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First-Person Shooters Suffer from Silent Protagonist Syndrome

From Xbox Evolved:

"First-person shooters have gone from being an unknown, yet very popular, variable in the 1990's to the most dominant genre in gaming today with the exception of maybe sports titles. Every month now, it seems like we get another two or three. They have certainly supplanted RPG's as the most prolific gaming genre as the industry has gone more mainstream, especially in this decade. Games like Halo, Half-Life, Call of Duty, and many other wannabe greats have made their stake in the industry. However, many of them released today have a problem that seems to be growing and for the life of me, I cannot understand why. This is what I call the "silent protagonist syndrome". "

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AridSpider3058d ago

I never really noticed this. But yeah it's somewhat true, main characters in most FPS rarely ever speak. Master Chief throughout Halo 1-3 said what, 10 lines most? He's too badass to speak!

Blaze9293058d ago

haha. Well I figure it's because they want you to be and become that main character as much as possible. In third person shooters, the main characters speak alot like Gears of War for instance. But I hate the oens that just make it lame like when being spoken to the main character in the FPS doesnt say a word.

mal_tez923058d ago

Ultimate badass, mocking whoever he kills and pisses on.

IaMs123058d ago

It really never has bothered me throughout the game except for moments where your like WTF SAY SOMETHING! There are parts like that in every game, like Half-Life got me going a lot with that. Now that i think about it, i dont like it too much either but i love the concept of trying to get YOU into the game.

BWS19823058d ago

and not seen in first person, I really thought it was awesome how much you got to see of Max Payne's suffering and watch the progression of his vengeance unfold via his dialogue and thoughts and all those metaphors, it was very well done. If more FPS shooters could capture that, there wouldn't be a problem at all.

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Cajun Chicken3058d ago

Prey breaks this rule, Tommy speaks a lot.

OtherWhiteMeat3058d ago

The hell with talking, just give me a bad ass weapon.

JasonXE3058d ago

Just depends I guess. Call of Juarez, both main characters spoke...a hella lot. Halo 3: ODST, you got the rookie who apparently won't say a word which I guess fits with what this article is saying. Call of Duty series is like this as well, as far as I'm concerned the main characters never speak as well.

Blaze9293058d ago

yeah from the recent ODST trailer, the rookie seems to be one of the latest "Silent Protagonist"

tokoshix3058d ago

Yea, no need to talk if you can just destroy everything instead!

FG3058d ago

They really need to make the story good before they let the main character speak

AridSpider3058d ago

very true. and at most times, the story is so good you don't even need the main character to speak. If i'm correct, the main guy form BioShock never spoke either but it never really bothered me nor did I really notice....not that he really had anyone to speak to

Blaze9293058d ago

well some games just work out better NOT having them speak. I can't imagine BioShock's main dude having dialogue

Jayfatyboombaty3058d ago

This is just a lot of games. RPGs are the same way, Mario isn't exactly a talker. I think when you make a character in a game that you have to play for 10=40 hours giving them a voice would be a bad idea. For a lot of people hearing them for to long might make the character less appealing to the audience, and them having preconceived ideas of how they would really act and talk like at least in a constant sense, is probably better than any final product that could be contributed to the actual game.

Maldread3058d ago

It depends a bit on the genre, but giving characters a voice can also greatly enhance the gameplay. Think Snake from MGS for instance. Many play the game because they want to be Snake in a way. And i think that`s to some degree because of his really cool voice.

This dosn`t just have to be in cut-scenes either. Drake from Uncharted`s constant comments while people are throwing grenades at him just draws me more into the game, making it better.

I know this two examples are from 3d person games, but i don`t see any reason why one couldn`t have the same type in a fps. If done right, i`m sure it could`ve made the games better.

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