While there have been several trailers for the upcoming action RPG Forspoken, much of the title’s plot has remained a mystery. We know that Frey Holland, an orphan trying to navigate New York City, is abruptly transported to Athia, a mystical realm ravaged by a deadly plague. Undeterred by the country’s rampant corruption, Frey makes his way home, learning magical combat skills along the way. But how she got to Athia, holding on to a talking bracelet and discovering how to use magic is still a mystery.
We recently sat down with Forspoken developers, Luminous Productions, to find out more about what’s going on with Frey and how her journey through Athia will unfold. In our behind-the-scenes interactive game demo, we saw footage that sheds light on some, but certainly not all, of our questions. These include a look at an all-new area, an unnerving look at the magical leader Tanta Prav, and a few references to the game’s heroine and her past.
The scene begins with a conversation between Frey and her sentient armband, Cuff. It’s not exactly friendly. One of the game’s writers, Allison Rymer, remained silent on the events that brought the two characters together, but shared glimpses of their early relationship.
“Frey and Cuff have bonding issues, Rymer says. “And not in the way you think. Frey can’t get it off his wrist! No matter how hard she tries, and trust me, she tries — mostly because Cuff can be a bit of a harsh critic and very demanding. And Frey doesn’t like being told what to do. So Cuff and Frey don’t hit it off right away.”
The content of Frey’s and Cuff’s argument is also revealing. Looking for a way to escape from Athia, Frey directs all her energies towards that goal. On the other hand (no pun intended), Cuff is desperate to get the reluctant hero to help the people of the realm, who are suffering the effects of a cataclysmic phenomenon called the Break. thThe Speaking Adornment argues that Frey, with her ability to withstand the Breach and wield magic, bears the responsibility of aiding Athia’s people; but Frey doesn’t have it. It doesn’t help that helping the people in this case means trying to murder a mad sorceress.
Realizing he’s not getting his way, Cuff resorts to a sneaky — and narratively insightful — tactic. He taunts Frey with a hurtful comparison to her mother, a revealing line considering Frey is meant to be an orphan. Somehow, Cuff knows something about where Frey and her family are from, although the information doesn’t seem like good news. The apparent insult hits a nerve, eventually urging Frey to visit Tanta Prav, who she hopes to persuade to stop the rift.
Frey gets her wish and talks to the ruler, but the plan goes awry. However, before things go south and Frey is thrown into a floating beach ball to fight for her life, Tanta Prav mentions another interesting tidbit about the game’s story. It seems that Frey has already had an encounter with one of Athia’s acting magic-users, and it didn’t go well. It’s hard to say exactly what happened – Tanta Prav mostly speaks in rhyme – but it’s clear that Frey got into a fight with Prav’s co-ruler and may have committed an unintentional regicide. Judging from this conversation, it seems likely that players can expect to encounter the full power of a Tanta early in the game.
However, Forspoken is set to release in October, so players may have to wait until then to fill in the gaps in the game’s story and figure out how to escape Frey Prav’s ‘Trial by Water’.
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