ℹ️ - Forspoken

 

After a recent series of deep dive videos looking at the game's combat, exploration, and traversal, Forspoken is shaping up to be one of Square Enix's biggest upcoming releases. Developed by Luminous Productions following their work on Final Fantasy XV, this new open-world action adventure, previously known as Project Athia, seems to have a lot going for it.


The vibrant magic powers and use of parkour give off some good inFAMOUS vibes, and the idea of main character Frey being a modern New Yorker trapped in a beautiful yet dangerous fantasy realm is just the right sort of juxtaposition that adds interest.

- FORSPOKEN // © SQUARE ENIX -


If you're thinking that it sounds like the sort of thing that would be great for a photo mode, then you're in luck. The feature was just announced in a short 34 s teaser video on the game's official social media channels.


It may be only a little over half a minute, but the preview reveals a lot, while actually also raising some questions. In truth, the fact that this photo mode was coming came as no surprise to me because it was supposed to be involved in a certain high profile virtual photography event earlier this year, until the game was delayed that is, so the real interest is in the details.

- FORSPOKEN // © SQUARE ENIX -


First up, we can see a full reveal of a minimalist photo mode UI and its complete list of options; you can find the full copy of that list below, and it looks pretty good. Essentials such as focal length zoom, manual focus, and aperture f/stop settings for depth of field control are all present, and post processing is taken care of with the likes of contrast, saturation, colour filters, and vignettes.


The camera movement looks good too, with the video doing enough to demonstrate freedom to move using truck, dolly, pan, tilt, and crane. Camera roll is presumably handled by the Angle option on the UI, and the use of R1 to "change rotation type" suggests there is also an optional orbit mode. Useful for playing with character portrait angles without the permanent restrictions of an orbit-only setup.

- FORSPOKEN // © SQUARE ENIX -


With a few quality of life features like the option to reset individual settings or camera position, and a grid overlay to aid composition, Forspoken seems to have a fairly well thought out, if not particularly ground-breaking photo mode. Something that is admittedly quite rare in a Square Enix-published title, but there is still one last mystery.


Text in the reveal trailer reads "photo mode features can be unlocked by completing certain side quests" while showing a simple smartphone camera UI on-screen. This can be interpreted in a couple of ways, both of which have caused a bit of a stir as people react to the idea.

"Nice Shot. That's 1 now (5 more remaining)..."

My first thought was that this means that additional photo mode features can be unlocked as you play. Simple things like more colour filters or frames that relate to particular locations you have visited would make perfect sense. It would be really no different to how weapons, abilities and costumes are often unlocked during gameplay, all of which add variety to photo modes in the process.


What would be less desirable is for functionality to be drip-fed, although there is a chance that it is the entire photo mode as a whole is gated behind some prerequisite missions. It could well be then, that the studio decided to start players off with just Frey's smartphone before letting players level-up to the fully fledged photo mode after taking a few basic point-and-shoot snaps.


Either way, it will be interesting to see what is unlocked and how much is required to get it once Forspoken launches on 24th Jan 2023.

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