Forspoken is out today and if you’re on the fence about the game, make sure you check out our review roundup of scores here. So far the game hasn’t had much positive feedback and it seems that even the developer, Luminous Productions, didn’t really know what it wanted Forspoken to be in the first place. According to a source, the game actually changed multiple times during its development. So much so that in the end, it struggled to find its own identity.
For those of you who remember Square Enix’s Agni’s Philosophy tech demo back in 2012, Forspoken might seem very similar to that video. That’s because Square Enix and Luminous Productions likely used this tech demo as a foundation for Forspoken. According to Alex Donaldson, a writer at VGC and RPG Site, one of Forspoken’s internal codenames was WITCH. This is the original codename for the follow-up to Agni’s Philosophy, called Witch.
The Witch tech demo was released in 2015 and similar to Agni’s Philosophy, it was a video meant to showcase the power of Square Enix’s Luminous Engine.
Of course, Agni and the general story surrounding the character in both tech demos don’t exist in any game. However, there’s a lot of inspiration in Forspoken that seems to stem from both tech demos. For example, the original Agni’s Philosophy demo is set in a desert-like landscape with crumbling castles and vast canyons. A similar landscape is seen in Forspoken.
Luminous Productions also seemingly copied the magic in both tech demos for Forspoken. Agni is seen using powerful magical attacks. There’s also a lot of parkour which is another main feature of Forspoken.
Sadly, it seems that Luminous Productions lost its way while trying to create an original story inspired by Agni’s Philosophy. I can’t help but feel that Forspoken would have been more successful if the studio simply grew the premise in the tech demos into its own story and game.
Alex Donaldson claims that Forspoken went through the wringer during its development as the studio struggled to find an identity for the game. The development was drastically altered after Tabata left Square Enix in 2018.
Forspoken is out now on PS5 and PC.