Forspoken: In Tanta We Trust review —What’s past is prologue

It truly is a shame the internet decided to hate Forspoken before it even released, because it’s a fantastic game. You can read our review of the base game here, but in short, it’s a fast-paced action game with amazing movement mechanics. The story was a bit played out and the constant banter could get annoying, however the combat and parkour were more than worth investing in. Unfortunately, Luminous Productions shut down shortly after the game’s launch, their staff folded back into SquareEnix, and the future of Forspoken is unknown. A DLC expansion was promised, however, and thankfully they were still able to deliver on that.

Forspoken: In Tanta We Trust takes place after the main game, with Cuff ultimately defeated and trapped within Frey’s arm once again. There are still a few lingering threads, however, such as the Break continuing to persist across Athia and Frey needing to figure out how to get home to New York and reunite with her cat, Homer. A mysterious voice speaks to Frey and she is transported back in time to the Rheddig’s invasion of Tanta Olas’ territory, which is encapsulated by an evil tree. Frey now inhabits the body of a soldier, Thalia, who is branded by the enemy and given strange magic powers. As Thalia, Frey must team up with her mother, Tanta Cinta, to stop Rheddig’s invasion, destroy the tree, and discover the origins of the Break. 3

Forspoken: In Tanta We Trust DLC Gameplay - PS5 [Gaming Trend]

After becoming insanely powerful in the main game, it’s hard to go back to square one in this DLC. You don’t import your save or anything and can start the DLC without having beaten the game, as it’s a separate section of the main menu. Just like my playthrough of the main game, I played on Hard difficulty and they’re not joking around with that title. Once you gain access to magic again (in a cute nod to the infamous “did I just do that?” scene), you have a new type of magic called Yellow which provides two types of attacks and only one support spell to start. Yellow feels like a combination of the other styles from the main game. The attack spells are your standard shot combo like Purple magic’s charge, and a melee attack using Red’s sword. For support, you start with a throwable lance and can learn a headbutt charge and AOE explosion by progressing the story. You swap to these by simply tapping L1 for support and R1 for normal attacks.

Yellow is a purely offensive kit, but in reality you’re really playing support for your companion Tanta Cinta, who’s doing the real damage. All of your support spells have a chance to encase enemies in stone, allowing you to sic Cinta on them by pressing Triangle. She’ll attack on her own too, but each time you partner up with her for this attack it will level up the damage of a subsequent team attack. Level one will take out a single target enemy no problem, but reaching the level 3 version can instantly kill entire groups of foes. Your attacks do OK damage once you fill out the skill tree and finish spellcraft challenges, but the best strategy is to use normal attacks to cool down your support spells, then use those to have Cinta deal the real damage.

When you get low on health, Cinta will in turn support you by creating a small field that restores your HP. Enemies and projectiles can’t enter, but you’ll still need to be careful not to be in harm’s way when the effect ends. Parkour is still your main defensive option, but with how many enemies you face at once in each battle, it can be really difficult to stay alive, at least on Hard. This is something of a microcosm of the main game in that way, you start off weak but by the end you can stand alongside Cinta.

I should emphasize the “micro” part there, because this DLC is very short. That’s not a bad thing, especially when most AAA games strive to be 100 hours minimum and this comes free with the deluxe edition, but it’s worth noting that completing almost everything took me just over two and a half hours. I didn’t learn everything in the skill tree and missed one collectable, but you’ll be able to finish this in one sitting easily. Even so, this is a fun new take on the already novel combat system with an incredible final boss that combines the movement and battle mechanics well.

The bad part of it being so short is that you don’t have a whole lot of time to explore your new moves. You spend most of the game getting your new spells, and by the time you have all of them, it’s time to fight the final boss. It really could have used one more section before the last gauntlet for a bit more breathing room. Maybe 15 to 30 minutes more tops.

The story itself is decent. You won’t learn anything really new about the world or characters here but it’s nice to see Frey interact with her mom in some way.

Frey and Cuff’s banter is a lot better here, though. While I criticized the base game for not foreshadowing Cuff’s villain reveal enough, now that he’s fully unhinged he’s a very fun character. He’s rooting for your enemies here and he makes that known frequently (not frequently enough to be annoying though). Sure, he doesn’t want Frey to die, but only because he doesn’t want to be stuck in her corpse for eternity. He’s a good contrast to Frey’s more serious demeanor in the post-game, even if she tells him to shut the F up most of the time.

The worst part of the story is that it mostly serves to tease a sequel, which probably won’t happen considering the undeserved reception of the game as a whole. I desperately want to see what happens next and how Frey’s magic evolves, and it’s incredibly sad that that might not happen. Square has something special on their hands here, it just needs a bit more polish on the writing side.

I’d also like to mention the music. I’m not sure if this is just reusing the soundtrack from the base game, but I certainly don’t remember these songs. It’s still generic fantasy fare, but these tunes are much more exciting and punctuate the action better.

David is the kind of person to wear his heart on his sleeve. He can find positives in anything, like this is a person who loved Star Fox Zero to death. You’ll see him playing all kinds of games: AAAs, Indies, game jam games, games of all genres, and writing about them! Here. On this website. When not writing or playing games, you can find David making music, games, or enjoying a good book.
David’s favorite games include NieR: Automata, Mother 3, and Gravity Rush.



Forspoken: In Tanta We Trust

Review Guidelines

Forspoken: In Tanta We Trust presents a cool spin on an already amazing combat system. This DLC is small in scope, but as a result is well worth the time investment. The story is nothing new, but with much sharper writing it holds a lot of promise for the teased sequel.

David Flynn

Unless otherwise stated, the product in this article was provided for review purposes.

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