We will review Square Enix’s new IP “FORSPOKEN” by “Luminous Productions“, which was also in charge of the development of FINAL FANTASY XV (FF15).
This Game has been controversial in reviews by various media, but I would like to review what kind of problems there are.
This is a review of the PC version.
The story is that the main character “Frey”, who lives in New York, is suddenly flown to a world called “Athia”, where he begins his journey with the “Cuff” of the bangle worn on her arm.
“Athia” is a world ruled by four wizards called “Tanta”, and it is an open-world action game that follows how “Frey” adventures in this world while the world is about to be destroyed by their runaway.
The graphics are quite high-level, but…
As long as you play at the highest settings of the PC version, the graphics themselves are quite high-level and the textures are very detailed. Of course, if you ask me if it will surpass other games with high graphical ratings, I don’t think so, but I think it is definitely very high-level.
The fact that the PC version has quite high required specifications has also been talked about, but considering these required specs, I think it is highly likely that the PS5 has sacrificed a lot in terms of graphics.
I feel that the problem with this work is its expressiveness.
I don’t feel uncomfortable with the main story or cutscenes related to the main character Frey, but especially when talking to NPCs in playables, there are awkward motions such as only the upper body moving but the lower body not moving, and there is little change in facial expressions, such as not feeling emotions from the face and just looking straight ahead. It feels like a game from a few years ago, so the difference from the photorealistic graphics may make it feel even more uncomfortable. Also, I think that you have already experienced games with excellent expression in that area, such as AAA titles developed by overseas developers.
Story and Player Experience
First of all, regarding the side quest named “SIDE PATH” in this game, it has almost no storyline and is evaluated as very boring. FF15 should have been evaluated in the same way, but I think the fact that we can’t improve it is a problem for the development studio.
(To be precise, there are side quests from characters that are involved in the main story, but they are simple and very few.) ）
I don’t think the main story or the worldview itself is that bad. However, the player experience, which can be said to be unique to the game, is ignored, and at the end of the game, the player is informed at once about what happened in the past and why Frey came to this world, and then the final boss battle is entered. I feel that we should gradually let players experience past events that stimulate their inquisitiveness. I think that player’s desire to know more will lead to a good player experience.
Open world that is not being fully utilized
The open world of this game is quite large.
Even if you complete the main story and SIDE PATH, you won’t even visit half of the entire area.
Although there are plenty of locations, there are no side quests that include any story in the end, so they are just arranged in accordance with the activity template, which is clearly a negative rating for an open world game in 2023.
Specifications that feel slow paced
There are a lot of treasure chests in the open world, but after opening them, you’ll need to press a button to pick up more items. In short, you need to “open the box” and “get the item” operation twice to get the items in the treasure chest. In vain. You should only need to do it once. (For item retrieval, there is an option for automatic acquisition)
There are also treasure chests and doors in the open world that can be opened by unlocking puzzles, but after completing the puzzle, you will be required to press R3 + L3 at the same time to unlock them. This is also not necessary.
After the NPC conversation is over, there is often a conversation between “Frey” and “Cuff”, it is a very stressful behavior in a sticky position without accepting any control during that time. Also, for some reason, NPC conversations are often paused, and the slow-paced scenes stand out.
There is no operation to display the MAP directly, and loading may occur even in the MAP.
Fun and flashy magical action and magic parkour
The magic action is quite beautiful and flashy and very fun, and the avoidance by parkour is easy to operate, so it is a comfortable and fun part that is unique and highly evaluated.
Traveling in the open world by magic parkour is also a unique experience and can be appreciated.
Clear works of parts that can be evaluated and parts that are not
Although the action aspect can be highly evaluated, there are many parts of the game that cannot but be evaluated as a player experience, such as the story. It’s a shame that FF15 was followed by a series of games with low ratings in terms of story and activity. Why can’t it be improved? Maybe the development side doesn’t think it’s a problem.
Also, in the open-world game genre of 2023, which can be said to have already reached maturity, I feel that the content and game experience of this game has been delayed by many years.