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Sebastion Mauldin

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Forspoken Review

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Leading up to its release I was looking forward to the game for many reasons. As a long-time anime fan, I’ve enjoyed many isekai anime. For you, non-anime fans an isekai is basically when a character leaves their world and goes to another. Pretty much like Alice and Wonderland. Combining the isekai factor with the fact that the game also has a black protagonist, which as a chocolate man I love to see the representation, meant that Forspoken was a game I knew had to be in my video game backlog. Unfortunately around the game’s release, I was busy reviewing other games, and I heard the less-than-stellar reviews that the game was getting. That said I kept Forspoken in my top 10 backlog list and this past weekend I was able to get to it and beat it. So is Forspoken as bad as people made it out to be?

Let’s dive into it.

Forspoken Review - Image 1
Forspoken Review – Image 1


You play as Frey, an Orphen girl who has been in trouble with the law and a local gang. Just when she is at the end of her rope she is transported by a magic arm cuff to a new world called Athia. 

The main cast of characters is memorable with each having realistic motivations and depth. The main character,  Frey is flawed, relatable, down-to-earth, and vulnerable. Simply put she is an asshole through most of the campaign, but you can see why. While she might not be everyone’s cup of tea, I enjoyed getting to know her and seeing her journey progress in Forspoken. 

The game is rich with great themes, like the value of life and hope. The themes of responsibility and duty are also strong in this game. Forspoken’s story is enjoyable even if it does overstay its welcome a bit in its third act. 

Forspoken Review - Image 2
Forspoken Review – Image 2


Forspoken features zippy and fluid combat. It plays a lot like Final Fantasy 15 and in a way Kingdom Hearts. In this game, you learn and use elemental magic that allows you to use melee and range attacks against corrupted humans and beasts. Each element has its own moves which allows you to tailor your playstyle to your liking.

Just like Hi-Fi Rush and the Devil May Cry games you receive a grade for every combat encounter. This grade is earned by how stylish you are, how much damage you take, and varied you are with your offense. It’s a cool way to incentivize the players to master the combat and try out different styles as well.

A major part of the gameplay is traversal. In Forbidden, you use your magic to run, grapple and jump across the sprawling map of Athia. Overall it’s a decent and enjoyable experience, but the game’s stamina bar hampers it a bit. This stamina bar sees to it that you have to stop periodically to catch your breath. This feels like a mechanic that should have been taken out of the game, or perhaps it should be easier to add stamina.

Forspoken Review - Image 3
Forspoken Review – Image 3

Additional Pros:

One aspect of Forspoken that should be highlighted is its sound design and score. The soundtrack is really well done. It mixes an orchestra playing fantasy-style music with a dash of today’s hip-hop.

While the game’s visual open world isn’t going to wow you, it does have moments where the graphics stand out. For example, the spells and their particle effects look amazing. The water spells feel like something that I’ve never seen in games. The appearance of the elemental gameplay in Forspoken made me want an Avatar the Last Airbender game.

Another pro worth shouting out is that you have a decent amount of ways that you can improve Fray. For example, there is gear like her cloaks and necklaces that you can equip for better stats. You can also equip different nail designs that grant her different power buffs. The nail customization is a cool and creative concept.

Forspoken Review - Image 4
Forspoken Review – Image 4


If you are playing on a duelsense controller then you’ll probably need to turn down the intensity of the Trigger effects. With the way the gameplay works, you’ll likly feel fatigued and strain in your finger from the default trigger effects. 

Another con that might turn some off about the game is that its open world is a bit boring and empty. Sure there are enemies galore to battle, and treasure to find but that’s it. Due to the story, there aren’t any NPCs running around to make the world feel occupied. The game’s side quests aren’t doing the open world any favors either. While some are fun like the  Labyrinths that have cool mini-bosses to fight, most are dull, pointless, and feel like extra fluff that didn’t need to be in the game. Honestly, the game is at its most enjoyable when you just streamline through the main quest. 

Another aspect that gamers might not like is how chatty the game is. It isn’t an understatement to say that there is a lot of dialogue in the is game. Fray and her talking bracelet are constantly talking back and forth. While I like their banter, I can easily see others finding it annoying. 

Forspoken Review - Image 5
Forspoken Review – Image 5

Overall/Should you play Forspoken:

Real Talk Forspoken isn’t as bad as people made it out to be when the game launched. While the open world and side quests are lackluster, the narrative and combat are good enough to make this game an enjoyable experience. Maybe the $70 price tag at launch is a bit more than I’d recommend paying for it, but it’s a solid buy if you can find it between $20 and $30 dollars. 

I’d recommend this game to gamers who enjoy games like Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy, Infamous, and Hogwarts Legacy.  Is this game a ten out of ten…absolutely not. Not even close, however, Forspoken is a solid action-adventure game and a new IP that I hope we see more of in the future. 

Where does Forspoken fit in your video game backlog:

All in all, I think Forspoken should definitely be in your backlog if you enjoy playing open world action games. This is a really interesting question because I think depending on what type of gamer you are Forspoken could be a really good pallet cleanser game, or it could be a really good narrative game if you just streamline the whole narrative campaign of this game.

Otherwise, I actually wouldn’t recommend for spoken to be in your video game backlog unless you like games like Kingdom Hearts Final Fantasy, Infamous and Hogwarts Legacy. So depending on what type of gamer you are, that’s where Forspoken should be in your video game backlog list.

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Reviewed on Ps5
Sebastion Mauldin

Forspoken Review


Action RPG, Action-Adventure, Open World


The Zippy Gameplay, The Story, The Characters


Dragged in the 3rd Act, Empty Open World, Pulse trigger Effects are Terrible for this Game


Luminous Productions, Square Enix




January 24, 2023

Overall Rating: