So the verdict for Forspoken is in, and it looks… iffy. The game, the latest title from the developers behind Final Fantasy 15, made a lot of promises before launching; whether it was purporting to solve the awkward proposition of open-world fatigue, or making a point to push the PS5 as hard as it could, Forspoken had a lot to say before it launched.
And it turns out the game just has a whole lot more to say overall. The gist of the game is that down-and-out New Yorker, Frey Holland, is transported to another world – to the magical land of Athia – where a sentient cuff binds around her wrist and guides her through this peculiar fantasy. The thing is, Cuff won’t shut up. As with High on Life’s mouthing guns in 2022, Cuff seems to think we want incessant feedback on everything we do.
But it’s safe to say that many players aren’t really into this. The reaction to the game’s demo (and a huge leak that started just before the game launched) has proven this conclusively. And it makes sense; it takes a lot of attention to listen to your smug, somehow British, Cuff flapping his proverbial gums while all you’re trying to do is set fire to some weird magical alligator or something.
So you’ll be happy to know that you can lower the frequency of Cuff’s clever alec quips – or if you prefer, turn them off altogether. Thank you, right?
By pressing pause and going into the menus you will find a small submenu called ‘Cuff Settings’. Here you have a range of options, including switches to control whether or not Cuff shows you where to go in the game, and options to control how often Cuff talks to you. If you reduce the latter to “minimal,” the cuff only starts with dialogue directly related to the story. You can also increase the frequency, but we can’t really report on that option because we avoided it like the plague.
If you take it down, there’s less “chat” between Frey and Frey as your protagonist makes his way through the lavish world of Athia, and less verbal fencing between the two unlikely allies. For you player, that means less headaches and more headspace to devote to the game’s not-so-bad combat.
Accessibility options like this in games are only good things; whether it’s the option to silence annoying NPCs this way, or the option to completely remove spiders in games, we’re glad it’s becoming more and more common. Platform holders take steps towards accessibility; the PlayStation 5’s built-in options and the Xbox’s amazing adaptive controller are all part of the picture, and we hope it continues to improve as the industry matures.
Forspoken is out now on PS5 and PC.