After playing through Forspoken for dozens of hours, it became more and more clear that this is a tale of two games. We have been swamped with open world role playing experiences in the past few years. To be truly remarkable requires you to be truly unique.

In a genre that is likely over saturated at this point, does Forspoken stand out? Or is this an RPG experience to ignore? Let’s take a look.

Forspoken Details

Platform(s): PlayStation 5 and PC
Reviewed On: PlayStation 5
Developer(s): Luminous Productions
Publisher(s): Square Enix
Genre: Action RPG
Mode(s): Single-player
ESRB Rating: M (Mature 17+)

A forgettable story with forgettable characters

Forspoken definitely isn’t breaking any ground in the story department. You play as an orphaned kid who realizes they have magical powers. You are taken away and taught to harness your power, ultimately leading to your world saving task. Heard this before? Good, then you probably can predict the outcome as well. It’s unfortunate that Forspoken used a very generic back story to build its game upon.

You play as Frey Holland, a New York City orphan who gets sucked into the magical world of Athia. In Athia, we learn that the 4 realms are all inflicted with corruption that is essentially tearing the world apart. All the residents have fled to the city of Cipal, and it seems that only Frey can stand up to the 4 powerful beings controlling each realm. Each realm is controlled by a powerful Tantas that must be overcome and destroyed. Only by defeating all four can Athia be restored, and the citizens saved.

The ally to Frey is a talking armband named Cuff. While you might hope that Frey and Cuff bond and become friends during this adventure, how friendly can a person and their armband become? For the sake of the character arcs and storyline, that is part of the problem. There is nothing inherently likeable about either character, nor does the story have any real impact. There are moments of exhilaration, for sure, but nothing that makes you think you aren’t playing something you might have seen before. It’s predictable, and in that sense, it’s just not as good as you want it to be.


More playtime, less story

What I did enjoy about Forspoken is that the game tells the story in large dumps of information, but allows players a ton of freedom to explore in between those story moments. Far too often, I find some open world games do too much storytelling. There isn’t enough time to adequately explore your surroundings before the game attempts to nudge you in other ways. Forspoken does the exact opposite of that – there were times where I wish something would happen, but it didn’t. That being said, it was more refreshing than frustrating.

What doesn’t work so well is how open and empty Forspoken feels. A lot more could have been done with this world, but it just wasn’t. On one hand, it does help keep things moving along as there isn’t a ton to do outside the story, but on the other, it would be nice to see more things to do. This might sound like a contradiction, as I previously said games with too much drag out too long. Forspoken, I think, swings the pendulum too far the other way. There is a sweet spot, and unfortunately that was missed here.

Great combat and traversal gameplay

To this point, you might expect Forspoken to be a giant let down. However, there is a redeeming quality in the game, and it is a good one. Traveling around the world is fantastic, using Frey’s outstanding parkour abilities. Getting from A to B, which happens a lot, is a blast, and beating the crap out of enemies in between moving around the world is shockingly fun.

The system here is never going to blow you away with any sort of complexity. For some, this will be a really good thing, while others might want just a bit more from the game’s combat. Still, using any of Frey’s 4 magical abilities and weapons was great fun. Certain enemies are susceptible to specific elemental attacks, so combat was often unique, with strategies changing on the fly. 

There isn’t a ton of enemy variety in the game, but it works pretty well none-the-less. I liked each and every combat sequence. In other games, I might purposefully avoid combat when possible, but not here. Using the various abilities and plotting how I’d take down enemies was a big part of the fun, and a shining moment in Forspoken.

Forspoken is a mixed bag and ultimately misses the mark in a number of ways

Ultimately, your mileage in Forspoken will depend on what you value most. If you are looking for a story and characters that will wow you and leave a lasting impression, you’ve got the wrong game. But the world here is still unique and new, and there is some fun to be had exploring it. Going from A to B is great fun, and the combat is easily the most impressive part of the package. I think Forspoken misses the mark in many ways, but I would be interested to see what the development team might do should a sequel be in the works.

With a little tweaking here and there, Forspoken could be a really solid action RPG. As it stands now, it’s going to be something you really want to experience for the combat alone. If combat and strategy are things you love, Forspoken is for you!


Gameplay: 3/5
Graphics: 3.5/5
Sound: 3/5
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 3/5

Overall Rating 3.2/5 (64%)

Purchase Forspoken on PlayStation 5

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Jon Scarr
Jon is the Gaming Editor and is based in Toronto. He is a proud Canadian who has a serious passion for gaming. He is a veteran of the video game and tech industry with over 20 years experience. You can often find Jon streaming the latest games on his YouTube channel. Jon loves to talk about gaming and tech, come say hi and join the conversation with Jon on Threads @4ScarrsGaming and @4Scarrsgaming on Instagram.


  1. Great to read this review of Forspoken! It seems like the game offers a beautiful world to explore, with interesting characters and an immersive story that will surely captivate players. I can’t wait to try it out for myself and see if it really lives up to the hype!

  2. I have read mixed things about this game. Your review continues that trend. Maybe I will pick it up on sale one day. Thanks for the review.

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