Forspoken is the name of the new action RPG from Square Enix formerly known as ‘Project Athia’ coming exclusively to PS5 and PC in 2022.
Forspoken will have players to take on the role of Frey Holland (played by Ella Balinska), a fairly ordinary young woman who must harness her magical powers to survive what Square Enix calls a "thrilling, otherworldly adventure".
Square Enix first unveiled Forspoken at Sony’s PS5 games reveal in 2020 and the title remains a PS5 console exclusive. It’s hard to say whether Forspoken will eventually end up on the Xbox Series X too. But, at the time of writing, Forspoken appears to be a genuine PS5 exclusive, and won’t be available on PS4 or Xbox hardware.
After a long period of silence, we've been able to learn a little more about the game from September's PlayStation Showcase and Square Enix's Tokyo Game Show presentation. If you’re interested to learn more about Forspoken and what we might expect from the latest game from Square Enix, read on to find out everything we know so far.
Forspoken: what you need to know
- What is Forspoken? A new action RPG from Square Enix
- When is Forspoken coming out? Early 2022
- What platforms will Forspoken release on? PS5 and PC
Forspoken release date
We don't know a great deal about Forspoken, but we do know we won't be getting our hands on Forspoken this year. Thanks to the PlayStation Showcase, however, we know that Forspoken will release in early 2022 for PlayStation 5 and PC, making it a PS5 console exclusive.
The most recent look we've had at Forspoken happened during the PlayStation Showcase on September 9, 2021, giving fans a bit more insight into the game and its story, as well as protagonist Frey Holland.
We also know the game will launch sometime in early 2022 on both PS5 and PC. Check out the new trailer below.
This trailer for Forspoken revealed the game's official title and its targeted release window of 2022. This trailer gave us a sneak peek of the Forspoken's fast-paced, frenetic traversal and the gorgeous world it takes place in, along with some of Frey's magical abilities. Check it out below:
Forspoken (or as it was called then 'Project Athia') was announced during Sony's Future of Gaming 2020 showcase with a teaser trailer lasting just over one minute long.
The trailer gave us a very brief glimpse at Frey using some of her magical abilities, the world of Athia itself and some of the creatures we expect to encounter. Check it out below:
Although not what you'd expect from a typical Forspoken trailer, an AMD FSR trailer all about Forspoken was released in June 2021.
The primary aim of the trailer was to show how the new game will put AMD's graphics tech to use, but it also features some gameplay snippets from scenes we've already seen in previous trailers. One shows Frey making her way through a forest with her magical abilities, as well as fighting with a bear-like monster.
Forspoken story and gameplay
Details on Forspoken's gameplay are still thin, but there have been some details we've been able to glean from the trailers we've seen so far and from what Square Enix has confirmed.
The game received its own showcase during the Tokyo Game Show, during which members of its development team were able to shed a little more light on what we saw in the most recent trailer.
Previous trailers for Forspoken have already shown us that the game’s protagonist Frey will be able to use magic, and the game’s co-director Takefumi Terada said Frey’s learning to use “a wide variety of spells” will be a big part of the story.
Magic is also, as trailers have hinted, a key part of gameplay in terms of combat and traversal. Players will be able to use magic to directly attack enemies or set traps for them as well as perform “magic parkour”, covering huge distances over Athia, with Terada saying it “captures what makes our style of development at Luminous Productions so special.“ Controls aren’t going to be especially complicated by the sounds of it, as Terada also said that they want as many people as possible to enjoy the game. As such, it’ll only take one button to use magic to attack or to use parkour skills, while different button combinations will allow for different kinds of magic.
Getting from Frey to Z in style. 👍🏾 pic.twitter.com/iLUKCBYWunSeptember 22, 2021
Giving some insight into the main character of Frey Holland, creative producer Raio Mitsuno described her as a “smart but still slightly immature” 20 year-old woman living in New York who, having had a difficult upbringing, “doesn’t trust the world much” and uses sarcasm and humor to deflect from her vulnerability. He called her “a good person at heart” who is desperate to escape to New York. It’s at this point that Frey is transported to the mysterious world of Athia. Here, her arrival sets of a chain of events and the game’s main story begins, following Frey’s journey as she tries to find a way back home and learns to wield magic.
We also got a look at a talking bracelet in the trailer and it turns out it’s called Cuff. Cuff is another character in the game and while Mitsuno said it’ll be a while before we learn more about them, Cuff will be important to the game and the story, guiding Frey though her journey. Frey and Cuff are described as “two peas in a pod”, both saying “whatever they think.” As a result, they’re “constantly bickering” and will make small talk during Frey’s journey.
As far as Athia itself is concerned, it was a continent once at peace but now teeters on the brink of destruction, ruled by figures known as the Tantas. One of the Tantas that’s been confirmed is Tanta Sila. Described as one who “lives for the battlefield” and has “immense physical strength”, she is in charge of Athia’s defence. Each of the Tantas have been designed “with a specific virtue in mind”.
Forspoken news and rumors
Tokyo Game Show 2021
Forspoken may have skipped E3 2021 but since then we’ve seen it twice: once during PlayStation’s September showcase and again during Square Enix’s October Tokyo Game Show presentations. The game received its own showcase during the Tokyo Game Show, during which members of its development team were able to shed a little more light on what we saw in the most recent trailer.
Co-director Takefumi Terada and creative producer Raio Mitsuno offered more details on the game's story, the world of Athia and how central a role magic will play in the game. They also touched on the Tantas, one of whom, Tanta Sila, is seen battling Frey in the trailer. The official Forspoken Twitter account posted a clearer image of the Tanta of strength, which can be seen below:
"Tanta Sila is the strongest and most formidable of all the Tantas".@Janina breathes life into the dictatorial Tanta Sila, who is known for indiscriminately crushing any person or thing that stands in her way. What does she have in store for Frey? pic.twitter.com/nOPzBN3YKISeptember 14, 2021
The team has “been working on polishing the graphics every day” and they're in peak production in the run up to the Spring 2022 release window.
Designed for PS5
According to Square Enix, Forspoken has been "designed specifically for the PlayStation 5, taking advantage of the new console’s power and features to create a game that feels like a true next-gen experience."
That means we're expecting Forspoken will feature DualSense controller support, meaning the game should feel even more immersive thanks to haptic feedback and adaptive triggers – however, these exact features haven't been confirmed yet.
It's likely that Forspoken will also feature 4K and higher frame rates (potentially up to 120fps). But, again, these exact details haven't been confirmed.