The fantasy action RPG Forspoken is hitting the shelves this week, and one of the elements that I’m most excited about is the parkour combat. Blending fantasy-inspired swords and sorcery with street parkour, the developers at Luminous Productions crafted a fast-paced combat system that focuses on speed and agility in addition to strength.
It’s a system that makes complete sense, given the main character’s upbringing in the urban playground of New York City. Frey Holland applies the street-savvy moves of parkour to the fantasy realm of Athia. It may seem like an odd set of skills to bring to this fantastical world, but for her, it’s just the natural thing to do.
For the players, it gives Forspoken a unique method of playing. Too often, modern action-adventure games and action RPGs can feel stimied by how similar they are to each other. Any way in which developers can help their title stand out in the gameplay department is welcome.
With Forspoken officially out today, let’s take a closer look at how the combat system helps it stand out.
Getting around Athia in style (and speed)
In Forspoken, speed, agility, and parkour are the names of the game. With Flow, one of the main parkour abilities, Frey can move across the landscape of Athia at a blistering pace. As you hold the button down, Frey uses Flow to maneuver around small rocks and obstacles, and even vault over smaller walls.
The power of Frey’s feet doesn’t end there, however. If you time your button presses correctly with Frey’s footsteps, you can activate the Rush ability which sends her forward in a ball of flames, achieving incredible speeds that gets you away from an area in a snap. You can also activate the Shimmy ability as you land from a jump, giving you a boost of speed that can be chained together with multiple Shimmy uses.
Climbing around is also important for discovering new areas or getting to new heights. This, alongside most of Frey’s move-set, reduces her stamina. So as with most things in life, it’s all about the proper balance. Frey is capable of lightning-fast speed, but it won’t mean much if you tire yourself out too quickly.
Gravity-defying flips and turns
The basic parkour maneuvers will only get you so far in Forspoken. Frey will also need a bevy of advanced techniques to master the game’s combat.
First, you’ll need spells for getting to new heights quickly. With the Soar spell, players can climb up vertical surfaces much quicker than before. Or if there’s no scalable wall in sight, you can use the Scale spell to create magical platforms that boost you upward. No matter the terrain, Frey can always get the high ground. If you suddenly find yourself in the air and you need to reach the ground quickly, the Float spell sends you down in a flash.
Rounding out the parkour arsenal are two spells which make horizontal traversal easier. The Zip spell slows time and lets Frey choose a nearby destination, then sends her blasting towards that area instantly. Finally, the Glide spell lets Frey surf across bodies of water, meaning that lakes and rivers won’t interrupt your parkour.
It’s a lot to get used to, for sure. But mastering these arts is the key to success, both in and out of the battlefield. Speaking of which…
The blazing-fast parkour combat of Forspoken
These spells aren’t just handy for getting Frey around Athia. They’re also a godsend in combat, letting you get the edge over enemies with flashy moves and steps.
Many of Frey’s abilities are purely combat-focused, though. Like many other fantasy games, you’re equipped with weapons and magic spells that either provide an offensive strike or a defensive boon. Combining these physical and magical attacks lets you build up your combo meter and keep the tide of battle ever in your favor.
Enemies can be just as strong or quick as you are, however. If you aren’t careful, they’re likely to cut you down before you know it. However, by using parkour spells and judging safe areas to move about, you can dodge attacks and get to a better vantage point easily.
It’s a simple system to learn, as the PlayStation 5 demo demonstrates. But as Forspoken will show us, it’s not going to be easy to master.
Forspoken encourages you to learn its parkour combat
While it can be difficult to get the parkour combat down at first, Forspoken does encourage you to learn this system. The constantly-active grading system rates you based on your skill in battle. Every action in fight, positive or negative, influences this rating scale.
Doing well in combat involves hitting special attacks, defeating enemies quickly and efficiently, not getting hit yourself. This gives you an increase in both attack power and experience points. You’ll also get better drops this way.
It might be easy to write this off as a simple grading scale, but it’s also a great way to encourage you to learn the game’s mechanics. A combination of powerful attacks and skillful parkour moves gives you the best possible rating. Since that leads to better combat ability, it’s a great way to naturally teach you the importance of learning all the possible maneuvers.
Try it for yourself with the PlayStation 5 demo
Forspoken is available now for the PlayStation 5 and PC. If you own a PS5 and you’re interested in the game, we highly recommend you check out the free demo. It gives you an introduction to the combat and parkour systems, and gives you the chance to try the game out before buying it.
If you have already tried the Forspoken demo — or you’ve been playing the full game — what do you think of the combat? Is the parkour system fun for you? Let us know!