Forspoken is Square Enix’s latest action-adventure title developed by Luminous Productions. A brand new original IP directed by Takeshi Aramaki who is known for his work on Final Fantasy XIII (2009) and Final Fantasy XV (2016). It follows the journey of Fre, an average New York citizen who magically portals into a new world only to find herself empowered with new magical abilities. Explore a massive open-world environment in an action-adventure RPG fashion at a triple A price tag of $69.99.
Forspoken is built in Luminous Engine and features visually stunning next-generation graphics. It is a very graphically demanding game with a massive open world and tons of particle effects. “No Cap” these graphics are completely off the hook like no other but damn they sure did put the 4090 to work. I want to share some benchmark videos so gamers have an idea of what to expect from their PC. Here are the PC specifications of the system we used to test this title:
Processor: Intel i9 13900K 5.8 Ghz 24 cores
GPU: Zotac RTX 4090
RAM: G. Skill 32MB DDR5 5500Mhz
Monitor: Predator X38 3840 x 1600 @ 144 Hz (175 Hz w/overclock) IPS / W-LED, edge array, HDR10, DisplayHDR 400
I was absolutely in awe that the GPU 3D usage was so high! Personally, I would not trade a downgrade in graphics for higher FPS but if there is anything that can be done to optimize performance pull the trigger. Normally we don’t deep dive too heavily into tech specs in reviews but due to Forspoken’s extreme demand for GPU, we deemed it necessary. We tested in both 21:9 and 16:9 resolutions here are the results:
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
Average Framerate: 75
Lowest framerate: 50
Highest framerate: 80
Load time: 2.2 seconds
Average 3D GPU Usage: 78%
Resolution: 2650 x 1600
Average Framerate: 95
Lowest framerate: 67
Highest framerate: 115
Load time: 2.2 seconds
Average 3D GPU Usage: 71%
*We did not experience any issues that affected gameplay like severe FPS drops or stutter. It remained stable throughout the entire playthrough.
Enough with the technical stuff real talk, I just want to say graphically this playthrough was game-changing. I have never in my life experienced anything like this, it was mind-blowing. The map is so big you can’t even zoom out all the way! This did affect traffic though I felt like there could have been more NPCs on the map, I just ran into a lot of unused space but there was still plenty to do. Real talk though Luminous Productions did a stellar job of making the unused space look good though! A solid musical production by Bear McCreary and Garry Schyman kept the map alive.
One very bright spot going in Forspoken’s direction is the gameplay. You have elements from all types of genres and titles here like stealth modes, Dark Souls boss fights, Spiderman parkour, GTA V missions, and even MMORPG-style crafting. The Spiderman-esque parkour is actually mad fun and even though they made the map so big it’s plenty enough to get around. Professional wall hackers will overload with all the potential map points to exploit, they will never beat the game. By the time you reach the point of map familiarity where you don’t want to run anymore, fast travel will save the day.
We managed to beat the game in 18 hours played time on the hardest of 3 modes available. Settings we used included aim assist on, spell-switching slowdown none, damage received default, stamina recovery speed default, automatically use healing items off, enemy knockdown time default, automatic support spell-switching off, and auto evasion off. You could turn off the aim assist and tweak the damage received to make it a little bit harder but other than that this is as hard as it gets. Keep in mind we spent minimal time crafting, side questing, or leveling up magic abilities. You can add another 20 – 30 hours of gameplay by completing all the optional content.
Fre is essentially a wizard that relies on castings spells to defeat her enemies. There is no resource to power your magic, it is all cooldown based. If it’s up, you can cast it. As you progress through the story will gain more talent trees with different schools of magic. Explore the map to find items that will teach you new spells and level them up. You will need to manage your stamina for your evasion and parkour abilities. Using them correctly will prevent major damage and keep you out of certain death. A targeting system locks into your enemies so you can nuke them down but if your struggling feel free to turn on aim assist.
It gets mad real around chapter 10, and you will begin full-on “proging” (progression grinding) bosses. I do wish there was a little more variety with enemy NPC and mini-boss encounters, but every bit of it was top-tier fun. Boss encounters freaking slap! Every gamer should appreciate all aspects of production put into these fights. Phases G-LYFE Nation, phases upon phases will wear your mind out and cause you to make a mistake. You have to play almost perfectly to beat the final encounter. We did run into a few issues where Fre got a mind of her own due to the evade system. I also thought some of the NPCs, namely the golems had too much health and felt a bit magic spongy.
As a no-spoiler review, so I will only say this about the story. It definitely has its moments good and bad, keep in mind it’s a new IP and you’re not on a mega hype train about characters you already know. Some may find Fre hard to relate to, but I think that is the point when you’re dealing with someone who has been through as much as her. In a fantasy world like this, everything is farfetched, and anything can happen. One second you think you know what’s going on but then you don’t. I personally enjoyed the storyline it kept me engaged from beginning to end.
Is the game worth $69.99? Yes, you are looking at close to 50 hours to 100 percent this title. I would not be surprised if Forspoken was on the ballot for game of the year. Oh yeah and please Square Enix, let us go back and play the chapters we beat without having to save them individually. As of right now, the game has almost 0 replayability. Thanks.
Platforms: PlayStation 5, Microsoft Windows