game news Forspoken: Finally a real next-gen experience on PS5? We discussed it with the creators of Final Fantasy XV!
On the occasion of a new game session on Forspoken, we were able to discuss with its developers their intentions behind this graphically ambitious project. Magic, parkour and above all technical optimization, we cover all the main topics around Square Enix’s next AAA!
- Forspoken, as impressive as Final Fantasy XV back in the day?
- A stunning magical open world on PS5?
- A parkour that looks like Marvel’s Spider-Man?
A few weeks ago, we were able to play Forspoken again, Square Enix’s next open world action game scheduled for January 24 on PS5 and PC developed by Luminous Production to whom we owe Final Fantasy XV. During this event reserved for the press, some developers of the title were present on site to speak with the various journalists and learn more about this new franchise. Among them are Takeshi Aramaki, manager of Forspoken and head of Luminous Production, Takefumi Terada, co-director of the game, and Raio Mitsuno, creative producer about the project.
Pre-order Forspoken on PS5 at Amazon
Forspoken, as impressive as Final Fantasy XV back in the day?
Presented in June 2020 on the occasion of a conference specially dedicated to PlayStation 5, Forspoken showed from its first images its ambition to be a true next-gen experience, with all that that implies in graphic terms. Over time, as the game revealed new visuals, we found many elements that had made Final Fantasy XV visually stunning at the time of its release, namely highly detailed and spectacular visual effects enabled by the Luminous Engine, specially designed for the occasion. Six years later, the engine has continued to improve steadily, in particular to make the most of the PlayStation 5 components. When we ask the developers directly what they think has been the most optimized in the Luminous Engine since the release of FFXV, this is what they say:
In all these years, the biggest major improvement we’ve worked on is loading times. Thanks to our collaboration with AMD (the manufacturer of microprocessors and graphics cards), we wanted to make sure that there is almost no loading time in Forspoken. -Takeshi Aramaki, director of Forspoken
In a live stream a bit earlier, this is indeed what we got to see, how you can see for yourself in the excerpt below. Thanks to the PS5’s SSD, load times feel practically instantaneous, at least when it comes to fast travel.. A promise of next-generation consoles that now seems more true than ever.
A stunning magical open world on PS5?
Beyond its next-gen look that remains at the heart of the project, the other element that makes Forspoken strong is offering an action game that only offers magical powers to fight and move. If magic is present almost everywhere in video games, but often on the sidelines, it’s ultimately rare to see AAAs rely entirely on this element. This is a decision by the developers to want to offer the player a unique proposal in the video game scene. To reinforce this aspect, one of the main arguments put forward by its creators is the impressive number of spells available to Frey, the heroine of the game:
In total, we’ve made sure that there are around 100 spells in Forspoken. This goes through different types of magic that represent a particular focus, be it melee, mid-range, long-range, etc. The goal is for players to be able to benefit from the experience by discovering their own way of playing. That is why we have also added a wide variety of spells, with both offensive and defensive abilities or supports such as traps, for example. -Takefumi Terada, co-director of Forspoken
Behind the variety of spells offered, the developers’ intent is for players to alternate between spells, as well as finding the type of magic that suits them best. So, so that players don’t get bored always using the same spells that they find most effective, the teams at Luminous Studios have decided to introduce an elemental weakness system, a mechanic that is actually quite common in the world of video games. but which has proven its effectiveness so far:
We wanted to take a strategic approach to the fights, so we made sure that certain magics would be particularly effective in certain situations thanks to elemental vulnerabilities. -Takefumi Terada, co-director of Forspoken
A parkour that looks like Marvel’s Spider-Man?
Finally, beyond the magic and its next-gen look, the other originality of Forspoken is based on its parkour system. With a simple button, Frey can enter the landscapes of Athia that he traverses at full speed, both vertically and horizontally, since our heroine can also easily pass over certain obstacles. An effective and exciting movement mechanism once well mastered that has been the subject of many observations before being integrated:
For the magical parkour in Forspoken, we first took inspiration from real life parkour to see what moves are commonly used. Then, once we researched that, we decided to infuse it with magical and fantasy elements to make Frey jump higher and move faster than is possible in reality. After laying out the basics, we chose the various upgrades that Frey collects during his adventure to evolve his way of parkouring. -Takefumi Terada, co-director of Forspoken
So Forspoken seems to be the sum of all these elements: a next-gen experience optimized for current consoles, with plenty of awesome spells available to players, and an exciting parkour system. It remains to be seen what will be the definitive experience at the height of this proposal and for this, we will have to wait for the game to launch on January 24 on PS5 and PC.
Pre-order Forspoken on PS5 at Amazon
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