Voice acting and Language in [Hitman]


All I know is I shouldn’t hear Natalie Griffiths voice at all on this map.



One of the strangest bits of voice acting is in Sapienza when Rocco and his sister are screaming at each other. Even though they are siblings living in Italty, it sounds like one speaks English with an English dialect and one speaks English with an American dialect.


Rocco, Rocco, you can’t be late …


I’ve been playing Hitman since the very first title. Color me decidedly unimpressed with a capital YAWN. Folks may be tempted to blame IO Interactive, the Danish development firm that actually wrote the game, but the real culprit is Japanese newcomer to the Hitman scene (versus original publisher EA Games), Square Enix Holdings, Limited, who negatively impacted the development of the latest title by under-funding said development, tying IOI’s metaphorical hands as regards voice actor casting.

Not just talking out my hind end. Take a look at another EA Games publication, Freedom Fighters, coded by Io Interactive. Freedom Fighters was developed using technology that debuted in Hitman: Silent Assassin. WONDERFUL language use and voice acting. Freedom Fighters 2, however, was abandoned so that the developer could devote proper attention to Hitman: Blood Money, the last DECENT Hitman release. Absolution was disappointing, but this latest iteration have forced me to permanently boycott all future Square Enix releases (for reasons based upon Nazi-jackbooted-DRM, not crappy language options). Bangkok: Not one single WORD of Thai is spoken. Not one single NATIVE ACCENT, even. The voice actors are all British and American, which actually paints an absurdly ridiculous picture of Thailand in the Bangkok map.

Friends complain—rightly, in my considered world-traveled opinion—that “foreign” language options consist of crude subtitles…making it IMPOSSIBLE for non-English speakers to experience satisfactory immersion in 47’s digital world.


I have a French friend who has voiced dissatisfaction with this specific issue, and I think Marcy is right.


Yeah I completely agree. They don’t care enough about Hitman to give it the funding they deserve. Feels like IOI have had to make some cut backs so as to enable release possible. You can see from the state of the product now it’s still buggy as hell.

Im not angry with IOI just dissapointed that Hitman has not reached its full potential. I’m busy playing other games now.


[quote=“ClownShoe, post:104, topic:4305, full:true”]
One of the strangest bits of voice acting is in Sapienza when Rocco and his sister are screaming at each other. Even though they are siblings living in Italty, it sounds like one speaks English with an English dialect and one speaks English with an American dialect.[/quote]
Well, yes and no—true and not. I lived in West Germany during the Vietnam War—and after—for eight years, and I actually knew siblings that had different accents…and both of them were American, too.

[quote=“Scourged, post:102, topic:4305, full:true”]
No, because you can hire more than 5 voice actors who speak English with or without the native accent.[/quote]
Actually, your response, logically speaking, is a non-sequitur. I command a number of languages with varying degrees of proficiency, a great many dialects in those languages, and am quite an accomplished vocal mimic (that means I can render accents convincingly)…and I am not that rare a human creature. For instance, it is QUITE common in Europe for people to be extremely fluent in three to five languages…and a number of such individuals are employees of Io-Interactive.

[quote=“Braindawg, post:97, topic:4305”]
If you came across two people speaking fuckin’ Indonesian, you wouldn’t really be able to figure out that “The cook is fucking the bosses wife” or whatever. (Unless you speak Indonesian) you get me?[/quote]

You’ve got a point, but here I offer a valid criticism—pretending for a moment that it’s OK to go on the cheap and hire not only monolingual actors, but actors that can’t even mimic accents—HERE is where they could put SUBTITLES in the game, no matter what language option is enabled, so that everyone could understand…if you wanted to have voice actors actually speak Thai. Speaking of which, Dog, INDONESIAN? Really? You know something about future missions we don’t? Nothing takes place in Indonesia or the Philippines.


Actually, Xenoverse, it’s not at all surprising—in hindsight, that is. Historically, IO-Interactive has NEVER paid this little attention to such details (this is, of course, only from personal observation viewpoint as a veteran—charter—gamer and American student in Cold-War-Era Europe); they used to do a much better job…when they were financing their own developments, that is. Can’t prove it, but seeing as how Square Enix screwed up another favorite of mine in 2013, Tomb Raider, which I’ve been boycotting since then, my perception is that SE screwed the pooch on this one. The episodic release being the wave of the future is pure crap; they did it to enable sales to drive development, which they are funding.

No Italian, NO French, NO Arabic—and VERY few non-Anglo accents—and by “Anglo” I mean American and British; Teutons and Scandinavians, et cetera, are not Anglo. However, you make a very keen observation that they REALLY muddled the linguistic picture in Paris.


Looks like your response is irrelevant to my previous post.
What you just said has nothing to do with IO recycling the same voice actors over, and over again and again. They’re not even using an local accents.


lol k


I’m pretty sure a Nazi would just murder you, not install silly digital rights management tools on your computer games.


@gremlinkurst your unusual blend of intellect and sass reminds me of an older version of myself.


I hope the NPC’s get an update so they can have local dialects. It’s like a poorly dubbed chinese film.


We can hope I guess. They are clearly aware of the stupid decision they’ve made.


I was feeling the same way. Hopefully the current NPC voices are just temporary. The accents and cussing in other languages was part of the charm in previous games. It kind of ruins the atmosphere to be in Morocco and have everybody sound like they were all transplants from Los Angeles.


I don’t like to sound pessimistic but I highly doubt t they will replace the voices in the current game. Maybe of they sell alot of disc copies they may get more funding and add it in Season 2, who knows?
Funny every game I’ve been playing set in a non English speaking location has native speaking locals, with dodgy accents at the least.

Man this game could have been so awesome :cry:


Has IO ever seen an American movie? You don’t have to spend a lot of money for translators and authentic native speakers. You can just roll your Rs, change your THs to Zs, switch your Vs and Ws, and use article adjectives incorrectly. Americans will accept that as pretty much any foreign accent the script calls for.

Of course, non-American gamers might be a little more discriminating with their ears.


I’ve been replaying Absolution a bit lately, and even that game had a few foreign accents in it. Chinatown for example has a few (presumably Chinese) NPCs that speak English which is still totally understandable, sounds appropriate and enhances the mood of the level. Might be a bit cheap, but if IO still has the audio assets lying around (and they’d be of reasonably good quality being recorded circa 2010+) then why not just re-use some of those? They’ve definitely re-used some of the animations after all…


I don’t think Hitman needs people to speak in their own language, because having to read captions for every line in the game would be annoying to a lot of people. I wouldn’t be so against it myself, but most people wouldn’t like it.

I also don’t want the NPCs to necessarily have accents, because accents can sound ridiculous. Can you say “ORIBLE fake French accent”? No thanks.

All they really need to do is rewrite some of the corny dialogue.


Since not all conversation is subtexted it’s best all NPC’s speak english, since english is a universal language :smiley:. I think this is the reason why every NPC’s speak english in Hitman and i don’t have a problem with it.