Forspoken: In Tanta We Trust Review

Forspoken was supposed to be a mega-hit for Square Enix. They had invested a lot into it, spared no expense with some embarrassing marketing, and probably believed they couldn’t lose. Square Enix ensured they ticked all the boxes that market research suggests would guarantee success.

All the talent hired and focus group testing was all for nothing. Forspoken ended up being a forgettable dime-a-dozen open-world action game that lined Gamestop bargain bins and landfills. It failed to capture gamers’ interest and tanked so fast and hard that Square Enix folded Luminous Productions.

For the Forspoken faithful who bought the deluxe edition, they would eventually get a bonus DLC episode. Everyone else: indifference. For anyone who has stuck with Frey and wanted to see what happens after the end of the story; was the wait worth it? Find out in Forspoken: In Tanta We Trust review!

Forspoken: In Tanta We Trust
Developer: Luminous Productions
Square Enix
Platforms: Windows PC, PlayStation 5 (reviewed)
Release Date: May 23, 2023
Players: 1
Price: $25.00 USD

In Tanta We Trust begins shortly after the events of the main games’ conclusion. Frey finds herself getting isekai’d into the past of Athia; an isekai within an isekai. She Quantum Leaps into the body of a warrior who had fought in a battle in the days before The Break and loses the powers she acquired during her adventures in the vanilla game.

It doesn’t take long before Frey has a run-in with Tanta Cinta; one of the four sorceresses who are the matriarchal figures in Athia. Gamers who played the core game will know that this woman is Frey’s mom. The course of the DLC episode focuses on Frey learning about who her mother is and getting to know her while disguised as a faceless goon.

Forspoken was good for one thing and that was setting gamers loose in a vast open environment to explore and get into fights with freaking dragons. In Tanta We Trust is more of a series of set pieces in confined areas.

The early moments do not do the episode any favors. Frey is stripped of her powers and players are forced into a lot of walking sequences and tedious story beats that fail to hold any interest.

The developers were counting on players caring and investing their emotions into this insufferable blockhead. If you didn’t care about Frey before, In Tanta We Trust won’t change your mind. when the main game came to a close, she did not undergo any character arc and her stubbornness to grow persists in this DLC chapter.

There is no emotional resonance or catharsis when getting to know Cinta because Frey sucks. It does not help that Cinta is a stone-cold and all-business girl boss. There is not much to her character; Cinta is a generic warrior lady who has flat dialogue and does not portray an image of a leader. She is just a brutal killer.

It would have been interesting if In Tanta We Trust showed some guts and portrayed Frey being disappointed by her mother. Alas, the story tries to depict Cinta as a noble hero and players are expected to automatically care.

In Tanta We Trust is mercifully short. After several scrapes in an extremely linear escape sequence with brain-dead stealth; Frey is set loose in a small open-ended environment. There are some side objectives, but there is not much substance to anything. The whole episode lasts roughly two to three hours and it feels like mindless action.

The new abilities are variations of the powers Frey had in the main game. The PlayStation 5’s controller does some wicked haptics and they truly charge the shooting and melee actions during combat.

In Tanta We Trust’s main draw isn’t Frey’s magic, it’s how players can utilize Cinta’s outrageous powers. There is a new combo mechanic implemented and consistently building up the meter will charge Cinta by a level. Each time her guage levels up, she can unleash a devastating attack and they keep getting more powerful, maxing out at level three.

Pulling these off is easy. Players activate Cinta with a press of the triangle button when the prompt appears and then she does her thing. The mechanics are mostly automatic and the area of effect is wide enough that most foes will have a bad time.

As if disintegrating these guys isn’t enough, Cinta can swoop in if Frey’s HP is low and cast an area of effect healing bubble. Players won’t always be able to rely on Cinta to do this since it does have a lengthy invisible cool-down. Not that it matters much since Frey can hold plenty of potions anyway.

The overall experience is dull. Without the sprawling world to explore, In Tanta We Trust has very little going on that makes it compelling. There are a lot of annoying interruptions during the gameplay for the narrative and fighting the urge to skip them is one of the harder challenges in the episode.

The most heinous aspect of In Tanta We Trust, is the audacity of having the chapter end with some unintentionally ironic sequel baiting. The producers of Forspoken were so confident that it would get a sequel. It is hard to not chuckle at this brazenness of the conclusion considering that this is undoubtedly the last the world will ever see of this IP.

In Tanta We Trust won’t win over anyone who scoffs as Forspoken and there is not a lot in it to please its fans. At the very least, the visuals and technology used to make the game possible are still impressive. The big tree and new enemies look cool and have a commanding presence.

Like in the main game, the amateurish lighting fails to flatter the work put into the character models. Forspoken and its DLC can look incredible from some angles but the perplexing lighting choices show the weak points in the graphics.

Forspoken: In Tanta We Trust is a hallow addition to an already average product. It was made cheaply since anything impressive in the game is due to the powerful game engine. Nobody will be offended by it, but it also leaves no impression at all.

Forspoken: In Tanta We Trust was reviewed on PlayStation 5 using a code provided by Square Enix. Additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy can be found here. Forspoken: In Tanta We Trust is now available for Windows PC (via Epic Games Store and Steam), and PlayStation 5.

, ,

The Verdict: 5

The Good

  • The game is still a technological marvel when it comes to rendering effects, animation systems, and scale
  • PlayStation 5 controller haptics give the playability a satisfying crunch
  • Commanding Cinta in battle proves to be worthwhile in combat
  • New and challenging enemy types
  • Does not overstay its welcome

The Bad

  • Frey is still intensely unlikable and stupid and she wears a goofy hat with ridiculous floppy ears
  • The amateurish lighting is unflattering towards the character models
  • Frequent story scenes interrupt the dull gameplay sequences
  • Cinta's character is boring and not worth the time exploring
  • Sequel bait ending


A youth destined for damnation.

Where'd our comments go? Subscribe to become a member to get commenting access and true free speech!