The new game from the studio behind “Final Fantasy XV” is only partially disguised. The rest seems overly ambitious and studded with one another.
© Square Enix
At first, apparently, there were ambitious plans. After a short audition in New York, “Foresboken” heroine Fry finds herself in a fantasy world that’s clearly not meant to be a hollow backdrop. People took their time and designed an unusual and mysterious environment. And Fry herself is clearly meant to be more than a flat shell of hilarious self-realization: a black woman who was raised as an orphan, doesn’t want to be a hero, doesn’t trust herself or others and covers up her insecurities with coldness. Much needs to be processed and done differently. And this is partly successful – for example with Frey’s motion animation, which largely dispenses with stereotypical femininity.
An attempt to deviate from the usual path can also be felt in terms of game dynamics. Fry is unarmed and relies solely on various forms of magic, which also gives her agility. So she races through her enemies, combining melee spells, magical projectiles and stunning somersaults with thunderous counterattacks. Not very clear. But the fun is growing more and more as the collection of spells fills up.
It’s so stupid that it’s so awkward to switch between spells quickly. It’s also stupid that the game doesn’t want us to pack our magic bag, from which everything is sorted out and we don’t need it anyway. This is where the impression begins to appear that there are too many things that cannot be completed peacefully during development: controls, balance between skills and challenges, heroine level improvements. The latter is almost only noticeable by spells. Other systems, such as experience levels, are built into it, but are of little note.
In essence the elements of a good and great game. But as the release date approaches, it seems to be getting more and more stuck to the paste. The game world is overflowing with side quests that often don’t claim to be worth the time it takes. Mana, with the help of new spells being unlocked, moves around unmotivated and must be collected listlessly. And roaming monsters and zombies are becoming more and more of a nuisance.
Forspoken is more attractive than one might expect given all these weaknesses. In my case, it’s because these pearls shimmer between the paste. I wished for them – and the people who designed them – a fuller, rounder overall product as a frame. With the way the game was released, there is a great risk that we will never see Fry and her fantasy world again, despite all the potential.
«Forspoken» has already been released for PC and PS5.
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