Forspoken PS5 Demo turns my concerns into anticipation

Square Enix
Square Enix /

The demo for the much anticipated Forspoken was announced at The Game Awards this week. I have admittedly been leery of the game since its announcement as much of its limited marketing has been centered around its development in Unreal Engine 5 (UE5). The overall marketing for the title has been slim pickings at best, with almost no gameplay shown at all and just as little regarding its story.

Games like this tend to release with an overhyped reaction and underwhelming performance historically. Think back to the original Destiny.

I haven’t been exactly blown away by the game so far as a result of its marketing. It has been extremely limited and generic and left me apprehensive due to how “huge” the game is expected to be. The demo, however, gives a small glimpse of what to expect.

I played through the entire demo, and was left with a little bit of relief along with a number of questions.  While its objectives only took me about half an hour  (maybe a few minutes less), I spent another half hour or so traversing the world with as many parkour combinations as I could come up with.

Forspoken PS5 Demo turns my concerns into anticipation
Square Enix /

First of all, the game truly does look incredible. Its UE5 development brings out the best, and the sun-drenched images were jumping off my Samsung’s 4K screen. We are treated to a small cinematic explaining how Frey (protagonist) ends up in Athia along with, of course, what her journey will entail. The premise of what’s to come is intriguing, but unfortunately how she got there is nothing more than the proverbial person being sucked into another world and having to be its savior.

One of my primary fears around Forspoken was its combat. The little I saw seemed overly convoluted and fast, although I couldn’t tell if the former was simply an illusionary result of the latter. A lot of rapid-fire magic spells and AoE attacks seemed like way too much was happening at once. The demo quelled some of these concerns for me. Frey’s combat is centered around magical spells. While the main title will have many more options, the demo limited us to fire and earth spells. After playing, I found those concerns about being convoluted to be a result of the flashiness of Frey’s spells. In other words, the quality of the details shown in limited quantity falsely portrayed the combat as “clunky”.

Spells are cast using the left and right triggers only and pressing both utilizes a special combo attack.

Forspoken PS5 Demo turns my concerns into anticipation
Square Enix /

The combat was functional overall, and Frey’s abilities to cast spells on the ground and while hovering in the air allowed for more fun type combinations. The full game’s extra spells should also help in varying attack options. The question remaining with the full game, however, will be how well these options are able to be integrated together. While two spells were easily manageable at once, any more than that could lead to a too-top-heavy system that’s difficult to manage depending upon its implementation.  We shall see.

As I mentioned earlier, the game world is beautiful. I should note that being a demo, this was not simply a shortened version of the full game. Rather, this demo is a completely separate piece created from the game’s assets. Therefore, a lot of what we will get in the full game is not here. By that,  I mean the world itself while beautiful, was not exactly flourishing with content.

The demo succeeded in doing what I believe it was meant to do — if its focus was to accentuate the new varying style of combat along with the parkour options. Athia is huge,  and none of what was included in the short official gameplay trailer was in this demo. Seeing as what was in that video was a small glimpse of what is to come, I have to say I’m no longer that concerned about Forspoken in terms of combat and traversal.

Next. Remnant 2 gets a surprising reveal at The Game Awards 2022. dark

My concerns have turned to anticipation for those, and we shall see how the overall story impresses upon release. Overall, I’m looking forward to Forspoken and absolutely recommend playing the demo to anyone who’s had similar concerns.