Forspoken wallpaper
July 15, 2023

Discover a game not to be forsaken in our Forspoken review.

After the critical success of Final Fantasy XV, Square Enix decided to create another branch of their long-reaching gaming team and thus Luminous Productions was formed. Consisting mainly of the developers from FF15, their first (and only) role was Project Athia otherwise known as Forspoken!

Forspoken review Frey standing

Frey must have read those Forspoken reviews…

It may sound silly, but the title of this game means, “To attract and fascinate, enchant” which is the developers’ intention with magical abilities, intense parkour, and an expansive world. Although this was released in January to mixed reception, the follow-up expansion came out a few weeks ago which gave us an opportunity to delve back into the land of Athia.

Does Forspoken live up to its namesake? Find out in our Forspoken review!

Forspoken Review – Story

We start our journey in none other than the Big Apple itself, New York, with an orphan by the name of Frey. Constantly in trouble with the law and local gangs, Frey spends her nights in an abandoned apartment with her cat, Homer. All she wants is a new life and to get away from her past in the big city. Her wish comes true in the form of a bracelet she finds, which transports her to another world.

Forspoken review opening area with Frey

Hopefully not all smoke and mirrors.

Finding herself in an unknown land, Frey must find a way home whilst coming to terms with her newfound powers. These are given to her by the bracelet or ‘Cuff‘ she wears which has a notably British accent and a fair bit of attitude. For the bulk of the game, the conversations are mostly between Cuff and Frey, either arguing, squabbling, or calling each other names.

Forspoken review environment visuals

A gorgeous view.

The world of Athia is currently undergoing a mysterious disaster known as The Blight. This turns all animals and humans into strange, twisted creatures. Frey discovers the last standing city of Cipal with its people in disarray. Their leaders, “Tantas“, who also have magical abilities, have gone mad and no longer protect the people like they once did. Frey must choose whether to help these strange people or find her way back to a world where she feels like she no longer belongs.

Forspoken review Athia The Blight

Big, dark and bland.

Forspoken has a lot of lore and history that slowly unravels as you complete the story. By the end, there are twists, turns and even a few emotional scenes. Once it gets going, the story is by far one of the highlights and well worth rolling credits on.

Forspoken Review – Gameplay

The big drawcard for Forspoken lies in its thrilling and astounding gameplay. As with most games, you start with the basics and unlock more powerful abilities through story-related missions. The sheer number of magic spells you can use by the end of the game is over 100, which are all upgradeable. These are broken down into four spell sets, each unlocked after a certain boss battle and each with its own base element.

Forspoken review Frey shooting spell

Pew pew pew!

Fire, Water, Earth and Light are the different types of magic you can perform, each with attack, support and heavy attack spells. These also have different variations of how they are used, from a fire sword to water arrows. Once you become well-versed in all of this, you can chain attacks and find exciting combos between spells with a ridiculous amount of back-breaking combos. Most of these spells require you to unlock them by using mana points which are found strewn across the wild or received from completing quests.

Forspoken review Frey with fire sword

Who doesn’t enjoy a good fire sword?

Along with spells used in combat, you also obtain different traversal spells throughout the game. Your first one will be used the most, as it is essentially just running really fast. Holding down the sprint button automatically engages this ability and sees Frey bounding over rocks, chasms and even enemies.

Forspoken review Frey sprinting

Falling with style.

Further progress into the game nets you with a hook shot type skill, running on water and gliding. These additions to your parkour arsenal are essential to access areas for side activities and even main missions. Although this might sound daunting, the game dishes out skills slowly so you can acclimatise to each new ability. There was not one moment in the game where boredom set it or the combat felt stale.

Accessorise with the latest fashion in Athia! No longer do you need to don boring leather greaves or helmets making you look like a generic soldier. In Forspoken, your gear is supplied in the form of capes, necklaces and nail polish. Many are locked behind chests so exploring the world in search of these can come in pretty handy.

Accessorise, Accessorise, Accessorise

Each has different stats but the capes and necklaces can be changed to any previously unlocked stat boost. Want buckets of health? Done. Need some more magic power? Also done. These do come at a cost of some resources that you find on your travels but if you pick them up as you go, you won’t need to scour the map for them.

Forspoken Review – Visuals

Every new release game these days is expected to go above and beyond its predecessors in the graphical department. Now whilst this is true to an extent, a lot of underperforming games become overlooked for not being at a level that the community expects. Forspoken was one such game. Developed on the Luminous Engine used for Final Fantasy 15, which at the time was cutting edge, but now it has fallen behind other newer systems.

Forspoken magic visuals

Surf’s up!

In no way is this bad or even unplayable, the graphics in play here are perfectly fine aside from some lighting issues. Frey’s magic and animations are incredible along with some downright creepy monster designs, although they aren’t terribly varied. Originally, the frame rate was an issue on release but has since been addressed in patches along with other general improvements all around.

