So as the title suggests, I have been playing Saints Row 4 and Splinter Cell for the past couple of days now, and the overall verdict? Yeah, very good games in their own rights, but why have I paired them together specifically for this post? To begin with their genres are wildly different, ones a 3rd person stealth em up, and the other is a sandbox game akin to GTA but is known to crank up the wacky and insanity to 11. You can customise your character on Saints Row, you even have the choice to pick Nolan North as your characters voice… Which I did, and I would do again, In Splinter Cell we have some chap replacing the iconic Michael Ironside (who so far seems to be doing a good job, but still Michael Ironside will always be Sam Fisher to me).
So after all that waffle, what im trying to say is that the two games couldn’t be any more different than they are already.
Except for one thing, and its something I couldn’t help but pick up on.
so what is it?
It’s the age-old English accents matched with the feature villains, I don’t know why it bothers me so much, especially considering back in the day in the land of movies, English accents were an absolute requirement if you wanted to get cast as the villain of any particular film. But for the past few years (and perhaps longer still) the movie industry, to my mind at least, had been moving away from the stereotypical English accent on a villain.
The accents were not much of a problem in the games industry because the bad guys could be anything from completely mute to wacky to utterly insane etc etc, you had a much bigger scope of what your bad guys could be. But with games consoles and PC’s becoming much more powerful there was a hunger for more realistic characters and stories, much akin to TV shows and dare I say it movies.
However, if there’s one thing I hope, is that the games industry doesn’t pick up the bad habit of casting English actors, or even English accents as a requirement for the antagonist.
So, to the games that have given me this little brain storm.
I can forgive Saints Row 4 because that’s self-parody in of itself. If you have never played the game before, it contains stuff such as, wacky weapons like the Dub Step gun, the Inflato-Ray, my personal favourite The ‘Merica and other things such as you being the president of the united states and having the actor Keith David as your vice president, or even fitting numerous rooms inside the White house with stripper poles and tigers etc. I think you get the gist of the overall tone of the game 🙂 It is crazy fun, and also very funny which is why I can forgive it for the slightly effeminate English accent on the alien overlord you have to kill because it carries off as a parody all by itself. That crazed yet deeply eccentric English where he enjoys earth culture such as Jane Austen, but at the same time enjoys being a murderous tyrannical dictator at the same time wrapped up in a hideous alien form.
It’s almost theatrical how they play it off, a pantomime of galactic proportions if you will.
But now we turn to the slightly more suspect English accented villain in SplinterCell Blacklist, now granted this is a Tom Clancy game, so expecting anything other than America saving the day etc is probably reaching a little bit on my part. This game in particular isn’t alone in this sort of thing, for example in series’ like 24, if they ever had a terrorist who was from the middle east but inexplicably spoke with an English accent, they would always justify it with a, oh he’s ex MI-6 or 5 or whatever, it’s never something that’s an integral part of the characters identity and psychological make-up, it’s always some throw away sentence never to be heard from again.
It’s that sort of slap-dash writing that always gets on my tits. Perhaps its pure laziness? Just revert to the English evil stereotype and justify with a throw away sentence, no one will notice….
It would be nice if the English accent wasn’t portrayed as evil so damn much, but im pissing into the wind really because I seriously doubt it’ll change much, but I live in hope!
To the voice actors credit ( Carlo Rota) however, he does a really good job and pulls off the calculating incredibly intelligent menace to society brilliantly. But you just hope for a little bit of variety, but I know im not going to get that with Tom Clancy so I should stop holding my breath! Thankfully the game is fun to play so it at least gets the game part right.
Apart from my moaning, I do recommend these two games. Possibly Saints Row 4 over Splinter Cell at the moment, but if you can, get both! Although if you were not a fan of stealth games or even a casual fan of the Splinter Cell series then, wait a little bit for it too drop in price, or find it cheap online as im sure you could, I was just to damn lazy to do it 🙂
Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed it 🙂
P.s. Just seen this video on Kotaku, so I thought I’d post it here too.
“An Ode To Michael Ironside” They replaced him as Sam Fishers voice