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New Forspoken trailer downplays the jokes to show off the open world

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The trailer for Forspoken (opens in new tab) that arrived earlier this month did not land well (opens in new tab), to put it lightly. Frey Holland's self-aware quipping—however true it may be to the character—came across as tired in a media context where it's immediately recognised and referred to as Whedon-esque. Even if the style predates him, the immediate association says "No, we want something else now".

In this new 10-minute trailer from Square Enix, the focus is much more on Forspoken's setting, and how it plays: something that Lincoln Carpenter found promising in an early preview session. He described the spellcasting as a change from the static vision that previously had a grip on gaming, into something fluid, reactive and stylish (opens in new tab), and you get to see more of that here.

The trailer shows off more of its traversal and open world system too, with a slightly more local-looking "towers fill in the map" mechanic. Frey can scan belfries to highlight nearby points of interest, which all look pretty close to the tower. If everything sticks to line-of-sight, it might be a sign for more engaging exploration than tracking to waypoints—particularly when your movement set includes flying, and speedy little zips and leaps.

That said, the new trailer doesn't entirely avoid trying to pull jokes out of Frey seeming out of place, with Cuff playing a genteel straight man to Frey's blunter stylings. I have several worldbuilding questions about why a sentient wrist cuff would have an upper class English accent, but here we are. 

With Forspoken (like several other games) being delayed until the first half of 2023, you can keep an eye on its Steam (opens in new tab) page until its expected release date of 24th of January.