As January reaches the finish line, one of the biggest games of 2023 is ready to kick the year off with blockbuster style and attitude. Forspoken, Square Enix’s latest action-RPG is officially releasing on January 24, and a number of reviews for the ambitious title have gone live.
The good news is that Forspoken is a technical marvel with fun combat and spectacular visuals according to critics, but the game falls short in other areas. The lukewarm reception for Forspoken paints it as a solid game overall, a flashy showcase for magical parkour that disappoints when it comes to storytelling.
“It tells a largely forgettable story that sets up major stakes but fails to offer a compelling reason for why the player should care,” Jordan Ramée wrote in GameSpot’s Forspoken review. “Luminous Productions’ action-RPG feels great when it allows you to really stretch your legs and magically parkour across its fantasy landscape, but combat is clunky and regular exposition too often stalls the action.”
For more critical analysis, you can read on to see what other critics have to say about Forspoken. On GameSpot’s sister site Metacritic, Forspoken currently has a 68 score from 46 critics.
- Game: Forspoken
- Platforms: PC, PS5
- Developer: Luminous Productions
- Release Date: January 24
- Price: $70
GameSpot — 5/10
“Forspoken is a tricky game to recommend. The lore of its world is interesting but delivered in a stilted expository manner, and the freeing sensation of taking off across the landscape in a magically-propelled sprint is sullied by the knowledge that there’s nowhere to go or anything fun to do. Combat is visually impressive but not all that engaging, and the excellent sound design and the catchy musical score are regularly undermined by unfunny quips from an unlikable protagonist. I enjoyed parts of it, but too often my fun was dragged to an unrewarding halt.” — Jordan Ramée [Full review]
Game Informer — 75/100
“Forspoken’s story and combat fail to reach the heights of its movement and exploration, but thankfully those two latter elements make up most of the experience. I sprinted, often literally, through the campaign in about 15 hours, and now I have a large world filled with nooks and crannies I’m eager to run through and explore. The narrative won’t linger with me, and I avoided combat in the open world often, but I loved making Frey leap and fly through Athia to discover all its treasure chests and secrets.” — Kyle Hilliard [Full review]
Inverse — 7/10
“It’s abundantly clear that Forspoken’s story and setting are MacGyvered together by a committee of writers, but running around Athia is so much fun that it’s easy to overlook a lot of its shortcomings. The ambitious combat system and traversal are truly memorable and satisfying, I’m hopeful that a potential sequel or successor could elevate these ideas into something even more special.” — Hayes Madsen [Full review]
Variety — 70/100
“Despite its pacing flaws, “Forspoken” is a fun adventure, and the developers nailed the minute-to-minute gameplay with Frey’s parkour abilities and magic spells. The dialogue between her and Cuff is witty and memorable, and there’s incredible attention to detail in Athia’s world and history through the game’s many collectibles. There’s a lot of potential in both Frey’s character and Athia’s lore that could make for more exciting stories.” — George Yang [Full review]
IGN — 6/10
“Forspoken is the sort of game you’ve probably seen before – from its stereotypical fish-out-of-water fantasy story to its giant open-world map full of repetitive optional tasks. Its combat is flashy and fun enough to entertain across its comparatively short RPG campaign, with fights that do a good job of pushing you to shake up your use of elemental powers even when the overall variety of enemies isn’t particularly impressive. Its parkour system is also satisfying enough, despite the scenery you are running through being about as picturesque as a bowl of rocks with an Instagram filter slapped on.” — Tom Marks [Full review]
Attack of the Fanboy — 5/10
“Forspoken fails to impress in several ways. Almost every good aspect of the game has a negative flip side. The good stuff, the character design, setting, and music, are fantastic but not as crucial as good gameplay, pacing, and narrative. While the combat and story have their great moments, they also have a few unavoidable issues not to mention saving the best for last which is when it matters least. And the bad stuff, the pacing, constantly halts the player from having fun.” — Noah Nelson [Full review]
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