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one-armed dwarf

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I played a good chunk of this the last two days, and now the clock on it says 9 hours. Enough to give early impressions. It's a mixed bag, and I'm not going to get into the technical problems cause there's a lot out there on that already. Just to say that 8GB VRAM cards are going to have problems, and so will PS5. Pick your poison (or don't), but it's genuinely a shocking product that Luminous have put out, especially given the generally high quality of FFXV (technically speaking, the game itself wasn't something I was into). Something went wrong in the production process here, maybe this is one of those games which just could not adapt to development during the pandemic. 


That said, there are some neat things which aren't being spoken about much in the 'discourse' around this title. I probably already got into it on the demo thread I made, but it's a free-flowing parkour battle mage combat system. I think it's really cool, and is the reason I bought the game in spite of all the issues and high price. You have a sort of stamina system, little pips above the health bar. They let you parkour and are also used to defend you from massive damage. When you parkour, you can do other contextual actions like attack and such. You chain parkour, support abilities and attack spells together. I think it's neat anyway


It's just you have to grind through some really mundane stuff to even get to see what good the game has to offer. The opening few hours limits you to these rock powers for maybe 6 hours or so, and that was me sort of beelining my way to the first boss to get the melee abilities unlocked. Meanwhile the presentation is very cheap. Badly animated cutscenes, stilted animations and awkward fade-to-black transitions. It reminds me of the main story questline in FFXIV, in terms of all of the above (also funnily enough built on a fork of luminous engine I think).


It feels sort of like an Assassin's Creed 1 type of game, where there are parts here which could be built into a great game but are thrown together in either a lazy or rushed way, and the overall feel is a bit meh. That said from what I've seen and heard the game only improves as more abilities unlock, and if you just want to fly around the place killing things with fancy magic the game seems to serve that battle mage fantasy very well. 

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Here's some footage of me fighting some random boss out in the open world. There's a bunch of stuff I've not got unlocked, and I don't have the complete synergy down with the combat system, but maybe it gives an idea of what the game looks like gameplay wise cause most Forspoken video's on the internet are about the cringe dialogue and memes but not about what the game actually looks like when you're trying to learn the systems. Also, the cringe stuff is very frontloaded anyway, the first 4 hours maybe (which is still a lot, I suppose but there's a lot more good and bad going on in Forspoken than just this). I'm 15 hours in now and can say that after that it's basically like playing Crackdown, so the Whedonisms are very over-represented online I guess cause lots of people's exposure is just to those initial bits on youtube.


E rank gamer



The thing is, the gameplay is mostly fine. Floaty, but fine. I'd even say it's one of the more interesting playing ARPGs Square have put out recently. The parkour is decent even, it's based off stamina and you have to use it wisely, so it's not automatic like Assassin's Creed is. eg, for instance there is a move called 'shimmy' which requires you to press x as you land, and when upgrades restores stamina. It's the one where she leaps forward, like a distance closer or get-away. So parkour has its own mechanics to leverage in and outside of battles and they integrate it quite smartly. The issue with the game is its massive yet has really limited scope. The demo is actually a good indication of what the game is. Running around mopping up icons and fighting the same enemy types over and over, having the same combat interactions over and over. There's only one city in the game and no meaty side objectives or mini-games like Triple Triad or Blitzball, which sounds like an odd complaint but it feels like the missing ingredient for this kind of sprawling open world RPG. It feels almost like a tech demo of a parkour and battle system with a game hastily built on top. So as a result, it's a hard game to play for lengthy stretches cause you really are just doing the same thing over and over. Although that same thing is actually quite solid, it's just not really enough to support this sort of title.  Even as you're learning new synergies between the spells and attacks, this isn't quite enough.


I unlocked the 'blue' magic school, which is low damage water magic that largely does things like buff you and debuff enemies, and manage space (push enemies back, or draw them into big bubbles). I am looking forward to endgame Frey and using that full suite of powers to their max effect. I also really enjoy the way upgrades work, the way you get significant buffs for using spells in combat (it has the same system as GoW Ragnarok, you use moves and they get additional effects like healing and more damage etc). The different cloaks and nails look really cool. But the full package here is not keeping me engaged as I would have hoped for

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