Forspoken's latest patch update makes a number of changes, including “the frequency and content of the banter”.
Even Square Enix has admitted that Forspoken, the big-budget action RPG it put out in January, hasn’t gone down as well as it had hoped. Reviews, the company wrote in its annual report, had been “challenging”, and sales were “lacklustre.”
Among the criticisms levelled at the game in those reviews was the tone of its dialogue, which contrasted its high-fantasy setting with knowing, post-Whedon observations, such as:
So let me get this straight. I’m somewhere that’s not what I would call Earth, I’m seeing freaking dragons, and… oh yeah, I’m talking to a cuff. Yeah okay, that is something I do now. I do magic, kill jacked-up beasts, I’ll probably fly next.
Square Enix appears to have listened (or read) some of the criticisms levelled at Forspoken’s dialogue, because – as spotted by Rock Paper Shotgun – a 23 May patch update is said to adjust “the frequency and content of the banter between Frey and Cuff that plays during open world activities.”
Frey and Cuff are, respectively, the game’s fearless protagonist (played by Ella Balinska) and the sentient bracelet around her wrist, Cuff (Jonathan Cake).
Taken at face value, the update theoretically means that there’ll be fewer quips, jibes and casual insults thrown around as you traverse through the game, though it would surely be the ultimate act of trolling if Square Enix had turned the dial the other way so that Forspoken's banter was more frequent.
Curiously, systems have long been in place to assist players who didn’t particularly enjoy Frey and Cuff’s repartee. Not long after Forspoken launched, a number of sites demonstrated how you could dial down the amount of chatter in the game’s Accessibility Settings menu. You can even turn the Cuff Chat Frequency off altogether if you’re really not into it.
Banter aside, the same patch update makes a number of other improvements to the game, including tighter pacing during cut-scenes, additional camera settings, and a new ‘Cuff Crush’ attack. In short, now is probably a good time to give Forspoken a chance if you haven’t tried it yet; it’s flawed, but there’s plenty of fun to be found in its fantastical open world.