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Source: Square Enix / Forspoken

The first big AAA release of the year, Forspoken, a PlayStation exclusive, is just hours away from launching, and the “critics” are chirping about the game.

Forspoken is billed as an action/RPG with players controlling Frey (Ella Balinska), a young woman from NYC who gets teleported to a magical but cruel land called Athia. Armed with a magical talking accessory called a Cuff and a bevy of spells, she must find a way back home.

Leading up to its big day, Forpsoken kicked off the gaming year by earning the title of 2023’s most polarizing game that everyone not calling themselves journalists and content creators has yet to play in full.

Yes, we got to take the game for a spin with a demo that left much to the imagination, good and bad, with developers paying attention to the discourse and providing an update to improve some of the issues gamers were most concerned about.

Something you rarely see when it comes to a demo, but it happened, leaving everyone hopeful that Forspoken would deliver when the entire game drops at the stroke of midnight on Jan.24. Still, everything was riding on what reviews will say about the game.

Even waiting on the reviews caused apprehension because Square Enix was not tossing out review keys to everyone like Oprah did cars to her guests on his show weeks ahead of the game’s release.

While that behavior is not new, many considered it a red flag, possibly hinting that the game wasn’t good and developers knew it.

The reviews are in, and the consensus is that Forspoken is a mid-mixed bag of tricks that fails to live up to the hype.

Here’s What The Critics Are Saying About Forspoken

Right now, Forspoken is sitting at a fair 69 rating on Open Critic, with only 28% of reviewers saying they would recommend the game and 68 on Metacritic based on 62 critic reviews.

So let’s start with the negative reviews.

Michael Lehri of wrote in his review, “Frey may “do magic” and “kill jacked-up beasts,” but she can’t overcome the mediocrity that surrounds her and spills out of her mouth at nearly every turn.”

In his review, Kyle Simcox of Outerhaven Productions said, “Forspoken is a bland experience about a girl and her cuff trying to save a world blanketed in corrupting mists. It tries to do a lot of things but doesn’t ever really do any one thing well.”

Rollin Bishop of GamesRadar+ said in his review, “Barring a few rare setpieces, Forspoken seems to prefer to tell rather than show.”

Most Reviews For Fospoken Are Somewhere In The Middle

Most critics are in the middle regarding Forspoken, calling out its shortcomings but stopping short of panning the game.

In his review, Kyle Hilliard of Game Informer said, “Forspoken’s story and combat fail to reach the heights of its movement and exploration, but thankfully those two latter elements make up most of the experience.”

“Solid and definitely have an audience. There could be some hard-to-ignore faults, but the experience is fun,” Destructoid’s Chris Moyse said in his review.

“There’s something here to get stuck into for fans of open-world adventures, and Forspoken isn’t without its charms, but like Frey herself, it’s often its own worst enemy,” God is Geek’s Mick Fraser wrote in his review.

There Are Some Positive Forspoken Reviews

In the mix of this is awful and wow, what meh experience reviews. There are some positive ones as well.

Forspoken represented a huge risk taken by newcomer Luminous Productions. While the story may feel a bit contrived at times, the Flow method of traversal and combat more than makes up for it. Frey may annoy some people as the protagonist, but stringing together a chain of magical commands within just a few seconds while deftly avoiding incoming fireballs is rewarding, and ultimately, I came away from Forspoken having enjoyed my time helping the people of Athia,” PlayStation Lifestyle’s Paulmichael Contreras wrote.

Forspoken it’s not the next-gen game that we’re waiting for, but it’s not as bad as some found in the demo. It has its share of elements to improve, starting with the script, but it makes combat and traverse very fresh and enjoyable, in a world full of things to do, that invites to keep playing even after watching the ending credits,” Alberto Lloret wrote in his review for Hobby Consolas. 

David Flynn of Gaming Trend said in his review, “Forspoken is an incredible title. Although the story suffers from being a bit too generic, the gameplay is inventive, magical, and an absolute blast. This is a game I’ll come back to again and again just to move around and exist in the fascinating fantasy world. Forspoken is an exciting leap forward for action games, and I can’t get enough of it.”

Form You’re Own Opinion

Video games are a beautiful medium best experienced when you try them out. Reviews, such as the ones we provide for video games studios send us codes for, should give you some sort of aid when deciding on buying a game, but we will never tell you you should not play a particular game.

A game we might hate, you might love. A game you adore, we might despise. That’s just how it works. Video games, like movies, television shows, and music, are subjective.

You can see some Twitter reactions to Forspoken’s review scores in the gallery below.

Photo: Square Enix / Forspoken

1. Welp

2. Fair