If you haven’t already, you may want to mark your calendar for the release of Square Enix’s Forspoken in January 2023. The game is said to be an extensive open-world RPG incorporating incredible magic powers and swift combat. It’s the first to show us exactly what Unreal Engine 5 is capable of, and one of the two biggest PS5 exclusives to look forward to.
But what do we know about Forspoken so far? As we continue to await much clearer reveals about the story details, gameplay, graphics, and more ahead of launch, we’ve gathered all we know so far about said elements so you’re kept up to date at all times.
What is Forspoken?
Originally tagged “Project Athia,” Forspoken is an upcoming fantasy RTG that immerses you into the fantasy land of Athia. Square Enix describes the new game as an open-world, story-driven adventure.
The star of the show is called Frey Holland, a normal-looking modern-day almost 21-year-old girl in the streets of New York City. She’s abruptly teleported to the beautiful and cruel land of Athia where her journey begins. She seems outcast by the beings in this world ruling over the world so she has to fight her way through monsters and the Tantas standing in her way of getting back home.
Thankfully, she has magical powers from telekinesis to casting magical spells at her enemies. This world is foreign and has powerful beings including dragons. What’s a fantasy world without dragons?
On earth, she has her adorable pet cat by her side whom she talks to wishing they could escape earth’s cruelty. Her wish is granted and she’s teleported to a fantasy world where she has magical powers. Transforming from a less-powerful girl on earth to a powerful magician certainly will tug at people’s hearts, though Forspoken needs to be careful to not over-cliche the story.
There aren’t too many characters in this expansive world so perhaps Frey landed on this world in a post-apocalyptic time.
Most of the early footage release showcases Frey casting magic spells against enemies and swiftly traversing the landscapes of Athia as she goes. The land of Athia is open-world with gamers freely leaping around the world and exploring its environs at will.
From the available footage, Forspoken showcases fluid movement, leaping off tall buildings, jumping off cliffs, and between rocks. This kind of fast-paced movement is highly welcome to feel like you’re always on the move especially when gaming in an expansive open world that can sometimes feel too large or empty to inspire exploration.
Frey engages in a variety of gameplay like fighting off a dragon in an arena, trapping flying monsters, summoning a flaming sword, turning enemies into ice, and casting spells from her wrist gold cuffs which she can talk to. She’ll face a variety of enemies even bears, wolves, and stone giants standing in the way.
Both close-range and long-distance combat come through. Also crafting and upgrades will apply to her gear and customization in general.
Forspoken will be the debut brainchild of developer Luminous Productions, a subsidiary of Square Enix. Made up of a team that includes developers from Final Fantasy XV, and writers from across the TV, film, and gaming industry, Forspoken is already igniting high hopes of an out-of-this-world adventure unlike any other. In addition, Forspoken will be the first to use Unreal Engine 5 and ray-tracing technology so it may also look quite pleasing to the eye and perform just as well.
It’s been a long time coming awaiting Forspoken’s launch, from the first announcement in 2020 tagging it “Project Athia”. Over the years, more and more details fleshing out a clearer picture of the final product have come out. With most footage showcasing Frey’s swift traversal and incredible magic powers.
Although there have been two delays so far, from May 24, 2022, to October 11, 2022, all roads now seem to lead to a January 24th, 2023 final release date. The delay was made apparent by Luminous Productions as a strategic decision. However, they claim Forspoken is in its final polishing stages, and the game elements are now complete, suggesting confidence in the final January 24th, 2023 launch date.
During the PlayStation Future of Gaming September 2021 showcase, a Forspoken trailer was released under the codename, “Project Athia,” showcasing what to expect from the new game.
It starts with Frey Holland in New York. A portal then springs up that relocates her to a fantasy world called Athia. While in Athia, Frey dons magical powers from a set of gold cuffs clasped onto her wrist. She uses these powers to cast spells against her enemies.
Another trailer at The Game Awards 2021 showcase showcases new details. Enemies range from dragons shooting blue fire out their mouths to close off with a brief cut of her encounter with the final big boss called Tanta Sila in a throne room.
Yet another new trailer at Sony State of Play showcases a massive dragon, more of Athia’s fantasy world, and plenty of magical powers to make your mouth water.
Release Date, Platforms, & Editions
The official confirmed release date is on January 24th, 2023, confirmed by Luminous Productions and Square Enix on Twitter.
So far, it’s confirmed the game will release exclusively on PS5 and PC. So other console owners (Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, etc) may have to wait for at least 24 months after launch for cross-platform access.
To preorder Forspoken for PS5 or PC, there are two editions you can choose from.
- Forspoken Standard Edition: $69.99 (PS5, PC)
- Digital Deluxe Edition: $94.99. Forspoken (PS5, PC), Forspoken Mini Artbook and Forspoken Mini Soundtrack
- Prequel Story DLC “Forspoken: In Tanta We Trust” (coming winter 2022)
- Prequel Story DLC Early Access
So, what’s your take? Will you be picking up a copy of “Forspoken” when it drops in January 2023? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.