Silent protagonist really hurts this game.

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#1 Posted by JZ (2125 posts) -

He's a damn robot, it's terrible. The actual gameplay is pretty good and I like the look of it, but the story sure sucks. The only interesting character in the game is the outsider. Also if this game has the 3rd person wall hugging of deus ex: HR, I would really love that. It's the definition of a three out of five game.

#2 Posted by JZ (2125 posts) -

I would say this is a better overall game than deus ex: HR tho. HR just had a much better presentation.

#3 Posted by Phatmac (5721 posts) -

silent protagonists ruin most games for me.

#4 Edited by hedfone (1749 posts) -
#5 Posted by EXTomar (4495 posts) -

What did you need that character to say anyway? Dialog makes sense game where the character is free in the setting to make choices and discuss things. In Dishonored he has little or no choices.

#6 Posted by JasonR86 (9608 posts) -

@JZ: @Phatmac:

What would you guys have this character say? What character traits would he have that would make the experience better?

#7 Posted by CommanderZx2 (134 posts) -

There's plenty of the character to the characters if you are prepared to look for it. For example using the 'heart' multiple times on every person you encounter will give you lots of personal information about them.

Third person wall hugging in a stealth game is ridiculous, because it allows you to instantly see everything over a cover without the enemy being able to see you. No true first person stealth game has third person cover.

There's plenty of reasons why your character does no speak, he was in prison for 6 months and was being tortured, who says they didn't cut out his tongue to keep from him telling the guards or other prisoners what really happened?

On another note I'd much rather have a silent protagonist than one that says lots of stupid one linears.

#8 Posted by Phatmac (5721 posts) -

@JasonR86 said:

@JZ: @Phatmac:

What would you guys have this character say? What character traits would he have that would make the experience better?

I'm not agreeing with this guy(haven't played Dishonored) but I tend to dislike games with silent protagonists.

#9 Edited by SlashDance (1804 posts) -

@CommanderZx2 said:

Third person wall hugging in a stealth game is ridiculous, because it allows you to instantly see everything over a cover without the enemy being able to see you.

The lean does exactly that though. You can see around corners without anyone seeing you so I think it's just as bad. I'd still take a lean that doesn't turn you invisible over a third person cover system (especially considering you also have the ability to see through walls as much as you like), but sneaking around in Dishonored is extremely easy regardless.

#10 Posted by BeachThunder (11692 posts) -

He should have said something *hilarious* like "cool story bro" whenever he killed a guy!

#11 Posted by Orbitz89 (229 posts) -

@CommanderZx2 said:

On another note I'd much rather have a silent protagonist than one that says lots of stupid one linears.

I couldn't agree more. I honestly prefer silent protagonists.

BulletStorm was absolute torture to play for me for this very reason.

#12 Posted by TheDudeOfGaming (6078 posts) -

@EXTomar said:

What did you need that character to say anyway? Dialog makes sense game where the character is free in the setting to make choices and discuss things. In Dishonored he has little or no choices.

I disagree, I think it mostly has to do with the story and the way player gains new objectives. GTA III had a great silent character because he fit well into the game.

Not having played Dishonored (yet) I don't know how well they pull it off. But the one thing I dislike about silent characters is that they never explain why they're silent. Give us a backstory, some traumatic event that changed the character forever or maybe he/she simply doesn't like to talk. And some interaction with other people is a must if you want an effective silent character.

#13 Posted by SlashDance (1804 posts) -

Thing is Corvo isn't actually silent. He's just not voice acted, he still has some dialog in the game.

#14 Posted by Hailinel (23874 posts) -

@TheDudeOfGaming said:

@EXTomar said:

What did you need that character to say anyway? Dialog makes sense game where the character is free in the setting to make choices and discuss things. In Dishonored he has little or no choices.

I disagree, I think it mostly has to do with the story and the way player gains new objectives. GTA III had a great silent character because he fit well into the game.

Not having played Dishonored (yet) I don't know how well they pull it off. But the one thing I dislike about silent characters is that they never explain why they're silent. Give us a backstory, some traumatic event that changed the character forever or maybe he/she simply doesn't like to talk. And some interaction with other people is a must if you want an effective silent character.

This is why I think Drakengard pulled the silent protagonist off so well. Caim isn't a silent protagonist at the start of the game, but loses his voice for valid story reasons early on. He even gets his voice back in one of the game's endings.

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#15 Posted by _Zombie_ (1462 posts) -

It was a little off-putting at points, but it didn't bother me to the point of it hurting the game.

