Senior members of Forspoken development team talked about some of Luminous Productions’ goals for the game and why it’s not coming to PlayStation 4.
Forspoken director Takeshi Aramaki recently explained why the upcoming action RPG is not coming to PlayStation 4. The game, developed by Japanese studio Luminous Productions and published by Square Enix, is expected to be released for PlayStation 5 and PC. And a demo is available now.
Set to launch in September 2021, Forspoken will follow the adventures of Frey Holland. She is a young girl from New York who magically finds herself in the fantasy world of Athia.
With the help of magical powers and a host of supporting characters, including her talking bracelet, Frey embarks on an epic quest to defeat Athia’s authoritarian rulers and find her way home.
The creators of Forspoken describe the game as an open-world, narrative-driven adventure. And director Takeshi Aramaki emphasises that the game focuses on traversing terrain and smooth movement.
Aramaki and some team members recently spoke to VG247’s Dom Peppiat through an interpreter. They mainly discussed why the game is skipping PS4 and why it will be released as a PlayStation 5 and Windows PC exclusive. “From the early stages of game design, we were always thinking about making something that could only be done on PS5,” Aramaki explained. Luminous Productions is building the game to showcase everything that PlayStation 5 can do. Aramaki believes that what the studio is doing with the engine, graphics and gameplay would not be possible on the older console.
The developers have high hopes for the game as a new IP. At the same time, Luminous is open about the fact that the game will be a performance showcase. The PS5 version will also take advantage of several exclusive features of the console. For example, the controller’s light bar will change colour depending on what spell Frey is casting. Forspoken also takes advantage of the DualSense controller’s haptic feedback. Aramaki explained that this was something that Luminous was keen to explore. The developers tried to give each spell a unique physical feel. Given the hundreds of spells, players will switch between, this promises to be quite impressive.
Haptic feedback is part of the studio’s goal to maximise player immersion.
This extends to visual effects and gameplay, where the developers have carefully designed each spell to be a unique and easy read for the player.
Luminous Productions says these goals would not be achievable working within the limitations of the PS4 hardware. Even the PC version may not deliver the entire experience. Forspoken’s co-director Takefumi Terada pointed this out. According to him, PC hard drives can cause a performance bottleneck compared to the PS5’s built-in SSD. Luminous has optimised Forspoken for the PS5. This seems to be the best platform on which to experience the game.