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Forspoken is the rare PS5 game that actually feels like a PS5 game

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much has been said about forspokenpotential performance issues, including its huge file size and the fact that, on PC, it demands more RAM than Dodge. But the result of all that computational horsepower is this: Square Enix’s action-RPG is one of a small class of PlayStation 5 games that actually Accept Like a PlayStation 5 game.

Out Tuesday on PS5 and Windows PC, forspoken stars you as Frey Holland, a young New Yorker whisked away to a high fantasy world by a talking golden bracelet. (You, uh, better not ask.) forspoken is a technically demanding game: particle effects clutter up the screen all the time and its open world map is so vast that you can’t see the whole thing at once, even if you zoom all the way out.

As Grayson Morley noted in his review for Play Gamez, yes, forspoken There are some performance issues. Like many modern games, forspoken Allows you to choose between two visual modes: Quality (which caps the frame rate at 30 frames per second to provide sharper graphics) or Performance (which allows higher frame rates at the expense of visual fidelity ). I’m playing on PS5 and mostly stuck with the performance-focused setting forspokenThe combat and movement all but require a steady 60 fps to make sense of what’s happening on screen. Still, I’ve noticed a few minor flaws – fuzzy hair, cut objects, and other hiccups that don’t affect gameplay, but are unacceptable nonetheless.

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But better fidelity isn’t the only improvement promised by this console generation. In March 2020, PS5 lead system architect Mark Cerny claimed that the then-upcoming console could essentially eliminate loading times. forspoken One of the few games I’ve played that makes good on those comments.

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In the underrated PS5 action game Forspoken, Frey Holland fast-travels from a grassy area of ​​Athia to a low grassy area of ​​Athia.

Image: Dazzling Productions/Square Enix via Play Gamez

in forspoken, at least on the PS5, you can cool boot in less than 12 seconds—the time it takes from starting a game to regaining full control of your character. You can fast travel to any unlocked location in the game world, I kid you not, in 1.68 seconds. (Both of those times were calculated based on the average of five separate loading tests.) Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is the only game I can think of that hits similar benchmarks.

For the past few years, we’ve been in an era of diminishing returns in terms of visual fidelity. Once you aim for photorealism, as with many big budget games these days, you really can’t get past it. More photorealistic. I’m less impressed by incremental improvements in graphics than by progress in other areas – things like blisteringly fast loading speeds or unique controller features.

To date, few big-budget games have taken full advantage of the PS5’s DualSense gamepad and its impressive haptic capabilities. forspoken To ensure.

When Frey uses her sword of fire, you can feel the true trigger tension as she winds up taking a swing, then loosens up when she releases it, then loosens up again when the weapon connects with an enemy. Then again there is tension. during forspokenIn many of K’s parkour sequences, the controller vibrates with varying intensity on each step, almost like you can feel Free’s steps through the controller’s powder-snow-colored plastic. Worst of all, Phlegm — whose painful, moaning dialogue has been obliterated on the Internet — can speak through the controller’s speaker, which is technically A convenience, if an unwanted one. (Thankfully, you can disable this in the game’s settings.)

Not since 2021 PS5 roguelike Return — which impressively deployed the rumble of the DualSense to replicate the gentle rumble-putter of rain — did I realize that this is a game applying the controller’s potential in such inventive ways. Here’s hoping more developers implement this technique. When developers use it effectively, the DualSense’s haptic trigger is truly unlike any other hardware in gaming.

We’re still in the transitory period between gaming console generations, a gray zone that’s lasted more than two years at this point — and has had an undeniable effect on the release cadence of new video games. some games like marvel’s midnight sun, launched for PS5 and Xbox Series X, but won’t see PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions until unspecified dates in the future. others, such as gotham knights And Metal: Hellsinger, eventually abandoning the planned PS4 and Xbox One releases altogether. you can make a case god of war ragnarok Should have done the same.

there’s a lot to discuss forspokenIt has its merits as a game, which you can read more about here. But if nothing else, its PS5 bona fide little sign that video games are ready to leave the last generation behind.

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