#16 Edited by TheDudeOfGaming (6078 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

@TheDudeOfGaming said:

@EXTomar said:

What did you need that character to say anyway? Dialog makes sense game where the character is free in the setting to make choices and discuss things. In Dishonored he has little or no choices.

I disagree, I think it mostly has to do with the story and the way player gains new objectives. GTA III had a great silent character because he fit well into the game.

Not having played Dishonored (yet) I don't know how well they pull it off. But the one thing I dislike about silent characters is that they never explain why they're silent. Give us a backstory, some traumatic event that changed the character forever or maybe he/she simply doesn't like to talk. And some interaction with other people is a must if you want an effective silent character.

This is why I think Drakengard pulled the silent protagonist off so well. Caim isn't a silent protagonist at the start of the game, but loses his voice for valid story reasons early on. He even gets his voice back in one of the game's endings.

Do NOT tempt me with your vile Playstation 2 exclusives heathen!... But that does sound totally awesome.

#17 Posted by Akrid (1356 posts) -

Silent protagonists are great! It allows you to truly step into the shoes of whomever you're controlling. In a well written game, it can make for a role-playing experience above any other. You can have a great time with it as long as you can resist the temptation of trying to get a logical answer as to why that dude ain't talkin'. He's not talking because of game design - a pretty good reason for something to happen the way it does in a game.

Overall, adhering entertainment to the rules of reality and common sense is only going to disappoint in the end. I have a fairly staunch philosophy in life against poking holes in things, works wonders for me.

#18 Edited by Vao (324 posts) -

I'll agree, I would of loved to have some minor talking from the character, you do all the work and get betrayed by people. He didn't need to be cocky or Duke Nukem level but Questioning the motives of some of the characters, rather then be given a mission and be put on a boat to the objective.

Some Spoiler stuff

The outlander stuff is my biggest annoyance, having spiritual being just pop out of now where to talk to you about your life and the progress so far was cool, but i find it hard to believe anyone wouldn't have some questions rather then a one sided dialog. Or the fact that your carrying around a heart that talks about people and gives you insight on the world. ld.
#19 Posted by FoolishChaos (431 posts) -

Not once have I played a game and wished the protagonist was voiced. I don't necessarily mind it in games, aside from the fact that in some cases it results in compromises on certain choices by the developer

#20 Posted by huntad (1930 posts) -

Yeah, a lot of the character interactions are unintentionally void of all emotion because of how Corvo fails to react. Not every game needs a voiced protagonist, and this one wouldn't either, but it really makes some scenes awkward/strange.

#21 Posted by Gantrathor (199 posts) -

I would much rather have a silent protagonist in a game of this type. The main character in Deus Ex: HR pretty much ruined that game for me, and that problem could have been solved if his dialogue weren't fully voiced. I couldn't project myself onto him, because he already had a personality laid out for him, and so all of the choices that I made felt totally unnatural. Same with the Mass Effect series, as well as Dragon Age 2. When the main character is fully voiced, It feels like I'm watching from the sidelines, barking out orders for what I want the character to do, whereas the silent protagonist is an outlet for me to be fully inserted into the gameworld. Basically, Corvo Attano ceases to exist when I start playing Dishonored, because I have become the crazy, supernatural assassin at that point.

And at least you are given a dialogue tree at some spots in Dishonored. I thought they did a pretty good job with the illusion of "You are the one who is speaking right now." Though they could have added more dialogue to the game, me thinks. And hey, they could have used the Half-Life/Bioshock version of the silent protagonist and made it where the main character literally has no dialogue at all, and other people are just speaking at you, not ever wondering why you don't have a voice. Oh wait... the main character of Bioshock does actually speak at the very beginning of the game, so that's kind of a whole lot weirder. Hmmmm.

Time to go to bed!

#22 Posted by SpartanHoplite (384 posts) -

I'm fine with it, when Isaac Clarke started talking in DS2, that ruined it for me. He was much cooler when he didnt talk all the time.

#23 Posted by dudeglove (7684 posts) -

Who was it who wrote the theory that Gordon Freeman has autism or whatever? Made some kind of sense.

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#24 Posted by JZ (2125 posts) -

The empress is being killed in front of you, yell "NO" at least come on. Silent protagonists are either lazy or cheap.

#25 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5806 posts) -

It's a minor blemish, especially since the rest of the game is so fucking good.

#26 Posted by InternetCrab (1504 posts) -

Yeah, I agree that Corvo does need a voice.

