emotive character emotion – this is absent here.
By briefly dimming the screen, the cutscenes are separated from the gameplay. The images are quite static, and the characters sometimes converse just by moving their lips, with no nonverbal communication. There was also a scene where one of the actors’ facial expressions and lip sync were entirely out of time with the sound. For this reason, I admit that after a while, I began speeding up all scenes except those crucial to the primary storyline. The plot of the game is enjoyable, yet I have an issue with the protagonists. I don’t find them particularly bad or bothersome, just boring. The game attempts to portray them as people with a quick wit and a penchant for sarcasm, but their retorts are neither humorous nor smart. In this framework, the primary antagonists and certain secondary characters are far more fascinating.
The game’s “magical parkour” feature, which allows you to swiftly navigate a vast open area, is heavily marketed. The production’s Land of Athia was intriguingly developed and might thrill with its spectacular sights. Mysterious ruins, attractive towns, and lush forests – going at high speeds, bouncing between mountains, is a thrilling experience. Unfortunately, it is also a lifeless wasteland, with only roaming monsters to kill. This makes me not even want to peek into a potentially intriguing site since I know full well that all I’ll find is a battle. This has a storyline explanation, but it also makes me feel like I’m the final player in some abandoned MMO.
Since I discussed battle, Frey’s magic system was quite well-designed. During the conflicts, the game transforms into a third-person shooter with Devil May Cry-style hacking. Acrobatics by the heroine and strong spells that kill several adversaries with a single shot may be a lot of fun. It’s a shame that the opponents don’t vary their methods, and it’s simple to find an obvious technique for each sort of opponent, or simply hammering the criminal with bullets works best. As a result, I only engaged in confrontations with monsters when I felt like it. I simply disregarded the rest of my adversaries. My fingers were also hurting from continually pushing the fire button.
Forspoken fails on levels that, sadly, cannot be simply corrected with upgrades. It’s a shame, considering this title had promise in my opinion. It is not a terrible production, but it falls well short of the caliber of high-budget films. As a result, the premiere price at the level of packaged hits, such as God of War Ragnarok, is clearly excessive. I’d be more likely to suggest the game if it were half the price.