With Square Enix and Luminous Productions’ big new action RPG Forspoken on the cusp of release in January, we got to go hands on with the game for a few hours and check out an extended portion of the early game. It gradually drew us in with its magical parkour, traversal and combat, but if there was one thing that made us double take, it was that the apples in Athia are absolutely huge!
I mean… this apple is the size of a child’s face!
Sometimes it’s the strangest things that can stand out as being odd in a video game. Athia is a realm filled with towering dragons, furry bears that are basically a giant maw of tooth-like ribs underneath, and with Frey Holland able to wield showstopping magical abilities.
So it’s a little bit funny to end up fixated by the size of the apples in the game as being particularly unrealistic. Was it a visual gag because protagnist Frey Holland is from New York, ‘The Big Apple’? We had the chance to sit down with some senior members of the Luminous Productions team and find out.
Luminous Productions Head Of Studio & Forspoken Director Akeshi Aramaki told us:
I actually, around the middle of development, pointed this out to the team myself and I said “Do you know, I think this apple looks a bit big?” But nope, apparently, based on actual measurements of an apple in Japan. So the Luminous Production art team’s answer is “Nope, that is the real size of an apple.”
The town of Cipol has a lot of these incidental items and props that the designers really poured a lot of effort and love into creating, with a lot of inspiration from reality and the fidelity there, so there will be lots of other things for you to discover on your adventure.
So there you go. It’s not a pun, it’s just that Japanese apples are really big!
A bit of internet research later, and it’s a verifiable difference between Japanese and European versions of the fruit. Where our apples might be around 150-200 grams – per Japan Living Guide – Japanese apples can often be over 300 grams, but without having the tart sourness of our cooking apples. The Fuji Apple is probably best known, and typically comes in at 3″ in diameter, while the Sekai Ichi is an even larger apple that’s often 900g in weight and more like 4-6″ in diameter.
Japan is home to a number of unique fruit varieties, thanks to some creative directions with the cultivation over the span of decades. It’s the same reason why they have square watermelons in Japan and why their strawberries are big and juicy, and still full of flavour, while British strawbs tend to be one or the other.
Want proof? Here’s that Paul Hollywood off the telly:
Forspoken, though, is about much more than just apples. We got to go hands on with several hours from near the start of the game, experiencing how it sets up the world of Athia, drawing Frey into the battle to rescue this world from the poisonous influence of the Tantas and their corrupting Break. There’s high-speed action and gameplay that looks to make the most of what the PlayStation 5 offers.
Read our Forspoken preview here, and remember that there’s a PS5 demo available now (with the caveat that it doesn’t do the best job of explaining everything that will be possible in the full game).
Forspoken is out on 24th January 2023 for PS5 and PC.