Why does half the game have regional voicing and the other half doesn't?

The reviews for Hitman 2016 one of the more consistent criticisms was the lack of regional voice acting. This was big among the community also since regional voices are a big part of immersion and were a part of previous games.

IO addressed this and said they’d made an effort to have regional voices in Hitman 2. And they dilivered with both Santa Fortuna and Mumbai. Though, admittedly, the majority of their Hitman 2 locations were set in places/scenarios where they could just use their regular NPC British/American voices.

Hitman 3, however, is a mix of the two. Does anyone know why? Is it budgetary isuees now that IO are self publishing? Is it logistic issues due to COVID?

Only Chongqing and Mendoza have regional voices. Aside from perhaps one or two key NPCs both Dubai and Berlin lean on their regular talent pool it seems.

Wondering if IO has ever mentioned anything about is. It’s a shame cause as much as I wanted to feel like I was exploring a Berlin nightclub it’s a little off putting when Guards and NPCs with names like “Zigler” have thick British accents. Ah well!

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Dartmoor certainly has the right accents as well.

I don’t know how the world of voice acting works at all, but if I were to make a general guess I’d suppose that there’s not a large contingent of voice actors willing to do voice work for just regular NPCs that are also skilled enough to do multiple good sounding accents. And if you add to this that IO probably want to go through some kind of agency or company that supplies voice acting in order to cut costs… you might have some difficulties.

To be honest I didn’t think much about accents in Berlin except for the example of Herr Ziegler. That was just jarring.

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I would imagine that Covid-19 might not have made things simpler in this regard, as well as it being a costly affair.

Yes both, voice acting is so expensive it also was an issue for the previous games as well.

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I figured that names aside, all of the agents in Berlin weren’t actually from Berlin. Like 47, they likely flew in from wherever so wouldn’t have needed German accents. It’s everyone besides the agents who should have had German accents. Anyone who’s seen any spy movie ever knows that you can get anywhere in the world in a matter of minutes if the plot requires it.

nonsense. This has been a problem since 2016. It’s budgetary. “Actors” don’t have to all fly to IOI studios to record. A lot of it is done remotely, and sent back and forth like emails.

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You realize that voice artists very rarely have recording studios at home right? They don’t have to fly to Denmark to be troubled by lockdown measurements.

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A “problem” is an exaggeration. It’s hardly a problem, but a design choice made to a number of reasons. The most likely is budgetary restrains. Yes voice action can be recorded from all over the world, however Covid-19 have still had implications on all parts of society and every country had a different response to the virus. All from total lock down to denial.

Thinking that voice actors have not been affected by this crisis, is being out of touch with whats going on in the world as of now. A lot of non essential work forces have been asked to work from home, having professional recording studios inside ones own house is a rare occurrence. This article highlights some of the problem this industry is facing.

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Regardless of behind the scenes realities, at the end of the day, it does detract from the final product. Not massively but it lessens the feeling of verisimilitude - particularly since 47 is back to globetrotting like the first 3 games instead of being stuck in the USA. Running around Mumbai feels more authentic than running around Sapienza. And it’s an element that is part of Hitmans history.

Chongqing is the most “foreign” place in Hitman 3, so if IOI only had the budget to do regional accents for one location, it makes the most sense they’d do it for Chongqing.

A lot of Mendoza’s voicing seems recycled from Santa Fortuna, which makes sense given they’re both Spanish speaking countries, so that was probably an easy level for IOI.

I visited Berlin a few years ago and didn’t really notice any prominent accents in their English compared to anywhere else in Europe, so I think the regular voicing for the level is perfectly fine.

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I’ve had NPCs change accents on me, which is quite funny. Probably because of the sound files being reused, like you mention.

If cost was an issue they could’ve just had the same voice actors use multiple different accents.

It had an interesting mishmash of regional English accents, not exactly the “right” ones for Dartmoor specifically - but that’s perfectly OK, because there’s so many accents in this stupid country and people move around a lot. Would have been hilarious to hear some Devon dwellers among the mansion staff though!

