Forspoken is a brand new video game IP from Square Enix. The game is a single player action role-playing game that puts players in the character of Frey. Frey is a young New Yorker that is transported to the fantasy world of Athia. In this brand new fantasy world, she learns to use magical powers to journey throughout the world and find a way home. Through this journey, the players meet different characters that help the players learn more about Frey as a character and the story of the world of Athia.
Many players were excited at the thought of Square Enix’s new series and many were hopeful that this would be a new major title for the game company. However, when the embargo for the reviews was lifted, many were surprised at how mixed the reviews were regarding the game. This was because most reviewers were split on the story of the game. Some reviewers gave a poor review to the game based on the story while some gave it a high score since they found it entertaining and engaging. There were also some gripes regarding the gameplay of Forspoken. With that being said, let’s take a look at some of these reviews and see what made them give that verdict to the game.
In Metacritic, Forspoken was given a Metascore of 76. The Metascore is an average of the scores given by different video game critics. Looking at the different statements from the different critics who were given a chance to review the game, many were elated at the gameplay of Forspoken. They spoke highly of the battle system and how fluid it is. They also gave a lot of praise to the parkour system in the game. As the first entry in a new series, many were saying that this would become a great foundation for a strong series. On the other hand, many critics were very critical of the game not taking off right away. There were a number of complaints regarding how the story took too long to get going and only got interesting near the end. Some were also critical of the magic system being used by Frey as it only seemed visually appealing and the use of it felt like it was merely just there to hold the players back. Furthermore, the open world felt like a bother to explore considering how inconvenient it can get to traverse. Despite all these, many were in agreement that despite its flaws, it is still very much an entertaining game to play. However, currently, it is also unanimously agreed that the current price of 70 dollars might be too much for what the players get out of the game.
Gamespot gave a review to the game as well. For this game, Gamespot gave Forspoken a 5 out of 10 and rated it as a mediocre game. In the review, they gave a lot of praise to its character movement just like the other reviewers did. They stated that the movement was “frenetic and fun” and the navigational abilities given later in the game really helped to enhance the experience. To add to that, the soundtrack in the game was also given praise since it helped add to the immersive experience of the player. However, despite these positive praises, Gamespot had a lot to say for the negative things regarding the game. For one, the story of Forspoken can get a bit jarring as the high paced actions suddenly stops for its story expositions. This ruined the experience of the players as they were going through the game’s story. Furthermore, the story didn’t do anything for the characters around Frey as they were not fleshed out properly. This caused the player not to have any emotional attachment to the supporting characters which made the story less impactful than it already was. In addition to this, there were also complaints regarding the magic system. In the review, they felt that although the magic being used is flashy, ultimately, it didn’t feel impactful since the latter enemies were merely bullet sponges which also made the difficulty feel highly artificial. Because of this, combat felt more like a chore rather than a challenge that the player must overcome. Overall, Gamespot felt that even though this was the first entry into a brand new IP, there is much to be addressed should Square Enix seek to continue this series. Because of this, they felt that Forspoken is a tricky game to recommend to people especially considering the 70 dollar price tag.
IGN also reviewed the game and also has the same sentiments regarding Forspoken. In their review, IGN gave Forspoken a 6/10 and rated it as an okay game. Just like the previous reviews, they gave a lot of praise regarding the game’s take on movement and navigation. They gave a lot of praise to the parkour system and how it made the game very engaging and entertaining to play. There were also praises given to the flashy magic that is present in Forspoken. However, just like the previous reviews, IGN had a lot of gripes regarding the story and open world of Forspoken. According to IGN, the story felt very cliche and uninteresting as it is not the first time for a game to have this setting. Because of this, they felt that the characters surrounding Frey did not matter that much and that they were merely an afterthought. In addition to the unimpressive story, IGN felt that the open world of Forspoken was bare and uninteresting. They felt that it was uninspired and exploring this world felt so much like a chore rather than something that was entertaining. Overall, IGN’s verdict on the game is that although the magic in the game is quite the visual spectacle and the parkour system was entertaining, the game is held back by its cliche and uninteresting story and setting. As such, they found that they were hardly motivated to continue playing and exploring the open world after the credits had rolled.
With many of the critics having a negative outlook on the story of the game, the review over at DigitalTrends would like to say otherwise. Forspoken was also reviewed by DigitalTrends and they gave it a score of 3.5 out of 5. In their review, they listed down what they felt like were the pros and cons of the game. Compared to the other reviews, they had a more positive disposition regarding the open world of the game. According to DigitalTrends, they felt that the world of Athia was engaging and worth exploring. They felt that the open world design of Forspoken felt very rewarding. In addition, they felt that Frey gave quite a performance as the lead character. As the main character, they felt that Frey helped the story come together as the game went on. DigitalTrends also gave a lot of praise to the navigation and movement in the game just like the other reviews. They felt that it added a lot to why the game felt very nice to play. With all that said, even though they had a lot of positive praises to give to Forspoken, there were still some negative aspects to the game that they pointed out as well. One of these would be the slow start of the game. They felt that Forspoken had a slow start to the game and it felt like a slug to go through until the player got more skills. Another would be that the controls of the game felt quite janky to play with and inexperienced might find it difficult to play. With all that said, they felt that Forspoken is a great game but requires time investment to fully enjoy.