On Silent Protagonists

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 NEXT
 

I will say I am finding silent protagonists more and more annoying as of late. They don't do ANYTHING for me in terms of immersion, especially in story-based games where it feels like developers are copping out on having to characterize someone.

Xocrates:

Both of your comments sidestep my point. I'm not terribly worried with what the character did or what its motivations were, but I felt insulted that a character I designed, to work as my in game avatar would simply disregard my intentions, and simply do whatever the game designers wanted it to do, even if it meant "tricking" me into doing it.

Had the game had a fixed protagonist, or even a selection of pre-made ones, I would be fine with it.

Though to be fair, I went into the game knowing very little about it (and had little interest to start with). The only reason I even played it was because I had gotten it for pre-ordering DoWII: Chaos Rising and was bored.

So you didn't like the game because it lacked a crappy two-way karma meter?

You're a gang leader. Good guy? Not a chance.

The game never claimed at any point that you'd make decisions.

I actually wonder if Samus didn't have a voice until the very end of production. I haven't played the game, but with everyone complaining that all she does is repeat the obvious, it makes me wonder if the voice was added after the game was finished. That would explain her dialog as being completely unnecessary and repetitive.

GeneticallyModifiedDucks:
Damn, I really need to get around to playing Saint's Row 2 one of the these days.

It really is that fun.

For some games, I don't mind having a silent protagonist. But ODST annoyed me with it. Not only did it have an awesome cast of voices, they let play as each of those characters, having their voice come out of the player. Then, after enjoying the cast of Firefly, you're thrown back into the Rookie. It's completely idiotic and jarring. Why bother saying that the Rookie is the player, but then have the player be characters with personality?
When I heard Reach would have a silent protagonist, I groaned. And then I saw that the cover doesn't even have Noble 6 on it. Why bother making the character for single player campaign if he isn't even going to be on the front cover?

I think they should give Gordon Freeman, Stephen Fry's voice in Ep3.

Then watch all the hardcore Valve fans go kill crazy!

Sebenko:

Xocrates:

Both of your comments sidestep my point. I'm not terribly worried with what the character did or what its motivations were, but I felt insulted that a character I designed, to work as my in game avatar would simply disregard my intentions, and simply do whatever the game designers wanted it to do, even if it meant "tricking" me into doing it.

Had the game had a fixed protagonist, or even a selection of pre-made ones, I would be fine with it.

Though to be fair, I went into the game knowing very little about it (and had little interest to start with). The only reason I even played it was because I had gotten it for pre-ordering DoWII: Chaos Rising and was bored.

So you didn't like the game because it lacked a crappy two-way karma meter?

You're a gang leader. Good guy? Not a chance.

The game never claimed at any point that you'd make decisions.

xocrates has a point, even if the game in question only sidestepped that concern with what you're talking about.

It's like this: You can literally make your character look any way you want him to. And at any point in the game you can do pretty much whatever you want without consequence. BUT IN THE STORY MISSIONS, your actions, dialogue, personality are completely decided for you. If you go in expecting a sandbox style story, you'll be disappointed.

It's not a sandbox style story. It's a sandbox style EVERYTHING ELSE.

Sometimes they do learn from their mistakes. Like in Dead Space 2 they're giving Issac a voice and it will help a lot.

I wonder if Yahtzee has seen the Freeman's Mind machinima?

The silent protagonist worked in BioShock, I think it really helped with creating the atmosphere.

maybe I just have an ear for voices (and I love accents), but with Reach...actually nvm the player character only spoke like 3 times so it was the one voice that was like "whoa, who's saying that-oh...nice voice"

I liked Noble 6's voice (pity he didn't talk more)
and John Marston's from RDR, good casting

as for FPS games...I mean I have to agree with games like CoD where it's a good thing you can see who's talking because of everyone's same-y manly voices haha (altho Soap's Scottish accent was wonderful)

Absolutely agree on the "they could have voiced Samus and it would have fit, if they had bothered to do it well" bit.