The only silent protaganist I enjoyed in my uttermost honesty was Gordon Freeman.

#27 Edited by CornBREDX (4795 posts) -

I don't think it ruins the game but I agree that it's awful and another example where they clearly wanted to make him talk but didn't for fear breaking immersion. Much like Dead Space, it would have been fine if he talked and is really annoying he doesn't. 
 
Especially when Chucky... I mean Brad Dourif talks to you. That's not really an especially, I just love that Brad Dourif is in this game. 
 
Edit: I just want to say, after reading all of the replys, that it's not that it has to have dialogue for the main character but more so that it says something about the writing that while playing it early on in the game the first thing I said to myself is "Why is this guy not responding? Oh, video games." Maybe better writing would fix that, but there are times when it makes no sense he doesn't respond much like Dead Space. That annoys me. I am totally fine with a silent PC when done well and it makes sense. It can make sense in this, I just haven't seen anything explain it other than some peoples theories outside the game itself. 
 
So my theory is his tongue works just fine and while he is a bit maladjusted from the torture mainly he's just plain rude (as he was silent even before the torture). Why not? It works for me.

#28 Posted by Icemael (6312 posts) -

@hedfone said:

Dishonored is one of the first games with a silent protagonist I've played all the way through that i didn't at one point in the game say "why the fuck isn't this dude talking?!".

I said that to myself within the first five minutes when he just stood there silently as the guards arrived and arrested him, making it totally look like he was responsible for the murder and the kidnapping.

#29 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4330 posts) -

Ehh, the gameplay and world is why I like playing the game. The story is nothing worth writing home about so I don't care that the protagonist is silent.

#30 Posted by hedfone (1749 posts) -

@Icemael said:

@hedfone said:

Dishonored is one of the first games with a silent protagonist I've played all the way through that i didn't at one point in the game say "why the fuck isn't this dude talking?!".

I said that to myself within the first five minutes when he just stood there silently as the guards arrived and arrested him, making it totally look like he was responsible for the murder and the kidnapping.

You're right, he should have said magic ninja assassins came and killed her!!! Promise!

#31 Posted by believer258 (11630 posts) -

Some of my favorite games have silent protagonists so it's never been a deal-breaker for me, but I do really wish that they were used far less than they are. Most of the time I find myself going "NO DAMN IT SAY SOMETHING!" I found it pretty refreshing when Isaac got a voice in Dead Space 2.

Note that in the cases of Skyrim and Dragon Age Origins, I don't consider them silent protagonists. You still get to choose what they say, and since you don't actually hear a voice you also choose what they sound like in your head. Or you just pick an option and move on.

#32 Posted by Hunter5024 (5539 posts) -

@TheDudeOfGaming said:

@EXTomar said:

What did you need that character to say anyway? Dialog makes sense game where the character is free in the setting to make choices and discuss things. In Dishonored he has little or no choices.

I disagree, I think it mostly has to do with the story and the way player gains new objectives. GTA III had a great silent character because he fit well into the game.

Not having played Dishonored (yet) I don't know how well they pull it off. But the one thing I dislike about silent characters is that they never explain why they're silent. Give us a backstory, some traumatic event that changed the character forever or maybe he/she simply doesn't like to talk. And some interaction with other people is a must if you want an effective silent character.

That kind of goes against the point of a silent protagonist, they're supposed to be a blank slate for the player to transpose themselves upon, and so defining the character in such a way would clash with any benefit that having a silent protagonist offers. If you're going to make them a fully realized character than there is no reason to make them a silent protagonist.

#33 Posted by Icemael (6312 posts) -

@hedfone said:

@Icemael said:

@hedfone said:

Dishonored is one of the first games with a silent protagonist I've played all the way through that i didn't at one point in the game say "why the fuck isn't this dude talking?!".

I said that to myself within the first five minutes when he just stood there silently as the guards arrived and arrested him, making it totally look like he was responsible for the murder and the kidnapping.

You're right, he should have said magic ninja assassins came and killed her!!! Promise!

That doesn't make much less sense than him killing the Empress with no escape plan and somehow abducting the daughter by magically getting her out of there with no trace while staying himself.

#34 Posted by SamStrife (1282 posts) -

I hate that Corvo is a silent protagonist. Dudes come up and kill the Empress, the woman you're supposed to be protecting and quite obviously the love of your life...and you're just going to use some over the top, hand gestures to convey your emotions. At least let something out. There's loads of points in the game where I felt like dialogue would have helped it.

