I hate to be that guy, but I’m going to be that guy: I believe that the hate that Forspoken got for its “cringy and bad” was racial and gender-motivated. The reason I make that claim is that Atomic Hearts also has pretty bad voice dialogues, yet the outcry pales in comparison to what Frospoken had to deal with.
When Forspoken first got revealed, it was a game that was met with a mixed reception. Some thought the game looked good, while others were skeptical about its performance. The typical reaction gamers tend to have for any new upcoming games, however, as the months drew closer to Forspoken’s release, the discussion surrounding the game shifted towards basically nitpicking the voice acting and dialogues of the game. You couldn’t search Forspoken on social media without coming across someone mentioning how bad the dialogue was in the game. Clips of 1-2mins of dialogue floated across Twitter, with everyone dogpiling on the game for having a bad dialogue. I, myself also fell for the hate as the clips out of context did sound bad. However as I looked more into the game, and played the demo, I realized that the dialogue wasn’t even that bad, and even had a few moments where I genuinely laughed. When the game finally came out, reception slowly shifted with more people realizing that Forspoken’s dialogue wasn’t “that bad”! Some still didn’t like it and that’s fine but the outcry and attack this game got, had me questioning whether it was the dialogue that really was the issue. Time passed and I forgot all about it until Atomic Hearts was released.
Just like Atomic Hearts, the game also had horrible dialogue, arguably far worse than what Forspoken was accused of. Yet, I did not see the backlash emerge online in the same manner Forspoken received for its dialogue. No long Twitter arguments, videos on YouTube bashing the game voice acting going viral, nothing! Atomic Hearts also had a mixed reception, even being more evident in its reviews, yet most of the discussion points surrounding the game seem to focus on the game being a sponsor for Russia, and boycotts. No demonizing it for having bad dialogues. This raised an alarm in my mind, was the reception for Forspoken harsher simply because it featured a Black woman? To be honest, I’m starting to lean toward that reality. It’s bewildering that Forspoken was torn asunder for its dialogue, yet Atomic Hearts barely got the same shit for it. I’m not talking about the game’s technical feats or gameplay mechanics, that’s a different topic. I am solely focused on the odd treatment that Forspoken vs Atomic Hearts received for their poor dialogue and voice acting.
In fact, it gets comical when you realize that Forspoken had a talking bracelet to which the main character talked, and in Atomic Hearts, the main character also had a talking glove, both meant to be witty to match their counterparts. People called out the hate that Forspoken got as being racial and gender-motivated leading up to the game’s release, but were basically gaslighted into thinking that they were just sensitive or race-baiting. I also thought that was the case, but now that Atomic Hearts is out and there’s barely any noise or mockery made about the dialogue, I’m seeing things differently now. Everything that Forspoken was accused of, was found in Atomic Hearts, so unless someone can give me a genuine reason to why the backlash is non-existent, it further proves that the gaming community still has a long way to go before we can successfully purge this bias out.