Forspoken gameplay experiences with a whole new kind of customization

The past, present and future of sorry are decidedly women.

In Square Enix’s highly anticipated 2022 action RPG, our hero Frey comes from the real world. But she suddenly finds herself in the fantasy realm known as Athia thanks to a mysterious purple portal. Once there, the locals quickly label her as a witch, demon, and potential witch.

But magic and mysticism are not all that separate sorry from our own world: Athia is a matriarchal society run entirely by – and also threatened by – great women.

It’s a welcome departure from the typical role-playing game, where men are typically both heroes and villains, while women are relegated to healing spells, tending to stores and waiting to be saved.

“It’s not common for a video game to consist of all badass women,” Allison Rymer, one of the sorrythe main writers, say during a preview of the game.

Frey uses a wide variety of magic in sorry.Square Enix

While many details of the game remain a mystery, sorryRaio Mitsuno’s creative producer reveals to Reverse how a totally new customization option in sorry reflects the duality between reality and fantasy, but also the play’s emphasis on different female perspectives.

Magical matriarchs called Tantas once ruled Athia, each embodying a different virtue and holding a special power. However, some time ago they all got wicked and mean. “The Tantas were a central theme of the game,” Mitsuno wrote in a PS blog post, “so it’s no exaggeration to say that all the art in sorry was designed around them – their virtues and their corruption, their beautiful, but terrifying appearances. It was essential to develop and define a relevant female role as a counterpoint.

With a talking bracelet called “Cuff”, Frey uses magical parkour to traverse a beautiful but cruel world where a miasma called “The Break” destroys or corrupts all life forms (maybe even Tantas?). Frey is one of the few people who can survive outside of humanity’s last stronghold, the city of Cipal. As she learns a variety of magical powers, the player can equip different cloaks to customize those abilities. Players can also paint Frey’s fingernails to further increase his powers.

Frey doesn’t appear to have any nail polish yet, but she has covered her real-world clothes with a fantasy cloak.Square Enix

“Nails are part of Athian tradition and culture,” Mitsuno says Reverse. “It’s similar to ancient civilizations like Egypt and Babylonia. We wanted to use something that is part of the ethnic culture but also has parallels to the real world.

In ancient real-life societies, “the act of painting their fingernails could be related to their status and power.” The same is true of Athia’s magic.

It suits a story where a seemingly normal woman is suddenly immersed in a fantasy and magical world. Mitsuno explains that a major thematic axis in sorry is this duality and contrast of the modern real world with the classic fantasy. In a way, you can decorate Frey with dazzling nail designs that would look cool in the real world. In another, she reinforces her incantation by painting special runes on her body using “Shatter the Shards.”

But what exactly is the connection between these custom nail designs and the snap, the magical plague that plagues Athia? Is this something the Tantas also do? Could this be the source of their power, the conduit through which they channel some sort of wilder magic? Either way, it’s a decidedly feminine approach to character customization.

Frey uses magic to confront a Tanta.Square Enix

Rymer says it was refreshing to write a story so heavily invested in important female characters.

“My favorite part was writing a video game about women, and it’s so cool! ” she says.

In many ways, sorry Already unlike any other RPG, especially from publisher Square Enix. The game is developed by Luminous Productions, the same team that produced Final Fantasy XV.

Both offer an action-oriented open world on the role-playing genre. FF15 is a modern day fantasy where four guys drive in an expensive car to fight robots with guns and save the world from both political and cosmic disaster. Seeing characters dressed in contemporary clothing battle primordial magical beings is a tonal clash that Final Fantasy has been exploring ever since. Final fantasy vii over 20 years ago. FF15 was only the most recent.

We are far from the “four brothers and their car”.Square Enix

sorry feels reactionary in comparison: instead of four men fighting a male villain in a modern fantasy, it’s a woman who takes on a series of witches in a full-blown medieval fantasy.

“It’s more of a coincidence than a conscious decision,” Mitsuno says when asked about the change. “We had a king and his pals on a road trip. We now have a matriarchal society run by these mighty witches, with Frey as the protagonist. “

Apart from the male voice of the male cat Homer and Cuff, sorry seems to focus almost entirely on female characters – a refreshing change of pace for a genre that’s often dominated by male roles, but enjoyed by many female fans.

sorry arrives for PlayStation 5 and PC on May 24, 2022.

Year In Games 2021 is a Reverse celebration of interactive entertainment’s most unforgettable adventures, stories, innovations and characters.

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