I was a little disappointed to hear so many Americans and British people in Berlin and pretty much no German at all, but that’s the only time it really stood out to me. Dubai and Mendoza felt like big gatherings of wealthy elites so the accent thing wasn’t as much of an issue, since you could justify it from a story perspective.

I wouldn’t say “very rarely” - Surely more don’t than do, but more voiceover artists seem to be investing in home studios as it’s easier than ever to make high quality recordings at home. Stuff like that would be a professional expense much like how a mechanic has their tools and an investment, especially during Covid. That said there’s often more than just one person involved - There’s a script supervisor, a director, and sound recordists who have more experience than the actors at recording studio quality dialogue so for some productions home recording is not going to be feasible.

There’s also the whole union side of things and I have no idea if IO uses union / non union actors. There’s gotta be some contractual stuff there we don’t know about.

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Exaggeration to you perhaps.
It is certainly a problem that breaks consistency of environment design. Accents in H1/2 were like sore thumb. They deteriorated the experience which otherwise would have been fantastic with proper VA.

In H3 i see that IO tried to listen to the problems of VA and improve up on. I have yet to play the game in meaningful way to comment on how well accents hold up.

Well Hitman 2 had it pretty perfect since most of the missions didn’t require regional voice acting aside from Santa Fortuna and Mumbai. Which both had it. All the other locations it made sense having British or American accents. Though perhaps you’d expect some more European voices in Sgail if the Ark Society is more of an international organisation.

Only other places is perhaps the guy on Alma’s answering machine should probably have a New Zealand accent and maybe a few workers in Haven Island should have Maldives accents.

The main issue with Dubai is that you’d expect some of the Guards or workers to sound local. I know they used the Mumbai voices for a couple of staff members.

What? Santa Fortuna and Mumbai had proper accents that were even reused in H3. Miami, WC and New York have correct accents for obvious reasons and in Hawkes, Isle of Sgail and Haven there are people from all over the world, but mostly from the US. What’s wrong with the accents here?

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They managed to do it in older games, on a smaller budget. Provided us with memorable moments such as a Romanian doorman wanting to feel my flesh.

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Yeah, but back then they had to record few dozens of lines, not thousands

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Yes they did “manage” to do that on smaller budget, but there is several key points we need to address regarding this. 1) Voice acting have changed a great deal since the early noughties and it was a rather a question regarding Quantity, then quality. 2) With the rise in quality so did the prices also rise. 3) The accents from past games where based on stereotypical images of certain population groups and often down right racist. I’m not interesting in seeing arguments that writes off the harmful effects stereotypes and racist character traits as an justification for “more believable” locations.

and as @Hotel_Pollisya correctly points out, you can’t compare past games scripts with that of Absolution and WOA trilogy.

In an ideal world that wasn’t battling with a virus that brought multiple modern countries to their knees and IO had no budgetary restriction, yes it would have been awesome with believable regional accents. But this isn’t the case and there is a lot of reason why they didn’t go this route in H3.

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RE @Norseman

The quality was fine back then in my view. I don’t mind if the voice acting is quirky or silly, as long as it has some semblance of authenticity. IOI prouds itself to be a multicultural team. Why not use that, the employees themselves or their network, or even their worldwide fanbase, to provide us with voice talent. It doesn’t have to be Broadway material. I find it hard to believe nobody at IOI would know some German speaking people for instance. In my view, in this case, the quest for professionalism stood in the way of creative solutions to this that would have been welcomed by a large part of the fanbase.

I don’t find the voice acting, aside from the protagonist’s voices, significantly better. The lines that NPC’s deliver are often so quirky, the delivery can get away with that as well.

Not sure where that is coming from. You won’t hear them from me, if that’s what you’re worried about. I’m sure there is still a politically correct way to provide us with an authentic experience. If we can do it for the USA, I don’t see why other countries should be different.

I think the budget increase is at least commensurate to the script dialogue increase. This is a matter of choices.

Voice work seems to me to be the kind of work you can quite easily do from a distance. Sound editing software is very advanced.