Forspoken, first known as Project Athia, is a game by Luminous Productions studio and published by Square Enix. This spring at Square Enix Presents, Forspoken was officially announced as the title and a first glimpse into the world was unveiled. The game is to be released for PlayStation 5 and PC in 2022.
This narrative-driven adventure focuses on a seemingly ordinary girl named Frey Holland, who is traversing through Athia for the first time. Upon entering, she must harness her magical abilities to defeat powerful creatures in the new and sprawling world around her.
On their blog, Square Enix states the philosophy of Luminous Productions is to “combine the latest technology with unbridled creativity”. This principle undoubtedly holds true for Forspoken as we see the creative minds and next-gen technology at work right away in the first cinematic scenes and gameplay sneak peeks.
Announcement Trailer and Gameplay Sneak Peeks
The game’s teasers begin with Frey hiding behind a broken-down pillar as a majestic dragon flies overhead. As it disappears beyond clouds, an anonymous booming voice tells her they have to get out of there. Frey entered from another world — as is apparent by her very human sneakers — and is absolutely bewildered by her new setting.
However, the trailer goes on to show Frey adapting just fine. She zooms through the scenes at unnaturally high speeds — it looks like such a satisfying way to move around — and uses her newfound abilities to ward off and defeat foes. As she explores further, a fantastic world with mythical but dangerous creatures, a large-scale desert, and lush forest landscapes unravel around her. It even looks like there’s a mysterious humanoid figure in one of the scenes.
How Forspoken Comes to Life as a Next-Gen Experience
The world of Athia certainly looks like the ultimate combination of creativity and advanced technology. The world Frey roams in comes alive with highly realistic graphics, making the experience truly special. To bring Frey herself to life, Ella Balinska of Charlie’s Angels was cast as her actress. Currently, she is working with the development team on the protagonist’s motion capture and voice acting.
Balinska spoke more on Frey in the Square Enix press release, describing her feelings about the character. “Frey as a character is real, she’s raw, she’s a girl who lost her way — both figuratively and literally — and is a character I immediately connected with, as I feel many people around the world will too when they set off on this adventure.”
It’s Balinska’s first video game project, but what a first experience to have! She says “it’s remarkable to see the incredible world and story of Forspoken come together, blurring the lines between reality and fantasy.”
In terms of the technology, Square Enix notes that Forspoken is “designed specifically for the PlayStation 5, taking advantage of the new console’s power and features to create a game that feels like a true next-gen experience.” Just imagine what zooming and fighting through the world with Frey might feel like with a PS5 controller in your hand.
An Open World, a Rich Narrative, and Exciting Combat
Details of its development aside, Forspoken is a refreshing take on single-player story-driven games. It’s a nice change of pace amidst all of the AAA titles where players only concentrate on getting the next piece of loot or unlocking the next skill.
Though Forspoken is an expansive open world game with a focused narrative, it seems to still manage to be strong in combat and have smooth mechanics. Hopefully, it lives up to the anticipation. To say the least, it’ll be interesting to see how all the parts of the whole work together to create a unique gameplay experience for players in the world of Athia.
There’s no release date more specific than the year 2022 yet, but as we hear more news, you can be sure to find it here. You can also keep up with Forspoken through Square Enix’s Twitter and Luminous Production’s website as they reveal more updates and footage throughout the year.