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It is a bit weird how a game that goes out of its way to note the nationality of each soldier and has multiple voice packs for them would only have you choose from a bunch of similar-sounding American accents. I'm not asking the game to cater for every accent in the world, but they could at least cover the big bases. Something vaguely Franco-Spanish would cover a lot of Europe and the colonies. You could have a slightly slurry and unspecific thing that could be either South African or Australian. And a nice Received Pronunciation accent could theoretically come from anyone socially pretentious.

I'm serious about this. If anyone knows anything about modding, let me know how one goes about replacing sound files in the game and I'll record a voice pack. I'll record three or four covering several regions of the UK if you want. Because I like doing that sort of thing. I did my own audiobook, didn't I? And I've done a handful of VO gigs just for the fun of it. I was "The Professor" for an educational game a year or two back (uncredited), so honestly, it'd be my pleasure. And this goes for Worms Armageddon, too. Mainly I'd like to voice an X-Com soldier from Yorkshire. Dashing to cover with a hearty "Back in a bit, put t'kettle on".

But that's not what I want to write about today. Today I want to write about save scumming. As in, frequently quicksaving in a game to immediately reverse the slightest mistake on your part like a makeshift Dagger of Time. I have a confession to make: I used to be a save scummer. If I lost more health than was necessary in one of the bits with the ninjas in Half-Life I'd reload that shit and find a better corner to lurk in. If I was spotted by a single guard in Thief 2 I'd be mashing that quickload key before he'd even finished yelling about it. And whenever I read a choose-your-own-adventure book as a child I'd have all ten of my fingers marking previous pages just in case I was walking into one of the bullshit endings. And don't tell me you didn't do that.

But then someone advised me that the best way to play Thief games is without saving, except between missions and when you're unexpectedly called away from the game because the Mir space station has landed in your bathroom hall or something. And when I gave this a try, suddenly I was having fun with the old dog again. Because Thief is a game designed so that there is no major fuck-up you can't organically claw back from, generally by running away and hiding in a cupboard, or using one of your thief gadgets. And by having to live with my mistakes I actually got some use out of the thief gadgets, when previously I'd end every level with a hoard of the things taking up space in my pseudo-medieval tote bag.

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