Nowadays, video games are a dominant form of entertainment. And in this gaming world, a recently introduced game, Forspoken, has sparked a big controversy. So much so that a rift has been created in the gaming community over it!
It is an open-world ARPG game that has captivated the hearts of some players with its striking visuals, a lead character who breaks the mold of the typical protagonist, and a story that can lead to multiple endings.
However, on the other hand, this game has fallen short of delivering a true open-world gameplay experience. Essentially dominated by a barren and empty world, the game also features dull combat mechanics and predictable enemies that fail in delivering a tough time to players.
Developed by Luminous Productions, Forspoken is an open-world action role-playing video game. Being one of the rare few, the game features a black female protagonist named Frey. Notedly, this stands in stark contrast to a genre where the typical protagonist is white and male.
After going under delay twice, Forspoken was finally released on January 24, 2023. It was initially set for a May 2022 release but was delayed until October 2022. Yet another delay caused the final launch date to be set for January 2023.
While in development, the team focused on fully harnessing the capabilities of the PlayStation 5 console. As such, the game supports Ray-Tracing for greatly enhanced lighting effects and Procedural Generation for the creation of large-scale locations.
Forspoken features a magical world of Athia whose once-benevolent rulers have been corrupted by a devastating blight known as Break. This menacing disease has corrupted everything in its wake, mutating animals into beasts, transforming men into monsters, and changing the jaw-droppingly stunning landscape to a treacherously desolated empty world that speaks tons of the horrors done to it.
The game follows the story of Frey Holland, an orphaned and broken New Yorker, who is charged with multiple crimes. Soon after her latest trial from the court, Frey gets teleported to the mysterious magical world of Athia. To her horror and astonishment, she finds a speaking bracelet wrapped around her right wrist which she names Cuff.
Desperate to go back home and stuck in a world where tyranny rules supreme, Frey is forced to make decisions she did not want to. Possessed with magical powers, Frey soon finds herself traversing the beautiful world of Athia and doing her best to restore it to its former glory.
The game is available to play on PlayStation 5 and Windows.
The Real-Life Actress Behind Frey
In Forspoken, the in-game character Frey is no other than the real-life Ella Balinska. She is a black English actress with a mixed cocktail of British, Polish, and Caribbean backgrounds.
She received her first prominent recognition in 2019’s Charlie’s Angels, and then in the 2022’s Netflix Original Series: Resident Evil. Her role in Forspoken has further given wings to her popularity and fame.
Forspoken Mixed Reception
Upon launch, Forspoken received praise for featuring a black protagonist character and the use of magical powers. Particularly, a considerable appreciation was directed toward the game’s terrain traversal mechanics and movement fluidity.
Even though we already have had some other previous games where a black protagonist was featured, how does Frey’s role as a black protagonist become so famous? The reason is that Frey’s character is fully fleshed out and the character itself has been voiced by a black actress.
Secondly, Forspoken also received acclaim for featuring a rich set of spell attacks that can be further diversified into a range of weapons. For instance, players have access to fire, water, earth, and electricity powers. These, in turn, can be further modified into lances, arrows, swords, magical rock-spitting plants, a water prison, as well as a cool flechette-type attack that targets an enemy all over its body.
Moreover, where the world of Athia was also well-received for its visuals. Particular appreciation was given to its stunning mountains and enthralling meadows. Compounded with the game’s fluid terrain travel mechanics, Forspoken delivers a captivating roaming and exploring experience.
Furthermore, Forspoken also features a rich number of enemy types as well, all of which are prone to certain weaknesses. Finding the weak points and finishing off their enemies using the state-of-the-art gameplay parkour has also won the admiration of certain gamers.
Where the game garnered positive feedback, it also accumulated a heap of disappointed grunts and negative feedback from gamers. The main criticism was drawn toward the bland world of Athia, lackluster combat, and technically “baby” enemies.
Where the introduction of a fully developed black character has received much acknowledgment, a little criticism was directed to the development team consisting of white people.
Also, where the game boasts a rich set of spell attacks and its sub-variants, Forspoken also received criticism over how these attacks are unlocked. When players finally get access to the full range of Frey’s magical powers, the game’s main storyline is practically finished. So, players are left with pretty nothing to do with their newly found magical abilities.
In addition, where the game received praise for its visually aesthetic world of Athia, it accumulated criticism for making it virtually devoid of life. Though the exploration is interesting but with almost nothing to explore, Forspoken quickly becomes bland and uninteresting.
Lastly, the wide variety of enemies found in Forspoken is mostly next to useless. They lack intelligence and are easy to take down. Without giving players any difficult time, the game combat quickly becomes boring.
Recommended System Requirements
More than anything, Forspoken has garnered much criticism for its abysmally high recommended system requirements. Even its low-end minimum requirements are the recommended requirements of most video games released not more than two years ago!
- Operating System: Windows 11 64-bit
- Processor: Intel (R) Core TM i7-8700K (3.7GHz or better)
- RAM: 24 GB
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 (8 GB)
- Storage: 150 GB
As per the statistics of HowLongToBeat, the game’s main storyline takes about 15 hours to beat while the completionist run takes a little over 51 hours.
Have you played this game? If yes, then how was your experience? Share your thoughts with us and let us know in the comments below!