Forspoken Review – Half-Baked And Uninspired

Much is left to be desired by Square Enix's latest open-world experience.

Forspoken Review
  • Story And Setting
  • Gameplay
  • Visuals And Performance


If you can bear through Frey and Cuff’s childish banter, you may just find yourself enjoying Forspoken, even if it’s another cookie-cutter Open World RPG with the same style and approach that’s been done for years now.


  • Exciting Sorcery-Focused Gameplay
  • Smooth Traversal Mechanics
  • Superb Art Direction


  • Insufferable Characters And Cast
  • Bland Open World Elements
  • Subpar Writing And World Building
  • Repetitive Combat
  • Horrendous PC Optimization

There is a wide variety of Open World games on the market these days, and the demand for them doesn’t end because, at the end of the day, there is just always something in them that entices players to pick them up.

Key Takeaways
  • Developers: Luminous Productions and Square Enix
  • Publishers: Square Enix
  • Release Date: January 24, 2023
  • Platforms: PlayStation 5, PC
  • Game Length: 14 Hours
  • Time Played: 25+ Hours
  • Editor’s Note: We thoroughly tested Forspoken on PS5, putting just over 25 hours into its completion.

And Forspoken is a brand-new Open World RPG developed by Luminous Productions, and now that it’s finally released after minor hiccups and delays, we have prepared a review in which we discuss every aspect of the experience, from the story to the gameplay.

Story And Setting

forpsoken story
Story. (Screenshot by eXputer)

The narrative of Forspoken starts off with an introduction of our main character, Frey Holland, who goes about her life in the busy city of New York. Unfortunately, not everything is sunshine and rainbows for our heroine as she quickly finds herself holding onto life by a thread while dodging gang members across the streets of the city itself.

However, without needlessly adding any more filler exposition to the prologue, Frey suddenly discovers a portal that sends her to another world. She soon learns that she has arrived in the forsaken land of Athia, which is brimming with its own set of primitive life forms and beings. We are also introduced to the various tribes of the game, which offer their own insight into and world-building in the setting.

Frey In NYC.

Frey also gains a new companion after her displacement in the form of an armband, which she literally names Cuff. Together with her newfound magical powers and with her eccentric sidekick, our protagonist will need to investigate what her place in this world means for her, as well as unravel a dark mystery that can doom Athia and its various denizens.

However, the problem with Forpsoken’s narrative comes to light right from the early going. There have been a number of brilliantly written female protagonists in the video games industry, such as the likes of Senua from Hellblade, as well as Amicia from A Plague Tale, but Frey is unfortunately not one of them.

forspoken story
Transported To Athia. (Screenshot by eXputer)

Experiencing new characters or even the various twists that occur can certainly intrigue almost anyone, but for me personally, I found myself constantly wanting to take my headphones off or mute the main characters due to their obnoxiously written dialogue. The narrative aspect surely wasn’t doing Forspoken any favors for me during my review, but thankfully that kind of changed with the gameplay elements, which we are going to discuss now.


forspoken gameplay
Gameplay. (Screenshot by eXputer)

The aspect of the game is sure to satisfy many players, especially those who absolutely love using magic in RPGs, as the central combat element mainly revolves around that mechanic.

However, looking at the combat on a deeper level, Frey is able to cast between two different sorceries at a given time and has access to both ranged as well as melee-type spells which can help cater to different play styles on the fly. Aside from that, once this whole system clicks, it certainly is impressive to witness Frey wreaking havoc on her foes or against larger-than-life bosses across the lands of Athia.

forspoken combat
Combat. (Screenshot by eXputer)

Upgrading Frey’s spells and stats can somewhat improve their capabilities in combat, but you won’t feel the difference as much as when you invest in a single stat a few times. The progression is pretty light-hearted as you will gather materials while traversing the landscapes as well as by defeating enemies during combat.

