Square Enix’s major internal studios are well known for producing the Final Fantasy games, but following Final Fantasy 15, the company wanted to try something new. Many of the creators who worked on the game formed Luminous Productions, a new Square Enix studio dedicated to producing major new triple-A titles that offer hours of entertainment. That team used the Luminous Engine developed for Final Fantasy 15, to create a new game called Forspoken.
The studio was founded in March 2018, when Square Enix separated workers from the Final Fantasy 15 team after the PC version was released. The Stadia edition of Final Fantasy 15 was handled by Luminous, managed by Final Fantasy 15’s primary programmer Takeshi Aramaki, while Forspoken is the studio’s first independent game.
Project Athia was the original name for Forspoken, but now we know what it’s actually called and when it’ll be released (sometime next year). We also know a little bit about the protagonist and the universe she’ll be visiting. Frey Holland, played by Ella Balinska, is the protagonist of Forspoken. Balinska describes herself as “a young woman on a lovely yet scary planet” in the reveal trailer. Balinska also revealed that Frey is a character she “instantly identified with,” and that she will be doing both motion capture and voice work in Forspoken.
Square Enix claims that its upcoming title Forspoken will aim to deliver “the highest quality visuals ever seen in an open-world game”. The PS5 and the Xbox Series X|S uses AMD GPUs; thus, FidelityFX Super Resolution should help them out. Currently, many next-gen games only offer 4K visuals or 60 frames per second as graphics options.
Luminous Productions is behind the game, which is a narrative-driven adventure. The studio’s mission statement is to develop gameplay experiences that mix cutting-edge technology with unconstrained creativity, which is a pretty good description of their new game. Forspoken was created particularly for the PlayStation 5, utilizing the power and features of the new console to create a game that feels like an authentic next-gen experience.
We don’t know much about Forspoken yet, aside from a few fantastic trailers. But, ideally, in the second part of 2021, we’ll discover more. Forspoken’s most recent teaser revealed the game’s official title as well as a 2022 release date. This trailer provided us with a glimpse of the Forspoken’s fast-paced, frenzied traversal as well as the beautiful landscape they inhabit.
Although there are little clues on Forspoken’s gameplay, we’ve been able to glean some information from the videos we’ve seen so far and what Square Enix has revealed. According to the trailers, Frey will have magical skills, which appear to include the ability to produce a magical shield, blast foes, and conjure up tentacle-like objects to bind adversaries. But what struck us the most was Frey’s ability to move across the world with breakneck speed and grace. Frey may be seen flying around Athia, scaling cliffs, and leaping across ravines in the trailers.
Frey is inexplicably taken to the world of Athia, which is packed with magic and monsters, and she realizes that she possesses magical abilities that she must learn and perfect. We don’t know if she’s trying to return to her own world, defeat some evil, or something else entirely, but the gameplay gives us a feeling of a rich world full of horrific threats, and it looks fascinating.
We know the game will be open-world, so it appears that we’ll be able to explore a large portion of Athia as Frey, with numerous biomes shown in the teaser, including rocky outcrops, sandy deserts, and forested sections. With a few snippets showing Frey racing about the world from point to point, aided by magic, traversal appears to be a high-speed affair, while combat seems to be similarly physical and magic-fueled. It’s unclear whether this fighting will be more action-oriented or tactical, similar to that of a Final Fantasy game; for the time being, it appears to be relatively fast-paced.
Although Square Enix broadcasted a live stream during E3 2021, Forspoken was not one of the games discussed. It’s one of a slew of big games that were conspicuously excluded from the show. However, just because Forspoken was not shown at E3 2021 doesn’t mean it won’t be shown later in the year. Sony didn’t show up at E3 this year at all! Given that Forspoken appears to be a PlayStation exclusive, Sony may host its own games showcase later in the year, where it will elaborate on what we can anticipate from Forspoken.
We’re hoping to get a better look at gameplay soon so we can build on our speculations – and we’ll update this feature as soon as that happens, so keep checking back!