MonkeyPunch:

Yahtzee Freeman? Uncanny.
http://img692.imageshack.us/img692/2636/yahtzeefreeman.jpg

Holy shit, this is so weird. I feel like I'm waiting for the narrator from the Twilight Zone to start talking.

Yeah, my issue wasn't with giving her a voice. It was giving her a shitty voice, and a shitty character to go with it. Team Ninja does not understand women, end of story.

Yahtzee Crowshaw:
So basically I didn't have a problem with Samus' voice in itself. The problem I had was that the voice they picked was that of a woman recording her own will after taking fifty codeine tablets. And the only possession she owned was a small jar of grey slime. And she was leaving it to her pet brick.

You've nailed it on the head better than I could.

I also want to add that despite my own hatred of the dreaded "voiced Samus", I didn't see anything wrong with giving her more of a personality along with a voice. Too bad the personality was that of a robot with less emotion than R.O.B.

(If this becomes a bit redundant, I apologize.)

Listening to how Yahtzee talks really has had an impact on me as a person.

So basically I didn't have a problem with Samus' voice in itself. The problem I had was that the voice they picked was that of a woman recording her own will after taking fifty codeine tablets. And the only possession she owned was a small jar of grey slime. And she was leaving it to her pet brick.

This is the reason I am now using colourful analogies in every second sentence. I like it though because I can tell if the person I am talking to is actually listening to me. If they are they may laugh, if they are not they'll be like "Bwuh?".

MonkeyPunch:
Totally OT and the link has probably been made by someone before... but seeing those two images one after the other in that article...

Yahtzee Freeman? Uncanny.
image

I was thinking exactly the same thing. If Freeman gets a voice, Yahtzee should be the actor.

On the issue of gordon freeman, he the perfect silent protagonist. His silence has been established in a previous game and all the characters attribute to him a personality based upon his previous actions, that if he actually spoke would be shattered.

Hes basically a politician. The less people know, the more people trust him.

When you are going to have a voiced role receive prominent attention throughout the entire game, it has to be well-done. Well-written, well-acted. Seems like the problem with this game (I haven't played it, but have seen/heard scenes from it) is that they didn't fulfill either of those requirements. It's not like this is the first game to make that blunder though. Then again, people seem to think a game like Uncharted 2 did fulfill those requirements, but the writing and voice acting in that just made me want to stab myself. At least it was emotive though.

Why re-hash this. No, no, I don't think so. She wasn't in the slightest doing a superannuation commercial, it was very honest, intelligent, thoughtful, and believable. More importantly, it was Samus. I played through the game before any of these reviews, it was awesome - and it does bug me when people say that it wasn't Samus or the character is ruined forever or some rot, no it wasn't. Sakamoto didn't just grab any old person off the street, there was a ton of auditions. My only complaint about the plot would be that it was much too short, I don't think Metroid Primes archeological dig was better though, it was right up there with Fusion.

Sebenko:
So you didn't like the game because it lacked a crappy two-way karma meter?

You're a gang leader. Good guy? Not a chance.

The game never claimed at any point that you'd make decisions.

The game can be completely linear in its actions without being disrespectful to a player's character.

Saints Rows 2 feels like you're creating a character for someone else, while being given the impression it will be your character. It's insulting and immersion breaking.

There's one issue I have with silent protagonists.
I'm sure I'm not the only one who notices that the big "argument" people inevitably use for JRPG characters is "It's supposed to be youuuuuuuuu. Youuuuuuuuu're supposed to put youuuuurself in the character's place."

Um... no, the little meat cage you stuffed my consciousness into is most certainly not me. Clearly I have no control over him besides the motor functions. He's still a codependent would-be messiah with technicolor hair and a sterling, if mind-numbingly bland, personality, no matter what I try to do.
Just give Crono 2.0 a voice so Marle 2.0 and Lucca 2.0 aren't just narrating everything he says like he's the mutest boy scout the world has ever seen.

