Forspoken, a magical and cumbersome open world

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During the last few days we have been able to try the demo di forspoken, published for free on the PlayStation Store in version PS5, and we managed to get some important ideas about the gameplay of the work of Luminous e Square Enix.

Let's start by saying that, although a plot incipit had already been hinted at by the publisher over the past few months, the introductory video that leads us to the demo doesn't add much else, and we actually found ourselves slightly bewildered at first about what was happening to ours protagonist and why.

In short, Frey is an American orphan girl who lives in New York, who inexplicably finds herself catapulted into a magical world: the kingdom of Athia, currently in check and that risks being totally corrupted by an equally mysterious powerCalled the break. With the will to return home, Frey will inevitably find himself in the fight against this power to save Athia, since apparently the girl seems to be immune to such corruption, and that he is developing gods Magic powers thanks to the bracelet that she found on her arm, Cuffwhich has its own conscience.

Unfortunately, at the moment the general confusion does not concern only the narrative incipit, but also the gameplay. Let's proceed in order.

Athia, beautiful and (too) spacious

The Forspoken demo opens with a very short tutorial on commands that we can choose ourselves whether to undertake or not, and that there will only describe the operation of the keys. Once this is finished, we are faced with a large open world area, in which we will have to reach and complete certain objectives, which reflect some of the basic features present within the game.

Once placed in front of the exploration and the actual fights, two things immediately become apparent: fighting enemies is extremely cumbersome, and the 'openworld – despite the markers to guide us – it turns out wasteful with actually little to do. Of course, the glimpse of Athia that we have been shown is evocative and good looking, but in a video game that's not the only thing you need.

By first analyzing the combat, in Forspoken we will be able to do use a Frey different kinds of magic (only 2 were unlocked in the demo), which we will be able to select from a radial menu which opens with two combined keys. To damage enemies or perform magic, they are also there two types of attack, That basis and support, placed on the two triggers of the pad, which based on the pressure (partial or total) will give rise to attacks of different power. Does it end here? No because attacks will not be fixed, but the spells will be selectable from two further radial menus (which open with L1 and R1 taken individually), where to choose the basic attack and the support attack: there are different types, based on the chosen element, and some of them also have a cooldown slower than others, and therefore it will be better to replace them with other spells until they are charged again. Don't worry if you didn't understand us much, because indeed we are talking about an unintuitive system, which however intriguing it seriously risks slowing down the frenzy of the fights a lot, even after you have mastered it.

Le magic featured in the demo were earth-type and fire-type, and it is very tasty alternarle both on the basis of the enemies we meet, and to note that the actual le different features of the two spells are adaptable to different situations: for example earth and rock magic was more suitable for trapping enemies or striking them from a distance, while fire magic was more suitable for doing damage to multiple enemies at the same time, or for inflicting heavier damage.

The demo lacked a gigantic variety of enemies, which in the end were just cannon fodder divided into hordes, and to talk better about this component we will necessarily have to wait for the complete product. Only the boss it stood out slightly, giving us a way to deal with a slightly tastier battle, but once again without really putting us in trouble (if hit repeatedly it was also possible to stun him, which often happened in the fight).

Le missions placed in the open world were actually trivial things, mainly aimed at tossing us here and there to let us take a look at the settings, while we put the parkour: by holding down the appropriate key, we will run and climb over the minor obstacles, while to jump very high it will be necessary to use magic on specific rocks to push upwards and climb vertical rock faces or whatever (which, at least here, it was not possible to do without). So here we are to free a bridge from bandits, to discover a type of secondary mission that can be activated where you can defeat hordes of enemies, or reach an awkward point to activate a statue and get a permanent bonus.

In short, types of minor homework that will probably only surround the main story, which we hope will be intriguing enough, providing a worthy narrative and that will be able to partially justify the game, given that looking at the gameplay alone, it turns out unsatisfying and barely entertaining (not boring, mind you). Square Enix e Luminous they announced that the title will be enriched before the release, scheduled for January 24 2023. Will he succeed in just over a month? We'll see.

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