Forspoken is a new IP being developed by Luminous Productions. These developers are using their own engine for their new title that appears to be a rather solid foundation for future projects. Forspoken is an open-world adventure to where a young sorceress, Frey Holland, is magically placed on another realm called Athia. She must venture into the wilderness in this strange land and find ways to survive. This will be a narrative-driven game that is oozing with places to explore and discover. The core appeal to Forspoken is the fluid parkour navigation system implemented into the move set of Frey. She can hover, climb, wall run, and twirl through the air without any break in animations. It looks to be equally fun to traverse this map as it was with Marvel’s Spider-Man.
Of course, this game will have the backbone of an RPG, that is teeming with things to loot and upgrade. The trailer was dropped back on the PlayStation Showcase this September and it showed off a lot of the game’s mechanics. Frey can not only move around like a superhero but she is also equipped with elemental powers. Frey is originally from New York, being street-savvy she quickly adjusts to the turbulent environment of Athia. There is a sisterhood that overlooks this world in which is ruled with an iron grip. They are known as the “Tantas” and they have some rather wicked plans for this landscape in which Frey much find a way to thwart.
That Magical Touch
Being originally called “Project Athia”, this project has been in development for the last few years. The developers over at Luminous Productions are veterans who worked over at Square Enix. The Luminous Engine was conceived and utilized during the development of Final Fantasy XV. There is no doubt that this is an impressive engine and the developers were apparently getting burned out with the universe of Final Fantasy. There was a yearning for a new type of adventure which ultimately created Forspoken. Once Frey was transported to Athia, she discovered that she has access to magical abilities in which players must hone during the course of the playthrough. There were some examples shown in the trailer that touched on what kind of powers Frey will have. Things like pyromancy and cyromancy were two primary examples. Beyond those two, Frey is shown to have a rapid-fire of light projectiles from her fingertips. Thus, she can also summon roots and other greenery to erupt from the ground and capture enemies.
Naturally, Frey can also use her magical powers to get around the area. The world of Athia comes with some Earthy overtones, but it is spiced with medieval fantasy. Forspoken comes with war-torn ruins and towering castles that riddle the landscape in which Frey can explore at her leisure. Another power that Frey can use trap setting explosives, a grappling hook type of ability, and flying. She is a very quick avatar to control and she was custom-made to be constantly on the move. Chances are that different enemies will require specific powers to smite. Therefore, players will need to use tactical planning when using their powers. It is really no different than the free flow combat in the Batman Arkham series. Of course, this combat is centered around mystical forces rather than fist cuffs.
A Shared Adventure
Speaking of cuffs, one of Frey’s most trusted allies will come in the form of a cuff. Its name is “Cuff”, believe it or not. It is an actual being that is wrapped around Frey’s arm that can talk to her. He will be Frey’s guide and companion throughout the course of this adventure. He speaks in a witty British accent and provides the players’ exposition on the world of Athia and possibly even tutorials about Frey’s blossoming powers. It’s not to say that Frey won’t be encountering other characters in Forspoken, because she will. This game comes with a supporting cast from Jonathon Cake, Janina Gavankar, and Keala Settle. Frey will be played by Ella Balinska. Lastly, Amy Henning of Uncharted fame is penning the story. This alone is enough to give some PlayStation aficionados some excitement about this new title.
The enemies that were shown in the trailer seem to be the standard fare when it comes to fantastical creatures. Large buzzard-like enemies attack Frey from above and bruting Golems stomp around. Not to mention there are clawed dragons, zombie knights, and mutated animals surrounding Frey during battles. Also, it seems that Frey will also have access to melee attacks for up-close enemies. Something like a fire sword that can be swung around to knock back shielded foes. Also, Frey can apparently combine powers to crush enemies. It is shown that she encapsulated a small group of enemies in a large watery bubble. Then, she turned it to ice and shattered it. This is just speculation, of course. It is entirely possible that water and ice powers are two of the same, sharing the required animaiton. In any case, there appears to be a lot of exploration in Forspoken. The map appears to be vast with large fields, craggy mountains, and thick villages. It is shown that Frey can whip around on the totems erected on the side of cliffs. It leaves one to wonder if this IP will have a Metroidvania layout to it? Because chances are, Frey won’t have all these abilities at the get-go. She will need to obtain them to gain access to certain places.
Forspoken does have some heavyweights behind its production. It looks like it’s shaping up to be something unique and captivating. Knowing that Amy Henning is writing this story, it is a sure bet that this IP will have memorable characters and will be an action-packed tale. Right now, this game is slated to be released within the Spring of 2022 window. Hopefully, there won’t be any more setbacks to this production. Expect Forspoken to be launched on the PlayStation 5 and PC in the very near future.