In Tanta We Trust is a rare example of DLC better than the main game it's based on, but that doesn't mean you need to rush out and buy a PS5 copy of Forspoken in order to play it. This optional expansion trumps the original campaign purely because it doesn't need to bother with the baggage of an open world experience: vast stretches of land and tedious side activities. This is a streamlined, tightly-packed undertaking that proves consistently enjoyable, if a little too short.
While the DLC tells you it takes place after the events of the main game, the vast majority of the story actually serves as a prequel. Protagonist Frey Holland is transported back in time to the Purge of the Rheddig, a war that ravaged Athia and sent the Tantas loopy. The twist is Frey finds herself in someone else’s body and is accompanied by Tanta Cinta, who's out to save the city by any means necessary.
It's a fairly basic premise that's given little time to set up many twists or further stakes as the expansion can be finished inside two and a half hours. There is one open area that's roughly the same size as a single region from the base game, but besides that, it's linear routes and encounters. While that's no bad thing on its own, there's hardly enough time to really ground yourself in the new location and get to know its quirks before the DLC is over. Worse still is you can't backtrack to that bigger zone — you'd need to start another playthrough if you miss anything gear or lore-wise.
This condensed structure does have its positives, though: less time spent wandering the outback and more in combat encounters. Frey very quickly unlocks a whole new set of powers to use — it's like the original game's ability tree on steroids — which work in tandem with the skills of Tanta Cinta. Once you meet her, she's by your side at all times, and your melee and ranged powers can be combined for huge damage and deadly blows.
Using basic attacks, you'll charge up a spear — this can be swapped out for other attacks — that can be thrown into enemies. You'll then be given a button prompt that activates Tanta Cinta's ability to unleash a large area of effect attack that downs most enemies in a single hit. Within a single encounter, this move can be charged up two more levels, each dealing extra damage over a wider radius. At its most powerful, you can quite literally take out more than 10 enemies in a matter of seconds. It's incredibly satisfying, turning large groups of combatants into an enticing opportunity rather than something to run away from.
None of Frey's powers from the base game carry over, so this is the combat loop you've got to work with — abilities unlocked over the course of the three chapters provide the variety you might need to keep things fresh. As a microcosm of the Forspoken combat experience, it all works really well.
And while it is comparatively small when stacked up against the main game, the single open area In Tanta We Trust offers is both visually pleasing and fun to traverse. With a huge tree at its centre, crystals shoot out from the ground while the town wraps around it in a circle. You can dash all over the place, and with a new traversal option that acts a lot like a whip, you can cross chasms and great stretches of land quickly.
There is a bit of open world busywork to tempt you off the main path (collectibles and character upgrades) but there's not enough to where you'd tire of it. Maybe add another 30 minutes onto that two-and-a-half-hour playtime if you see everything the DLC serves up.
What the expansion never gets away from, though, is this is ultimately more Forspoken. That means more banter (a new option at least lets you turn the ambient dialogue off), more disjointed graphics, and more one-note characters. You probably already know whether you jive with the humour of Frey and Cuff or not by this point.
In Tanta We Trust is a DLC better than the game it's based on, but that's more because it strips the Forspoken experience of its open world busywork than anything else. An expansion that focuses more on combat, the single open area is a condensed version of what the base title offers, turning it into a more tightly packed undertaking that gets you in amongst the action much faster. It's more Forspoken, but a better version of it.