It’s been just over five months since the first trailer for video game Forspoken hit the internet and quickly became a meme for its over-the-top, quippy, Marvel-esque narration. The game comes out today, which means its time for the internet to see if the cringe in the trailer made its way into the game. One viral clip tweeted by @G27Status has been at the forefront of the discourse:
I present to you actual dialogue from Forspoken pic.twitter.com/IzygNHHM2T
— MrMattyPlays (@G27Status) January 23, 2023
The scene finds the protagonist Frey chatting with her magical Cuff. Cuff waxes poetic on the nature of destruction and corruption and Frey needles it for its pretentiousness. @G27Status held it up as an example of cringeworthy dialogue in Forspoken, but unlike the unanimous pile-on that occurred after the trailer dropped, this clip proved more divisive.
As @G27Status’ tweet racked up 7,900 quote-tweets in one day, many argued that they were being too harsh, and the dialogue in the clip was pretty decent, not unlike something you’d hear in an Uncharted or Spider-man game.
I really don’t see what’s so bad about this. It’s just the same generic mainstream banter you see in MCU films. Feels weird to single this game out for having «cringe» dialogue when this kind of sarcastic main character is a really pervasive presence in entertainment right now https://t.co/L6VA2Jvuin
— John Wolfe (@JohnWolfeYT) January 24, 2023
Seriously, this is just a standard two-part role-inversion joke.
— Character 1 says serious thing.
— Character 2 doesn’t engage seriously & mocks them.
— Character 1 breaks type & mocks them back.
I could show you this exact joke in Aristophanes & Menander. It’s FINE. https://t.co/FTuD8DyhUh
— Many A True Nerd (@ManyATrueNerd) January 24, 2023
the dialogue in that #Forspoken clip going around isn’t any worse than the vast majority of dialogue in like Uncharted or Spider-Man or Horizon.
Y’all have already decided to hate this game and are just making up reasons to support that.
— vincent (@halfbloodvince) January 22, 2023
Others were less charitable, saying it reminded them of commonly reviled dialogue tropes, particularly those associated with Joss Whedon.
From the Joss whedon and James gunn school of TV comedy dialogue… https://t.co/IpEKVQ8bWE
— Carlos The Prophet Digital (@BobDigi69) January 24, 2023
Seeing people defend this as «realistic dialogue» and «actually if you were transported to a fantasy world, you’d be making sarcastic quips all the time,» and I’m convinced people think Marvel movie dialogue is real.
No it isn’t. Have you talked with a person before? https://t.co/Hz60DIcqS5
— Gravantus (@Gravantus) January 24, 2023
This reminds me so much of YiiK, where any chance at clever dialogue is murdered because they get through points that only need one sentence in entire paragraphs. https://t.co/vXEdovHG0i
— Almighty (TAL) Bundy-Chu (@bundy_chu) January 24, 2023
While reactions to the clip seem fairly split, it’s possible Forspoken may mark a turning point for video game writers to move away from light-hearted, quippy dialogue, particularly voiced by teen characters. As several commenters pointed out, the highlighted clip isn’t remarkably different in tone from popular franchises, particularly Marvel’s Spider-man. It’s also likely the case that Forspoken’s script was completed well before the backlash to its style was in full force, making it the scapegoat for the public’s recent distaste.