The text below was published on the Brazilian PlayStation.Blog. At the end of it you can see some video previews of some of the sites.
We met the cast, saw action-packed trailers, and got a closer look at the game’s central villains.
Thanks to Forspoken’s recent test, today we can detail how the pace of Frey’s journey plays out.
I enjoyed my testing time exploring the valley floor, using mystical parkour, and playing some of the spells I had already unlocked. Spread across the map are five objectives that lead players on quests that inform Frey’s abilities and the challenges he will face. But beyond that, the topography of the region invites exploration, with mountain trails, floating cliffs, giant bridges, lakes and deserted villages. After a short lesson at the entrance to the gorge, a free exploration awaited me.
Spells with speed
This tutorial introduces Frey’s magical mobility, combat options, and most importantly, how it all ties together. Some slow humanoids used as targets allow you to test these abilities in a more relaxed manner. At the end of the demo, an intense battle against a fierce and fast alligator-like creature tests everything they’ve learned so far. The balance between attack and support spells – knowing when and how to use them – and the precise use of parkour to highlight those spells and avoid threats.
Between these confrontations, which took up the final moments of my playtime, I saw several different types of enemies on the map ready to face or ignore: hordes of damaged souls and hordes of aggressive deer, golden-horned crocodiles and winged attackers. One objective takes Frey to a bridge patrolled by demons wielding bows, which when defeated make way for a larger miniboss. All are servants of the Tantas, the evil rulers of Atya, whom Frey will confront one by one. Regardless of how these encounters go, when you defeat Tanta, his power is added to your arsenal. At the start of the demo I can explore two sets: Frey’s earth-based magic and Tanta Silla’s fire spells.
The demo culminates in a boss fight against a modified Quincana with menacing teeth and a tail that requires quick moves to win. This is also a great opportunity to use Silas’ support magic, which causes a wall of fire around Frey.
Each set of spells has two branches, one with multiple support spells and one with three attack spells. L2 activates support and R2 activates attack. Each spell has a different cooldown and a specific way to use it, be it touch, grab, or charge. Holding down the trigger will allow you to select the area of effect of a spell before casting it, charge another spell’s power, or cause a constant flurry of spells. The feel of each spell is unique thanks to the tactile feedback of the PS5’s DualSense controller.
Press L1 and R1 together to open a circular menu and choose which spell set to use. Hold L1 or R1 to bring up the circular menu of the appropriate spell branch, hover the left stick over the type of your choice and release the button to lock that spell to the preset choice. You have a choice per spell set, with quick toggles using the left or right arrow keys.
Use the Bind support spell for crowd control, trapping groups of enemies to perform powerful attacks.
It is recommended and necessary to change spells frequently, as each spell is tailored against a certain number or type of enemy. Changing picks is also a good way to find powerful additional spells. Some favorite starting spells are Sila Crucible (support) and Rage Slice (offense). The first causes a wall of fire to surround Frey. Enemies that touch it will be burned, but it will also increase Frey’s attack power against enemies in the area. Rage Slice is a melee sequence with a finisher that throws enemies straight into the fire.
A world to explore
As with any action RPG, there is no one-size-fits-all method. Elemental resistance is a factor, for example. During attacks, a text will appear that recommends making some changes. But before the confrontation, use your wrist scroll (up arrow button) to play more tactically and explore the story a bit more. The camera will zoom in on any enemies within a hover radius, and the sensitive amulet on Frey’s arm will give you tons of valuable information. Notably, Forspoken’s menu design and fisheye lens approach create an amazing look when navigating through different tabs.
Collect mana to unlock new spells. Frey’s costume options weren’t shown: each tunic, necklace, and nail color offers a different benefit. Combine them all to create a set of perks that suit your playstyle.
From Fisheye to Eagleeye: Stone belfries are scattered throughout the area. Turning the scan into one of these provides a superior perspective that highlights nearby areas of interest. Select an area that you can track on the interface and at any time call up a gold thread that points the direction to your target, like a compass. You’ll still be free to explore and change missions whenever you want. Belfries are not the only stone monuments that have been discovered. Others explain the elements. One of them activated a side quest. It was a timed challenge in an abandoned fortress in which I had to protect civilians from waves of enemy attacks for a certain amount of time.
You’ll also discover shelters, which are small huts where Frey can rest from outside threats. There are several interactive elements in each, including a small library where you can check off “Spellcraft Challenges,” secondary objectives, in the list of tasks on the screen. All grant permanent benefits to spells if you meet certain requirements.
During my playtime, they provided specific combat actions and encouraged me to incorporate freestyle parkour into combat, which is a key element of the richness and beauty of the combat system. Ground slashes with flaming blades, whip-like moves, air attacks… the perfect combination of movement and button attack sequences. While all spells have a cooldown, parkour is tied to a stamina bar. Moderate use of dodges is essential so you don’t get caught off guard.
Frey is flexible and the fight is fast paced. Getting used to this speed, a sophisticated spell system, monitoring of different enemies and their attack patterns, as well as on-screen messages… will be introduced gradually. The moments when I felt the interconnected systems connect became more frequent and I became more and more immersed in the flow of the battle. It’s worth saying that despite the speed and flashy shots, I always felt in control of the draw. Another very cool ability related to Sila’s Magic allows you to briefly slow down time, aim, and quickly move towards an enemy. A magical mount designed to get away from immediate danger, but also allow you to get close enough to the end if necessary.
Outside of combat, this ability helps you move around. You can use glowing rocks as anchor points to jump higher and farther. It’s very useful when you need to run away from a fight, or when you want to take a break from casting spells and traversing the area.
There is a simple and unique pleasure in the flow of parkour. Start by walking in any direction, then press the circle button and start sliding. You can release the button for a few seconds to jump or rotate the camera. So while the valley is huge, the traffic in it is pleasantly fast.
The distant horizon is already calling. But Atia’s secrets won’t be revealed until months later when Forspoken launches on PS5 on January 24 next year.