There isn’t too much grind here like any typical RPG, but if you want to feel stronger while unleashing magic, then you will definitely have to explore and investigate every corner of the map and even tackle side quests to earn new capes, items as well as upgrade your entire arsenal of spells.

forspoken upgrading
Upgrade Menu. (Screenshot by eXputer)

The traversal mechanics are another highlight I thoroughly enjoyed in my review of Forspoken, as the game allows you to smoothly dash and parkour at high speeds across the map. Whether it’s climbing mountains, scaling large and ancient structures, or quickly getting across from point A to B, the immense satisfaction of Frey running like The Flash is a delight at every end.

The saving grace for Forspoken lies somewhat in its gameplay as you can dash around the map at high speeds, use powerful magic to annihilate your foes, and most importantly, fuse sorceries to create even deadlier ones to unleash on the battlefield.

So, based on what we have mentioned so far, the game looks promising, right? Well, that’s far from the truth because as much as I tried hard to enjoy every little part of the experience, from exploring every nook and cranny and clearing every checklist objective activity off the map, the overall experience just felt barebones and lacking.

Now, don’t get me wrong, Forspoken is decent in a lot of ways, but the world design and how it incentivizes you to clear the map just feels unimaginative, especially with the quality of recent open-world games such as Elden Ring.

Visuals And Performance

forspoken visuals
Visuals. (Screenshot by eXputer)

It’s difficult not to admire the sheer creativity and scope of Forspoken’s art direction, as each of the different areas is brimming with richness and density. The environments are so gorgeous that, at certain times, you will end up praising the graphics fidelity one way or another.

However, on the subject of fidelity, the image quality may seem to differ at times because you will often end up with a grainy presentation or, worse, frame drops even on the performance mode of the game on PS5.

It’s difficult not to admire the sheer creativity and scope of Forspoken’s art direction, as each of the different areas is brimming with richness and density.

While I had the pleasure of playing the game on my Playstation 5, it’s unfortunate that the game currently suffers on the PC port, which was already in shambles a few days ago when its requirements were revealed. According to users with a high-end build, such as the RTX 3070Ti and a Ryzen 7 3700x, they can only achieve 30FPS at low settings, which is more than enough to indicate that this PC port is ridiculously poor.


forspoken homer the cat
Verdict. (Screenshot by eXputer)

Without stating any undeserved hate for the game, Forspoken manages to showcase fantastic magic gameplay as you can take control of Frey Holland to massacre wild monsters and other ancient beings in spectacular fashion. Parkouring across the beautifully designed world of Athia is a visual splendor, and the diversity on display is an absolute treat.

However, it goes without saying that no matter how initially impressive the game may seem, you can’t ignore its numerous rough edges, from the bland map filled with needlessly overdone checklist activities to the storytelling practically being laughable.

But who knows, if you can bear through Frey and Cuff’s childish banter, you may just find yourself enjoying Forspoken, even if it’s another cookie-cutter Open World RPG with the same style and approach that’s been done for years now.

This has been our Forspoken Review. While you’re here, consider checking out some of our other articles.

This is box title
Get This Game
If you’re into open-world RPGs that heavily focus on combat.
Dont Get This Game
If you’re looking for an extraordinary experience or get easily turned off by obnoxious dialogue.
Do I Need To Get This Game
Depends, if you solely enjoy the gameplay, Forspoken offers something promising, but in all other departments, it’s either painfully lacking or painfully average.
Alternative Open-World Games
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Usama Mehmood is a Games Specialist, and writer on eXputer who's either hunting for the richest loot in Destiny 2 or endlessly playing his favorite games such as Yakuza or Final Fantasy. Usama has been gaming for 15+ years during which he has accumulated 4000+ hours on Destiny 1 & 2. His constant adoration for video games has allowed him to pursue eXputer as a platform to showcase his striving talents in writing helpful articles. Get familiar with Usama's extensive gaming library on his Steam, PSN, and Xbox profiles.

Experience: 2+ Years || Mainly Covers Reviews And Guides || Education: Bachelors in Physiotherapy.

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