Forspoken… Forced Spoken?

by: 
hello world!
| January 28, 2023

Welcome to my ADHD gamer review, where I’ll give you just enough information to give you context, decide if you want to give this game a go, and satisfy your ADHD need for quick and easy answers!

The game I’m reviewing is the new Square Enix release Forspoken. What is Forspoken, I hear you ask? “Forspoken follows the journey of Frey, a young New Yorker transported to the beautiful and cruel land of Athia. In search of a way home, Frey must use her newfound magical abilities to traverse sprawling landscapes and battle monstrous creatures.”

Before we begin, I want to mention that we were gracious enough to receive an advanced copy of the game from Square Enix.

Graphics

The game is decent, but the graphics are not. It looked no more impressive than Marvel’s Spider-Man (2018) before the remaster. Keep in mind, though, I played on PS5 and felt like they didn’t take advantage of its capabilities. I felt more like a PS4 game with astounding graphics rather than a PS5 game with up-to-date graphics.

The motion capture around the mouth and face were rather blocky and less smooth than games Than other games out now, such as God of War: Ragnarok. Causing the graphics to not rather match up at times with the emotions displayed, or they were awkwardly exaggerated.

(Square Enix)

Combat

Playing the game didn’t feel like it had much of a learning curve since playing the Demo really helped to teach me how to maneuver and use the combat functions. If you did not play the demo, it’ll take a hot minute to adjust to the combat and magic usage in the game since it’s such a different way of combat and spell usage. The tutorial is well done and gave me all the information I needed easily to figure out the world’s controls, gave step-by-step instructions as I went to move about in the game, so as I approached something new, it would guide me how to get through the encounter.

The magic is intriguing and incredibly fun. It’s colorful, unique, and stunning in its imagery during use.

(Square Enix)

Movement

Right off the bat, I had issues with the transition from knowing when I could move my character around after dialog.  The game has a nasty habit of telling me that I could move around again yet I  was unable to move until the dialog was complete, which immediately made me quite annoyed. 

This didn’t happen all the time, but frequently enough to cause frustration.

Other than that, the movement seemed adjustable, especially for one who can easily get motion sickness. I’m able to adjust the camera movement and other items in the accessibility options. That is something I’ll really give the game credit for, there are some innovative ease and accessibility options.

A highlight of the game, as well as the wonderfully fun parkour up the mountainside and cliffs. It can take a few minutes to see what you can and can’t climb on and what is a closed-off area.

“Fuck” dialog. (Aundawyn, Square Enix)

Dialogue

While the story is initially intriguing and made me want to discover the ending, the dialogue actively worked against the game.

To quote Emlerith on Reddit, “Fuck is such a diverse and versatile word. Never have I heard it used so poorly and unnecessarily forced as I have in this game.” And I couldn’t agree more with this statement.

Simply put, the dialogue feels cringy at best, unnecessarily harsh, and a bad attempt at comedy at worst if that’s what they’re going for.

The game is consistent in its lazy writing. Where it could use details and colorful language such as: “I wonder how long it’s been in this shitty state.” Could simply be adjusted to: “I wonder how long it’s been in this (disheveled, decrepit, saddened, ruined) state”. It chooses not to, and leaves me feeling a bit empty.

The lazy writing doesn’t just extend to the world itself, it also extends to the characters as well.

To be met with two companions who are so bitchy to each other constantly really is such a turn-off to the game. Though, I did like Cuff more than Frey, simply because Cuff will be a little worried when she’s hurt, and Frey will yell at them to “shut the fuck up.” I have sympathy for Cuff trying their best.

There is definitely room for potential character growth between the two characters. But unfortunately, I don’t think I’m interested enough to find out, and that’s a huge shame.

(Square Enix)

Open World

It feels unfinished, the world is barren, and empty. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still absolutely beautiful, but it didn’t give me a sense of immersion or excitement about wandering around. The world is less exciting to explore as there’s not much other than the identical enemies to fight in small encampments, similar rock formations, and closed-off areas.

The re-used content is what really makes the open world unexciting to explore.

Character Customization

You’ve heard the comment, “fashion is endgame”? In each open-world game, myself and other players really enjoy making our character look top tier with the best of the best items. But there’s not much of a point in this game; you can get other cloaks, but not much else, which to me makes the outfit seem disoriented with Earth-like clothes and a fantastical cloak don’t vibe together. 

Final review thoughts

Forspoken has all the components to be a great game but in action… It’s not, in my opinion. I was not eager to get back into playing the game after even a few hours and purposefully found excuses to take a break more than once, which is never a good sign.

Verdict: 2/5

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One comment on “Forspoken… Forced Spoken?”

  1. Very fair criticism. In regard to the dialog, i feel like it was wriiten by committee; one person writing for Frey and another group writing for everyone else. I do think the game gets better after beating the first Tanta, but feel a lot of players will stop playing before they get to that spot due to the things you highlighted.

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