Okay, am I the only one who thinks that making Henry Townshed in Silent Hill 4: The Room a mute, maybe even a name-it-yourself protagonist would have been a huge improvement? Unlike with other protagonists in Silent Hill -games, Henry doesn't have much of a backstory or attachment into the events in the game, he's just a guy who gets pulled into them. And due to the game's haunted apartment element, it would be pretty effective to let the gamer project himself to the protagonist more.

Oh, and every time he opens his mouth in the cut-scenes... *shakes head* :/

And yes, I like SH4, just as I like SH2 and 3. Silent Hill 2 is way too over-rated compared to the other 2 on the PS2.

I stand by the fact that people are being way too hard on this game. The backstory plot made sense- it was just Samus' present day reaction to her squadmates and Adam that didn't make sense. However, the main plot of the game, while cliche and overdone, is actually quite good and was never touched on in any Metroid game. Yes the voice acting is mediocre and the way Yahtzee describes Samus' tone is accurate, but I have much less a problem with how she sounds than I do with her lines, because, as he says, she rarely ever speaks when it's not to clarify a plot point or talk about the "baby."
How much you liked the controls depends on how well you can quickly locate your sensor bar with the remote, which most coordinated people who have experience with the Wii can do instantaneously. The levels were created with geometric shapes so they can be easily traversed with a d-pad, and the forced camera, while making it somewhat awkward to backtrack, made making smooth turns a non-issue. Whenever you transition between 3rd and 1st person, your orientation is maintained and the action slows down significantly for a couple seconds. To say the game has bad controls is stupid- the game controlled flawlessly with only 3 buttons. I had absolutely no control issues throughout the game- 0.
If your going to complain about the game without sounding like every other ass out there who doesn't know what he's talking about Yahtzee, complain about the lack of emphasis on puzzles compared to Prime, how basic the bosses are, and the extreme linearity- linearity that is forced upon you not by inadequate powerups, but by locked doors. For god's sake I think there was only 1 room in the game that had 4 doors (the main room that gives access to all the different sectors) and very few that had 3. However, as sub-par a Metroid game it is, it's still a great action-adventure game with several inventive control mechanics, and if it were a new IP, it would be recieving praise all around.

I disagree. A silent protagonist seems more like a cop-out, when the writers can't think of a compelling enough script. I don't want to play a make-your-own-adventure-book. I paid 40; I want an interesting story and developed characters.

Uber Waddles:

SatansBestBuddy:
I'm sick of people saying that Samus not having a voice before this game made her a silent protagonist.

She talked all the freaking time in Fusion, having internal monologues in every other elevator shaft to heighten the sense of being trapped and alone on a ship with a story that sucked but was still ten times better than Other M, and the text introduction to Super Metroid, told in first person by Samus, is still one of the best I've ever seen, setting the mood for the game perfectly.

Just cause she's got a voice now doesn't mean she was silent before.

(I'm not counting the Prime games cause Sakomoto has already said they're non-canon and don't reflect the personality of Samus at all, which is BS but whatever it's his character)

^ This. Samus wasn't a silent protagonist. She hasnt been for a while.

This whole article is full of junk logic, like most of these posts. Metroid: Other M was bad because it was a bad game made by a bad developer. The team that did DOA not personify a female role correctly? No...

Sakamoto himself lovingly penned every instance where she cooed into Saka--- I mean Adam's ear like he was a less sparkly Edward Cullen, and put his heart and soul into writing every instance of Samus rolling around on the ground in the fetal position pissing herself and ovulating. That was aaaaaaall him.
Comparatively, Team Ninja was in charge of all the MORE SUBTLE reminders Samus is female.

If your going to complain about the game without sounding like every other ass out there who doesn't know what he's talking about Yahtzee

Again, we seem to have the "Stop pointing out all the bad things everyone else noticed" phenomenon that seems to be following this game everywhere like a bad stink.

EDIT: Ok, It's more of a "You're just trying to be cool by pointing out all the bad things everyone else noticed" reaction from the fandom machine.

Xocrates:

JuryNelson:
So you didn't like the game because it lacked a crappy two-way karma meter?

