Forspoken has drawn the ire of a number of gamers for a variety of glitches and odd controls, but one of its most notable unliked traits oddly isn’t a world-breaking mechanical issue, but its lead character, Frey Holland. Frey is a spunky, quippy New Yorker who ends up in the mythical land of Athia. Her fantastical quest puts her battling against a scary foe, Tantas, making her the perfect vehicle for an interesting character arc traveling through the hero’s journey. Yet despite all this, many fans have been asking a key question when they don’t vibe with Frey as a lead in Forspoken.
So Why Is Frey Unlikeable In Forspoken?
This might not actually be the right question to be asking. Other heroic leads such as Aloy from Horizon Forbidden West have gone through similar unlikable phases led more by the player base than anything in the actual script of the game. In reality, the real question at hand is why gamers are having a difficult time connecting with Frey.
One of the biggest angles of dissonance with Frey isn’t her look or her confident personality, but the way she speaks. Her dialogue is notably quippy and sarcastic, even when she’s alone exploring the vast open world. Some argue that her New York modern slang clashes with the fantastical setting, taking the gamer out of the immersion.
Others simply think the quips are corny and show a dorky ‘90s-style dated writing that glorifies sarcasm a little too much. And while that’s likely more due to Buffy the Vampire’s reach that still has a hand on some industry veterans who are writing the classic strong female lead stereotype, it’s still coming out of Frey’s mouth.
For those who play further into Forspoken though, there are direct plot reasons for Frey’s quippiness that show her sarcastic nature is in many ways a defense mechanism that reflects her personal New York upbringing, in addition to helping her ground herself in a world she’s still trying to understand.
So even if Frey at first seems a bit cloyingly overconfident and quippy, the longer players spend in the game, the more they’ll start to understand why Frey feels abrasive at first. Players will eventually get a better look at her softer side as she makes friends and gains companions like Cuff, Johedy, and Auden.
That doesn’t mean Frey will be everyone’s cup of tea. There are certainly moments her asides will leave players rolling their eyes, and that tough exterior might make it equally tough for players to connect with who she is. If you go in asking why Frey is unlikeable in Forspoken, you’re going to have a hard time shaking that when her personality develops later in the game. But those who keep playing might discover a number of likable qualities hiding under that sarcastic exterior.