Forspoken Review – Best of Worst, Worst of Best

Forspoken Review – Best of Worst, Worst of Best

Forspoken Review - Best of Worst, Worst of Best

The example of the Forspoken promotion shows how clumsy some of Square Enix’s actions are. On the one hand, in December we got a demo (which is very rare for AAA games), so everyone could get acquainted with a tiny part of the game. Today I can even write that it is representative on average. Later, however, the publisher strongly restricts pre-release media access to its production. Such moves almost always mean someone is trying to hide something, usually low quality play. After all, is Square Enix ashamed of Forspoken or not? After finishing the game, all I can say is that I’m not surprised by their indecisiveness.

We start our adventure in Forspoken in New York. Frey, the main character, is just crossing the pedestrian crossing. I write this for a reason, because in the next scene the protagonist is already in front of the local court and is responsible for some misdemeanors (no, she didn’t run a red light). This may already suggest that the narrative does not have to be Forspoken’s strongest point. At this point, we learn some basic facts about Frey. A young, lonely girl, without a family, living with a cat in some hovel. No wonder she got involved in shady company from which she has to run away. Lost, she accidentally discovers something strange. Some trinket outside the window of one of the buildings, probably very valuable. Then strange things start to happen. The item is magical and opens a portal to another dimension. Plus, he can talk. It is a kind of a wristband, called a cuff by Frey (in the original Cuff, the game is not translated into Polish). At this point, she is the only person/thing that can help the heroine get back home.

This is how Frey ends up in the world of Athia. It is a typical fantasy land, with huge castles, but also large empty spaces filled with various monsters. This world is also plagued by a kind of plague that turns people into monsters. However, Frey has his cuff. He not only provides advice, but also gives the heroine magical powers. At the beginning, it’s mainly throwing stones at opponents (quite effective, I went through the whole game like this myself), but over time we will also gain new options. With such abilities, Frey can not only successfully fight to return home, but also help the local population. The question is will he take that responsibility.

The story is roughly standard and contains many patterns typical of fairy tales and legends. So there is a theme of a sage, the heroine’s transformation or some kind of local goddesses who, instead of helping people, bring misfortune on them. The whole thing, in turn, was written in a style strongly reminiscent of Marvel superhero movies, and not the best ones, but the average ones. The dialogues between Frey and the cuff sound as if the writers wanted to cram some situational joke or teasing everywhere. It makes a pretty bland mush. Surprisingly, however, the game can make a huge impression at some point. It’s about the very end of the game, when we learn the truth, a kind of equivalent of answering the question of who killed in detective stories. The plot twist sheds new light on earlier events and gives them more meaning. I like such plays and I appreciate Forspoken for that. It is a pity, however, that literally at the same moment the creators destroyed all the emotions and the spectacular scene in concert. It’s as if someone said at the climax that they were taking a break and would now tell the intricacies of the world for half an hour, and in an unattractive way. So Forspoken can be great at times, but for some reason the developers always do something that ruins the effect.

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