The demo game begins with, is that they toss you into the game at level 17 with a pretty simple rundown of basic combat and maneuvering. Now, I don’t know the max level, but level 17 feels like a pretty decently high level regarding how many skills you already have unlocked.
I see how this could put people off with combat immediately because it does take a bit of tinkering reading and time with the controls and spells to really give you the true feeling of what this combat is and how it functions.
Gameplay & Skills
They start you with twelve spells in total. That’s six for each magic type you control. That’s a lot to remember while fighting right out of the gate. This is a prime example of why progression is so important when it comes to skills and RPGs.
Unlocking one skill at a time forces you to learn, remember it, and gives you the opportunity to think about how to utilize it with other skills.
Forspoken Review: So at first, the combat felt very clunky and unfamiliar, but after a little time and patience, I started to get used to rotating spells and utilizing their effects together. And then the flow came and in my opinion, I think this combat system is super cool and more importantly, engaging.
You can get really creative with all the usable skills and spells you unlock, and I was starting to do some pretty fun combinations.
Now, the only issue I do have with combat is the aiming, and aiming in general, and I played on the PS5 so this wouldn’t be an issue on the PC Keep in mind, however, one of your magic types is essentially all ranged, so you’re going to be aiming a lot you can lock on, but you can also have a lot of enemies on you at once.
So single target lock-on feels pretty worthless in certain scenarios. Plus, the lock-on seems to fall off enemies pretty easily, making it pretty annoying having to retarget the same enemy. I’m not sure if this is a bug or a sensitive distance rule that automatically un-targets once you reach a certain distance, but this could easily be resolved by adding some more in-depth sensitivity settings for aiming.
Now, the other issue with aiming is that it also can be necessary for certain traversal movements. In particular, the dash grapple ability is used to attach to certain points around the world to boost you up or forward but you have to aim with the left stick to doing this one in certain situations.
And I’ve noticed one thing in particular that is making it useless in upward movement your aim is limited and doesn’t go all the way up.
This caused a massive headache when I was just simply trying to make my way up. Plus more importantly, you face flying enemies quite often and you can’t target them when they go above your head. And just like those enemies, so did this problem right over the devs.
Combination of Combat
Now let’s hit on the good things. So we talked about combat already a little bit, but circling back to that for a moment, I really did enjoy the combat quite a lot. Finding some fun combinations of spells to use, and the spell tree seems pretty deep as well.
Forspoken Review: From what I can tell, there are 21 active skills, two of which you cannot obtain during the demo. The rest I did and utilized most of them during any given battle. The neat thing about the skill tree is you can upgrade main offensive tacks to three different tiers, allowing them to get more powerful.
But then in addition to that, you have another way of leveling your skills by completing different objectives that you could apply at any time. The kicker is you can only select three skills to work on at any time. This could be things like tossing your fire speare long distances or getting killing blows with a specific skill.
I think this is a fun, interactive way to level up your abilities rather than the typical spend-your-point system.
Character & BackStory
Now, I have two other things about the game that I’m just not sure how they will pan out.
One is the main character. Personally, I find no connection with her and find the majority of the dialogue between her and her magic band consists of her complaining and just simply not having a good time. And needless to say, it got old pretty quickly.
And this could just be due to the fact that I didn’t get to experience her whole backstory of why she’s even here in the first place.
Forspoken Review: They only give you a brief summary of the backstory in the demo and you can pick up little details in the dialogue. For example, her mom was the owner of the band before so this could change based on evolving with the character from the start. At least I hope that’s the case.
The second thing is the world. While it’s large and expansive with mostly hills, mountains, and a few scattered trees, it is super stunning at first, but it quickly felt empty and repetitive.
I wish there were more environmental variety and can only hope that there will be more in the full game. But in the demo, the dull gray mountains were getting boring after a while. If these two things don’t change, let’s be honest, it might be over forspoken.
Now, before we hit on the good things, there’s something kind of more neutral that I just found interesting that I want to get your guy’s opinion on. The difficulty settings have some interesting options in there where it’s taking easy modes to the next level. I am not playing, I am practicing. I’m not talking about generic, easy, normal, and hard modes.
They have options, where you can adjust things from a stand in my recovery rate to extremes like how long enemies, stay knocked down, auto dodging, automatic spell switching, and even how much damage you receive.
I usually play on hard modes if the option is available on games, so maybe that’s why. It sounds a little goofy to me, but I just thought it was interesting to see how many simplifying options there are. It almost reminds me of something mobile games do, but I’ll let you guys discuss this one.
Now let’s talk about movement. Now I have my issues with the aiming and the dash ability, but putting that aside, the magical parkour is freaking sweet and I could run all day in this mode, easily fly for obstacles, and once you get the hang of it, if you’re using the dash grapple without aiming, it does get really smooth.
So I suppose if you got really good without holding down to aim at an attached point, my original problem becomes null and void. There’s also a basic crafting system and gear upgrades. You have three pieces of gear you can manage your armor, slash, cloak, necklace, and nails.
Forspoken Review: I’m just surprised they chose nails overutilizing the magical band as a gear piece instead. You would think that would be more important to highlight and have way more potential for unique-looking bands to collect.
Anyway, you can get pretty customized to the three pieces within them. You can level up your defense health and red and purple magic power. In addition to that, you can set three unique traits on each piece.
This is pretty sweet because I can see a lot of class-building potential for the future of the game, so I guess we’ll see how that pans out. Now, the crafting is pretty basic. You can make your healing item and you can upgrade your resource storage capacity as well as your healing item capacity.
The resources for both crafting and upgrading your gear can be found as either natural resources that you gather there that they plants and items that you find within chess scattered around the map. Now, I’m not sure if this is just a demo thing or for everything, but all chess seems to be pinned on the map already, so finding the resources to upgrade your items really won’t be a challenge. More of a time grind.
At the end of it all, this is still a game. I would like to give it a shot just based on the hope for a good story. I know the combat’s good now. I just want something to fight for and feel that progression.
There are a couple of games coming out in February that I’m unfortunately more interested in playing at the moment. I’m not sure if you could guess which ones. So, for me, Forspoken is going to be one of those games I’ll play when I see it on sale.
The $70 price tag just doesn’t seem worth it right now. Let me know if you guys plan on getting forspoken or if you played the demo and have different feelings than I did.