#35 Posted by laserbolts (5311 posts) -

I honestly didn't notice because I have been too busy having so much fun playing this game. Would the character having a voice improve the game? Sure. Does it ruin the game? Not at all.

#36 Posted by ShaneDev (1696 posts) -

The only points where it seem quite jarring was when the Admiral or Pendleton were talking to you or should I say at you and you can't reply at all. Other parts where you are given responses even if they weren't voice seemed quite alright in my book. In other words any interaction at the Hounds Pit should have given you options to respond, although there were some.

#37 Posted by TheHT (10876 posts) -
#38 Posted by JZ (2125 posts) -

This may sound like a pretty assholeish comment, but it's not my fucking job to come up with a backstory or a reason why he does not talk. If they wanted him to be a blank slate, they fucked up by naming him. In skyrim yes that is your job, it's the whole point of the game. I'm Frank the lizard wizard deal with it. Dishonored is not a make your own guy, do whatever game. It's telling an exact story with an exact character, but you get use the door or roof, etc, etc.

#39 Posted by SmilingPig (1337 posts) -

I like the games mechanics but I find the graphics super dated; it's late 2012 wheels should be round and half-life 2 textures are no longer in stile.

#40 Edited by EXTomar (4495 posts) -

@JZ said:

This may sound like a pretty assholeish comment, but it's not my fucking job to come up with a backstory or a reason why he does not talk. If they wanted him to be a blank slate, they fucked up by naming him. In skyrim yes that is your job, it's the whole point of the game. I'm Frank the lizard wizard deal with it. Dishonored is not a make your own guy, do whatever game. It's telling an exact story with an exact character, but you get use the door or roof, etc, etc.

What does naming the character mean anyway? Is the name "Corvo" any more or less meaningful than anything anyone can come up with?

I honestly don't get this complaint. I don't see how a voice or a name defines Corvo any more or less than some other name or lack of voice.

#41 Posted by Nightriff (4915 posts) -

He hurts the game but the everything else makes up for it, story is forgettable (I don't even know what is going on through 5 chapters yet) but I'm enjoying it more than most games. Biggest complaint is non lethal kills of targets is meh, it was cool when you burned the guys face to get banished but the whore house one was terrible, at least have me kidnap them and bring them to a certain area, something

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#42 Posted by CJduke (782 posts) -

For some reason, I love silent protagonists, so I'm really liking it. I think it has something to do with how the other characters in the story interact with you, like how Alex is in love with Gordon Freeman in Half-Life 2 and everyone thinks hes the greatest hero ever, yet he doesn't say anything. Similar with Corvo and his relationship with the empress and Emily and the other characters saying how impressed they are with him. I guess I just think it's cool when characters are a total badass for what they do and what they say and/or are thinking is kinda up to the player.

#43 Posted by BonzoPongo (111 posts) -

Couldnt disagree more, there is nothing more immersion breaking than not identifying with protagonist, keeping him silent is the best way to keep it ambiguous and open to everyone.

#44 Posted by GetEveryone (4455 posts) -

Having had a think about it, the reason it works so well for HL2 is that Gordon is an enigma. We're purposely given virtually nothing in the way of details in order that we place ourselves in his shoes.

With Dishonored, Corvo has an established history, both in the universe and with the characters he interacts with. Silence, conceptually, makes no sense.

Granted, he has the occasional dialogue tree, but for the most part he is a character who does not interact with anyone he comes across.

#45 Posted by punkxblaze (2956 posts) -

I filled the dialogue in my head. Worked for me.

#46 Posted by Abendlaender (2759 posts) -

Had no problems with it either. I would have prefered it if he would talk but...ehh

Game is so amazing that this tiny little detail doesn't bother me

#47 Edited by Quarters (1628 posts) -

I don't think silent protagonists are ever better. I think it's lazy writing. It doesn't make you feel like the character at all, especially in cases where you already have a name(Half-Life). I've liked some games that use it, but I still just think it's a terrible technique.

#48 Edited by EXTomar (4495 posts) -

I suspect writing anything with a talking main character is easier than writing it where the main character never says something. If they were really lazy they would just give Corvo "edgy" lines.

#49 Posted by ShaggE (6328 posts) -

I love this game, but I did find it strange that Corvo wouldn't verbally strike back at a couple of pivotal moments in the game. I mean, the game revolves around him getting completely screwed over by people who redefine the words "punchable face" ... you'd think he'd have SOMETHING to say.

#50 Posted by JZ (2125 posts) -

Note to all silent protag fans. There are other voiced characters besides duke nukem, for christ sake.

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