forgotten When we first saw the game (formerly known as Project Athia) back in June 2020, players were immediately divided. Some thought it looked great; just like we saw a playable version of the Agni’s Philosophy tech demo from developer Luminous Productions a few years ago. Others thought it looked like cynicism on a notoriously problematic engine.
The game sparked further controversy when Square Enix announced in March that the game had been delayed considerably. The publisher confirmed earlier this year that the game will launch in October 2022, much later than its original May release date.
“Our vision for this exciting new IP is to deliver a game world and heroes that gamers around the world will want to experience for years to come, so getting it right was important to us,” the publisher said at the time.
But will the extra time in the oven save the game? Maybe.
Let’s take a look at what we know about Forspoken so far: it was written in part by Gary Whitta — you might know him as the scribe behind Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and it was he who conceived the original concept. Game writing expert and consultant Amy Hennig also lent her skills to games in 2019. So there’s some strong flair in terms of narrative.
Then there’s the music; BAFTA award-winning composers Bear McCreary (God of War 2018), The Walking Dead) and Garry Schyman (Bioshock) wrote the soundtrack. So you know it sounds like fun at least.
Gameplay also looks like what Final Fantasy 15 wants to be — magic-centric, maneuverable, and hot-swap spells on the fly as you blow up enemies in real time. Maybe the poor engineers at Square Enix finally managed to get the Luminous Engine to work the way they wanted a decade ago, right now. Perhaps this makes for an interesting game rather than the sum of its (admittedly impressive) parts.
Still, it’s hard to get excited. The game tells the story of Frey, a young New Yorker looking for his way home. But the game feels more like finding its own soul. Is this more than just a tech demo? Can it exist outside the (very troublesome) shadow of Final Fantasy 15? I’m a big fan of the dynamic and acrobatic moves – which Frey’s mystical powers can enhance – but I’m worried that Athia might look good, lacking real depth or identity bracelets aside from some flashy particle effects and weird talk .
Forspoken will launch on October 11, 2022 – no doubt it will compete with some other big games during busy times of the year. Will it have a chance? We’ll have to wait and see.