Forspoken review environment graphics

I see rocks of red, brown mountains too…

With a solid 60fps in the performance mode (and doubled on PC), whizzing through the landscapes feels so smooth. Although not always the nicest scenery, there are a few notable parts of the world that look quite spectacular. It may not blow your mind but to miss this game for slightly less-than-perfect graphics is a crime in itself.

Forspoken Review – Audio

Upon booting up Forspoken you are immediately met with a catchy pop tune that seems appropriate for this mixed game of magic and current day Earth. The vibe doesn’t flow that great, however, between cut scenes and combat the music stays repetitive. Some more grandeur points of the story have fantastic sounds but aside from a few key moments, it’s a bit lacking.

Forspoken review Frey clothing

Frey’s animations and outfit are well done.

Another harsh criticism that came from players was the dialogue between the characters, mainly the banter between Frey and Cuff. This is down to personal preference as some people quite enjoyed it. It’s no award-winning speech but it doesn’t deserve the negative responses it received. Unless you really don’t like campy and slightly cringe discourse, then there is no need to worry about this part of the game.

Forspoken review bard

I honestly don’t know what this guy is on about…

Forspoken Review – What Else?

The length of the narrative takes approximately 15 hours, whereas completing all the activities and side quests can take up to an additional 40 hours! That’s a whole lot of content and it is quite repetitive. Explore caves, ruins, discover monuments for power boosts and even come across certain locations for a kodak moment!

Forspoken review map with chests

All those purple dots are chests…

Most of what Frey finds is surrounded by monsters, has to challenge monsters or must defeat X amount of monsters in X amount of time. Even though there isn’t a whole lot of innovative gameplay, the battles are good to upgrade your spells. Each spell upgrade requires you to perform a specific task with a certain ability. Although it’s very limited as only three of these can be done at any one time.

Forspoken review side quests

1 down, 49 more to go.

One of the more unusual collectables are the Tanta Familiars, small cat-like animals Frey must befriend. Found in the wild, these little critters need some coaxing to become accustomed to your presence. Essentially, slowly approach them and give ’em a good old chin scratch. Whilst there is a ridiculous amount to do, the side quests are strangely lacking with only a handful popping up as you progress through the game.

Forspoken review Tanta familiar

Aww look at that face!

Thankfully 100% completion is not required for the Platinum but a fair chunk like spells, monuments and photos is mandatory. The repetitiveness of these pursuits can feel quite relaxing as you glide across the weathered land completing objectives.

Forspoken DLC Review – In Tanta We Trust

Forspoken In Tanta We Trust Review DLC main menu

WARNING: some spoilers for the main story.

In Tanta We Trust grabs all of what you know from Forspoken and condenses it into a straightforward but exciting add-on. The story takes place after the main game as Frey hears a mysterious voice. As she investigates, she is pulled back through time in another woman’s body. Unfortunately, she finds herself in the middle of the Rheddig invasion of Athia and with the help of Tanta Cinta must try to flee the city as soldiers hunt them down.

Forspoken In Tanta We Trust Review DLC Athia burning

This isn’t Kansas anymore.

Nothing is carried over from the previous playthrough, so you start with basics again but in limited form. There is only one new spell set you can use and one piece of gear that you equip to your new pal Cinta. Finishing the half a dozen or so side objectives fully upgrades your powers and allows you to take on the final boss with relative ease.

Forspoken In Tanta We Trust review DLC boss fight

Possible boss fight ahead?

Whilst this DLC doesn’t bring anything new to the scene, the narrow focus of the map and story, is quite refreshing, compared to the overwhelming world map. In Tanta We Trust basically fills some lore holes from the original story but also leaves a few unanswered questions. One final scene also seems to tease further expansions…

Forspoken In Tanta We Trust review DLC magic

Gimme all that magic.


Currently, with the posting of this review, Forspoken has been out for 6 months and is at least half-price. With numerous patches and DLC content, now is possibly the best time to leap head-first into the magical world of Athia. If you can get past the less-than-perfect visuals and dialogue, you will love the intricate story with tons of lore that go effortlessly with all the fun fantastical parkour.

So, why should you play Forspoken?

  • Captivating Story
  • Endless parkour and magical fun
  • You can befriend and pet cats

But why shouldn’t you play Forspoken?

  • Numerous yet repetitive activities
  • Dialogue can be campy at times
  • Some graphical elements aren’t up to scratch

A review code for the base game on PlayStation 5 was kindly provided by the publisher for the purpose of our Forspoken review. If you enjoyed this review, be sure to check out more of our PlayStation reviews and join the Qualbert Discord to chat with the writer about the game!

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