You're a gang leader. Good guy? Not a chance.

The game never claimed at any point that you'd make decisions.

The game can be completely linear in its actions without being disrespectful to a player's character.

Saints Rows 2 feels like you're creating a character for someone else, while being given the impression it will be your character. It's insulting and immersion breaking.

First, I didn't say that. That's a quote I quoted of somebody else saying that.
Second, your point is kind of MY point. It DOESN'T fit the story missions, but that's not all there is to Saint's Row II.

Artemus_Cain:
I wonder if Yahtzee has seen the Freeman's Mind machinima?

I was waiting for someone to bring this up.

Also, I was hoping for a Dead Rising 2 review. I guess it's Reach.

I've got to say that the voice acting in Saint's Row 2 was what allowed me to continue playing it. You see, even though I crafted the character, his personality wasn't mine to control, making him a character rather than an avatar. So of course, when he made a stupid decision or did something opposite of what I wanted at the time, it wasn't as bothersome because it felt less like my avatar suddenly sprang to life and ignored my commands.

However, for some reason, Half-Life 2's lack of voice acting felt somewhat jarring. Times when it would be pointed out, or when a character he knew would greet him, made it so that my Freeman (and let's face it, like the Wanderer from SotC, Noble 6 from Reach, and a host of other silent protagonists, everyone has a different character/avatar) was suddenly forced into a different character than the one I thought he was based on my actions controlling him as an avatar. Sure, I would eventually fill in the pieces with my mind to compensate for that, but it still made for an awkward moment (though with the old friends, maybe that was the point: have you struggle to remember someone but just come up blank).

JuryNelson:
First, I didn't say that. That's a quote I quoted of somebody else saying that.

Oops! Sorry, misquoted. Fixed now.

Was I the only one expecting to see a Jak 2 reference? The voice he was given was unexpected, but it worked quite well. The world around him changed drastically, so Jak himself changed accordingly. It even made sense that he had such a dark personality after being tortured for 2 years.

Xocrates:

JuryNelson:
So you didn't like the game because it lacked a crappy two-way karma meter?

You're a gang leader. Good guy? Not a chance.

The game never claimed at any point that you'd make decisions.

The game can be completely linear in its actions without being disrespectful to a player's character.

Saints Rows 2 feels like you're creating a character for someone else, while being given the impression it will be your character. It's insulting and immersion breaking.

what your saying is you infered something that wasn't meant to be and got your jnickers in a twist when the dev decideded a charecter should behave a certain way?

And there are few games even amongst those all about choice that don't do that at some point.

I always thought that Samus was odd becaue of her alternating "Silent/Not Silent" status. For the record, I'm defining any game on a system where voice acting was close to impossible that has text/dialgoue boxes on screen for the character as voiced (so, be definition, Mega Man was not a silent hero, since he had dialogue with other characters).

Metroid- No Text (or a small enough amount that I can't remember it).
Metroid II- Same as above.
Super Metorid (III)- Samus now has text dialogue (the opening monologue), so is no longer a silent-hero.
Metroid Prime I and II- Silent again.
Metroid Prime III- I don't remember (I think she was primarily silent/totally silent).
Metroid Fusion- Has a voice again, though, like Super Metroid, it is only in text.
Metroid: Other M- Fully voiced, and sounds about as good as Symphony of the Night, but with far less quotable dialogue, making it far worse.

Although not entirely on Half-life 2, Metroid, or Saint's Row, there is the matter of the Upcoming Fable 3 this November. After the first two games with silent heroes (with the exception of the yells and grunts the hero's expressions gave away), Lionhead decided that the hero will have a voice in Fable 3.

I wonder how this will turn out; considering Saint's Row's customization, Fable is renown for its ability to customize your hero, either through clothing or acts of gluttony, good, or evil but will it suffer the same fate as Saint's Row? It's a topic to speculate. . .

Actually in Saints row 1 the player character does talk, but only in the final cutscenes once each gang has been defeated. It fitted the character and worked really well.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here