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Forspoken review: A magical world with several cracks

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engadget.com

In Forspoken, you control the agile, angry Frey (voiced by Ella Balinska), slinging elemental attacks (and f-bombs) at multiple monsters before leaping off a cliff face and swinging from a molten outcrop.

You keep moving, through the lands of Athia, through the adventure, because it’s really fun and satisfying, but also because when you slow down, you start to see the cracks.Running on Square Enix’s in-house Luminous Engine (the team that made the game is a newly-formed group called Luminous Productions), Forspoken gives some beautiful moments of magical pyrotechnics, but it’s not quite up to the consistent environmental beauty (and attention to detail) of games like Horizon Forbidden West or Returnal.

Still, most of the elemental effects, Frey’s movements and a lot of the world of Athia is beautifully realized.The matriarchs that control the world, the Tantas, are fearsome, with a fascinating array of spells, lots of intrigue and a great wardrobe.

Fighting, talking to and learning about the four leaders and their fall from grace are some of the highlights of Forspoken. Luminous Productions even said that the Tantas were a “labor of love” for the team, and that’s apparent.Take Tanta Prav, the water-wielding Tanta of judgment (they all have a handy job title to explain how they’ll probably rough you up): She is delightfully unhinged and argues with herself.

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