Forspoken is a fresh RPG title from Square Enix that incorporates fantastical action-adventure elements. Here’s everything you need to know about this upcoming open-world game including its release date as well as trailers.
Revealed as Project Athia before the PlayStation 5 had even launched, Forspoken offers gorgeous-looking visuals and gameplay, but we still don’t know too much about the final product.
Developed by Luminous Productions, a branch of Square Enix, the game involves a woman named Frey being transported from New York to a vast parallel world. Here, she develops superpowers and is pulled into a conflict between the world’s residents and powerful beings known as ‘Tantas’.
Forspoken looks to be an open-world action game with RPG elements, along with a unique, fluid traversal system. Here’s everything we know so far.
- Does Forspoken have a release date?
- What platforms will Forspoken be on?
- Forspoken trailers and plot
- Forspoken gameplay details
- Graphics options & DualSense features
Forspoken release date
Yes, Forspoken is now scheduled for release on January 24, 2023.
Luminous Productions made the announcement of the new release date on social media, explaining that “all game elements are now complete” but that development was entering its final polishing phases.
This isn’t the first time Forspoken has been delayed; it was originally scheduled for release on May 24, 2022, before being pushed back to October 11, 2022. Now, it won’t release until the start of 2023, but fans excited for the project will take solace in that extra refinement is the reason.
What platforms will Forspoken be on?
As for platforms, the game will be released on PC and is a timed console exclusive for PS5.
This exclusivity is expected to last at least two years, so Xbox users could be in for a long wait – if it gets released on the console at all – along with the Nintendo Switch.
Forspoken trailers and plot
The first Forspoken trailer showed a mix of gameplay and cinematic storytelling. Frey Holland (Ella Balinska), is seen talking to her cat about how much she hates the city after taking a beatdown from a group of thugs in a flashback. She is then transported to another world from a rooftop via a portal.
When she arrives there, she is informed by a disembodied voice, coming from her new snazzy bracelet, that she is in a different version of Earth. Frey is also told that she now has new magical abilities which can be used in combat and to traverse the game’s massive world at high speeds.
Frey discovers she has been summoned to this fantasy world as “their last hope” to battle a powerful sorceress called Tanta Sila, who she can be seen fighting at the end of the trailer. The word ‘Tanta’ is implied to mean sorceress or some other malevolent magic user that the world’s residents live in fear of.
Who are the Tantas in Forspoken?
Forspoken’s early trailers went out of their way to position the ‘Tantas’ as the game’s main antagonists. Threats that Frey will need to defeat, likely in a series of boss fights, leading up to Tanta Sila “the strongest and most formidable of all the Tantas.” However, what are the Tantas, and why does Frey need to battle them?
An entry of the PlayStation Blog went into more detail about the Tantas and why they are considered villains. The Tantas are said to be a council of benevolent sorcerers who used to rule over the land of Athia, where Forspoken is set. Each Tanta had different responsibilities and worked in conjunction with the others to keep society running smoothly, they all appear to be female too.
However, something suddenly corrupted the Tantas, causing the wise and beloved rulers to become vicious tyrants, they’ve also seemingly stopped cooperating with each other and the population of Athia. The second Forspoken trailer introduced Tanta Prav, who seems much more unhinged than Sila. This encounter also appears to lead to a boss fight between Fray and Prav.
Fray is considered a threat to the Tantas for some unknown reason, although it may be because she has the means to defeat them and is seen as a potential savior by the population of Athia. We suspect however that the Tanta’s are simply the face of a larger unseen enemy, that was most likely responsible for their corruption.
Tanta Sila is considered the “Tanta of Strength” and once commanded Athia’s army before an event known as the ‘Break’, which we suspect is what caused Sila to become a militaristic despot. Prav was the “Tanta of Justice” and served as a judge-like figure before the Break. However now Prav has become “A callous executioner with a warped sense of justice.”
We’ll bring you more information about the Tantas and Forspoken’s other characters when it arrives. We’re especially keen to know how their character descriptions will inform the gameplay and boss encounters.
Forspoken gameplay details
The first trailer showed some very impressive moments. Frey can be seen using her powers to blitz across a range of terrains, from towns, fields, to mountainous areas. She’s also shown in combat against a range of enemies, from goblin-like creatures, humanoid knights, dragons, and boss fights against Tantas. This initial gameplay look can be seen here.
Her fighting abilities appear to have something to do with her bracelet. This allows her to spawn weapons out of pure energy and cast a selection of spells to damage enemies at range or at close quarters. She can even use the bracelet to create a glider for quick traversal through the open world.
As a deep RPG, Forspoken includes a range of crafting systems, trading options, levels to grind, and skills to unlock. Promoting exploration, the vast open land houses a number of side missions, hidden chests, XP bonuses, and the like.
A brand new blog post from PlayStation posted on October 27, 2022 includes a deep dive into the kind of parkour mechanics players can expect from the game when it releases early next year. The full video can be viewed here:
On top of standard traversal parkour, the game will intertwine magic to add a little extra to things like running, climbing. These include the following abilities:
- Flow: The foundation of the parkour system and the main ingredient for most other abilities
- Soar: Allows players to jump higher in the air and reach heights that a normal leap couldn’t
- Zip: Uses a magic like grapple shot to leap out of the way and dodge incoming attacks
- Scale: An even bigger jump that lets you chain soar for greater heights
- Shimmy: A quick burst of speed that shoots you forward when on foot and on ground
- Rush: A magical charged sprint that makes traversing through the world faster
- Float: A way to soften your fall when jumping down from a great height
- Glide: An ability that lets you skim across water above the surface like a surfboard
Forspoken will take advantage of ray tracing to create enhanced lighting effects while the game world loads procedurally generated large-scale locations.
State of Play Trailer – March 9, 2022
A new trailer shown off at Sony’s State of Play event in March 2022 did somewhat make up for the game’s recent delays by showing off some hot new footage.
Forspoken graphics options & DualSense features
At a 2021 Game Awards press event, Creative Producer Raio Mitsuno confirmed that Forspoken will have three graphics modes on PS5 for players to choose from (thanks, Ungeek):
- Performance Mode – 1440p resolution at 60FPS
- Graphics Mode – 4K resolution at 30FPS
- Ray Tracing Mode – Features ray tracing
Explaining the modes, Mitsuno said, “Right now, for the PS5, we’re planning on adding the three main modes that you see in a lot of games nowadays. So, you have the Performance Mode, which will be rendered at 2K at 60 frames per second, and then we have Graphics Mode which is 4K and 30 frames per second. And then, we also have a mode that will use ray tracing. So, we’ll have the set of modes that you’ve seen in the modern PS5 games today.”
Mitsuno didn’t mention how many frames or what the resolution of the Ray Tracing mode would be, but looking at the other two modes, it’s likely to be 30FPS and 2K. Although, this is unconfirmed by Square-Enix so far.
Some players may be disappointed that the game doesn’t offer 4K and 60FPS – like many PS5 games do, but at least players will have the option to choose whichever mode suits their needs best.
The developers also went on to discuss how Forspoken will make use of the PS5’s DualSense controllers saying, “We really have included a lot of unique PlayStation 5 hardware features when we were developing this game.
“For example, using the adaptive triggers, we added tactile feedback when you’re using the different types of magic. We’ve got lots of different magic spells you can use in the game, and the planners and designers sat down and worked out how to differentiate the feedback you get from the controller for each of the magic spells.”
We’ll be sure to keep you updated as more information appears regarding Forspoken.