I don’t know if you’ve ever seen Tommy Wiseau’s cult and very unintentional comedy movie The Room, but it’s a total joy. The plot is confused. The performances are bizarre. The dialogue is inhuman. It’s not “good film-making,” but give me the choice between The Room or some high-art film like I studied at university (let’s get the lads round and watch F.W. Murnau’s Sunrise) and I’d take The Room every time. Forspoken, the new RPG game from Final Fantasy’s Square Enix, seems to have a similar appeal, and as we approach the Forspoken release date, its quip-heavy, “Marvel-esque” dialogue is drawing some impassioned responses.
The Forspoken gameplay trailer that we saw back in November gave us a pretty strong sense of the adventure game’s tone and timbre. “So let me get this straight,” said Frey, the young New Yorkian magically transplanted to the fantasy world of Athia. “I’m somewhere that’s not exactly Earth. I’m seeing freaking dragons. And – oh yeah – I’m talking to a cuff!” Ironic, knowing, and with smirking reference to the fourth wall, Forspoken, you might have argued, was laying its sensibilities on a little thick.
The latest Forspoken gameplay seems to follow in kind. As Frey experiments with her newfound telekinesis, she has the following interaction with her companion, the previously mentioned talking cuff: “Did I just do that? I did not just do that. I just moved s**t with my mind. I just freaking moved s**t with my mind! Yeah, okay, that is something I do now.”
Many viewers seem unimpressed with Forspoken’s style. “I played the demo, and while I love the gameplay, I just cannot get past the terrible dialogue,” one respondent writes. “I think this is the first time writing has made me say ‘not gonna get this one’ even when I liked the game itself.”
Other Forspoken fans seem impressed with the game’s mechanics and play, despite reservations about the writing. “I think it’s kinda based of Square Enix to double down and keep the extremely bad, Marvel-esque writing,” another fan writes. “Maybe it will add to the charm. Everything else looked sick.” “I think some of you all need to have a sense of humour and appreciate the cringe,” a third respondent says. “Personally I find it hella charming.”
As for myself, while I wouldn’t say I admire the dialogue that I’ve seen in Forspoken so far, I do find it strangely compelling. It’s as if the raw energy, the base, atomic element of every annoying quip from the last ten years of blockbuster films has been distilled, filtered, and set loose in its most unadulterated form. I’m like Ash in Alien. “I admire its purity.”
I also feel like Forspoken is probably not meant for people like me. I think it’s meant for a younger generation, and players in their teens or pre-teens. And if this is what they like (and judging by the popularity of various Netflix shows over the past decade, it seems like it might be) then fantastic. I hope Forspoken speaks to them somehow, and likewise, manages to successfully marshall its target audience. We’ll just have to see.
Until then, you might want to get a headstart on the toughest Forspoken dungeons, or maybe answer the burning question: how long is Forspoken? Alternatively, check out the Forspoken system requirements, so your PC is ready to run once launch day arrives.