Project Athia’s real title is Forspoken, and it’s looking amazing

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As part of the Square Enix Presents showcase this morning, Square Enix announced the proper title for what had previously been unveiled as Project Athia. It’s called Forspoken, and with a new trailer introducing Ella Balinska in the starring role, it’s looking impressive.

Balinska plays Frey Holland, “an ordinary young woman who must harness her magical abilities to survive in a fantastical and dangerous land called Athia.” In other words, the sort of person whose very reasonable reaction to seeing a dragon for the first time is to say, “Is that a motherfucking dragon?!”

“As the first video game I’ve worked on and growing up a huge fan of video games myself, it’s remarkable to see the incredible world and story of Forspoken come together, blurring the lines between reality and fantasy,” said Balinska. “Frey as a character is real, she’s raw, she’s a girl who lost her way—both figuratively and literally—and is a character I immediately connected with, as I feel many people around the world will too when they set off on this adventure.”

The only gameplay footage we’ve seen so far has been brief teasers, but it’s looking a little bit like a fantasy twist on a Tomb Raider-style action-adventure game—much of the teaser footage shown to date revolves around Frey using magic to climb and navigate different environmental features.

Forspoken is the debut title from Luminous Productions, a newly-established studio within Square Enix headed by Hajime Tabata. It’s being developed for PlayStation 5 and PC, and “will harness the full power of the console and demonstrate Luminous Productions’ philosophy to provide a gaming experience like never before, fusing together the latest technology with creativity.” It’s planned for release sometime in 2022—so still a long way off, but it’ll definitely be one to watch in the lead-up to its launch.

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Matthew is a writer based in Wellington. He loves all things pop culture, and is fascinated by its place in history and the wider social context.