- The quippy dialogue seen in Marvel movies doesn’t work in video games like Forspoken.
- Joss Whedon’s writing style just doesn’t fit into tonally serious titles like the RPG.
- Wacky dialogue like this is meant for Fun Games that don’t take themselves seriously.
- Cartoony games like Hi-Fi Rush should implement such writing, not realistic RPGs.
Like any other form of media, dialogue writing is a big part of most video games. Having well-rounded characters with good dialogue has become essential as the quality of video games has improved. Even in genres that don’t require much dialogue, like platformers, voice acting still plays a huge role.
The first game to feature human dialogue and voice acting varies with different sources. Some say it was Dragon Lair by Disney in 1983 which featured human voices for the first time. However, Space Spartans in 1982 also had voices but that was through a voice synthesizer in the Intellivoice console.
Nowadays, voice acting and dialogue are on the same level, if not better, than what we see in movies. Games like God of War and The Last of Us Part 2 are prime examples of how good voice acting in video games is. Long gone are the days of cringe-worthy dialogue with human voices that sound like robots.
Even the games made by smaller and independent studios have a very high standard of voice acting. So, good voice acting and great writing have become a uniform standard in the gaming industry. Although there are still some ethical problems we need to root out, like the Bayonetta 3 scandal, the voice acting is great overall.
But, we do need to have a conversation about one problem video game dialogue has had recently. Not only video games but every major form of media, like films and TV shows are employing this dialogue style.
We are talking about the notorious “Well, that just happened” dialogue style, which originated from The Marvel Cinematic Universe and Joss Whedon.
What Is The Quippy Whedon/MCU Style Dialogue?
Whedon introduced a lot of feminist tropes and changed the television world with his show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which even got video games afterward. He took his ideas to an international scale when he made the first two Avengers movies. If you know anything about the movies, which you probably do, the rest is history.
Avengers became one of the highest-grossing movies of all time, making $1.6 billion at the box office. Meanwhile, Buffy became a classic TV show that is still popular with a large fan base that influenced many more projects. Seeing all of this success, it’s not hard to understand how others were been influenced by Whedon’s dialogue style.
His style isn’t bad either; it’s just quippy artificial dialogue that is meant to be funny. Most of the time, they are just one-liners that are supposed to be sharp and witty. It’s now seen and almost every big franchise like Transformers and Star Wars, and he has written some things all of us love, like Toy Story.
All the “They fly now? They fly now” kind of dialogue we see in movies is a result of the effect Joss Whedon has had on Hollywood. Where a character artificially describes something obvious for comic relief. It’s so widespread that people even made memes about how other movies would work with Whedon’s dialogue.
— The Stinky Cheese Man (@burningwater24) May 10, 2021
Due to the success and influence of the MCU and Whedon himself, a lot of writers have taken up this style. So, it has become very common and universal, especially in blockbuster movies. And one universal fact we all know is that excess of everything is bad.
Even though everyone hates Joss Whedon now due to abuse allegations, his Marvel writing style is still relevant in the media. We all know how different forms of media influence each other a lot. Similarly, a lot of video games nowadays have too much MCU-style dialogue, which in my opinion, is horrible in some cases.
Why Video Games Like Forspoken Need To Stop Using Such Dialogue
A lot of video games have been using this type of dialogue for a while now. It’s easy to see Whedon/Marvel’s influence in a lot of games like Gotham Knights. But the most recent example of this is in Forspoken, which came out this January.
The reception to the game has been lukewarm at best. People liked the gameplay a lot and complimented the action sequences. However, the aspect polarizing fans and critics is the world-building in Forspoken, with the dialogue being a big part of this.
Another bad thing about Forspoken that we will focus on is the dialogue. Many fans noticed how the game’s dialogues are also written in the artificial quippy one-liner style of the MCU and Joss Whedon. You can see it for yourself in the clip from its trailer below:
A beautiful and cruel new land? Twisted monsters? An array of magical abilities? Sentient jewellery!?
— Forspoken (@Forspoken) August 8, 2022
As you can see in the replies, fans are sick of this kind of dialogue in serious video games. Many games like Forspoken have been employing this kind of dialogue a lot recently, and it’s just tiring at this point. One reply calls it a “Disney Channel Original Game,” and that’s exactly how we feel.
The main character Frey Holland’s dialogue is not easy to bear in Forespoken. Not only are the lines cringe and formulaic, but they also make you lose interest in an otherwise wonderful game.
In my opinion, video games like Forspoken need to stay as far away as they can from the MCU style of dialogue writing. Not because it is unfunny, unnatural, and terrible, it’s just so overused. You can tolerate it in movies and shows, but in RPG games with a serious tone, this isn’t okay.
The game’s dialogue was so similar to Whedon’s popular style that people started blaming him in the Quote Tweets. He even got on the trending page after the trailer for this snippet of Forspoken came out, and people mocked his writing pretty hard. So, many players feel this way about this kind of snarky dialogue.
“Is that a thing?”
*starts to do thing*
“I can’t believe I’m doing the thing!”
“I’m totally doing a thing!”
*thing was done*
“Yeah… that just happened.”
— Gammatrap (@BrandonMcCamey) August 10, 2022
Hearing things like “That was freaking amazing” while beating down some enemies is not anyone’s ideal RPG experience. Some may say it’s not something that enraging, but it still feels out of place in a game like Forspoken. It works for some games, and we will talk about one of them below.
Unlike Forspoken, Titles Like Hi-Fi Rush can utilize The Quippy Writing Style
Just a few days ago, Bethesda surprise dropped the rhythm action game Hi-Fi Rush. Since its release, the game has taken over the gaming world. It has garnered universal acclaim from critics and fans alike, becoming an early Game of the Year contender.
One fan on Twitter noticed how the dialogue in Hi-Fi Rush sounds similar to Forspoken. However, one is the apple of the gaming world’s eye, while the other is being called a disappointment. You can see the clip for yourself below.
This is literally the same writing style as forspoken and nobody is complaining this time. Bro am i going crazy. https://t.co/6nHU4vDBYE
— Marcus the Grey (@CosmonautMarcus) January 27, 2023
The replies to the Tweet responded by saying the dialogue actually fits the theme. And we can’t agree more with them. The quippy cartoonish dialogue fits Hi-Fi Rush because it doesn’t take itself too seriously.
It is supposed to be a fun action game where you kill bosses with your guitar. So, the sometimes cringe dialogue doesn’t feel forced or a nuisance here. Hi-Fi Rush’s visual style literally resembles a cartoon, so, of course, childish jokes fit the surroundings.
As we can see in the clip, the rhythm brawler has the same MCU/Whedon writing style Forspoken. The poster of the tweet also emphasized this point. But the artificial jokes don’t bother us in the amusing surroundings of Hi-Fi Rush, and we feel right at home.
On the other hand, Forspoken markets itself as a serious RPG with realistic visuals and people. So, such witty writing doesn’t fit the tone it wants to set. Making the dialogue annoying and tiresome.
Hence, the MCU writing style goes with games like Hi-Fi Rush as they are built on a cartoony premise. Other games, like Forspoken, should not try to implement it. In short, hearing wacky dialogue from a protagonist animated like a Disney character is much better than hearing it from a protagonist in a fantasy RPG.
Joss Whedon’s widely popular dialogue style can work for a jovial game like Hi-Fi Rush. But when you are playing a serious RPG for 20-plus hours, it just gets tedious. It’s probably not a huge deal breaker for anyone, but video games would be more playable without this cringe dialogue.
This Marvel-style writing works fine in a light-hearted action game but not for lifelike RPGs like Forspoken. A big reason for this is that real people just don’t talk like MCU characters (cue, are those freaking dragons). Video games shouldn’t have dialogue that almost makes you put it on mute.
Similar Reads: Forspoken Devs Open To Anime Adaptation If Game Does Well
Was this article helpful?
Thanks! Do share your feedback with us. ⚡
How could we improve this post? Please Help us. ✍