Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Dear Battlefield, "Я не говорю по русскому"

Alright, I know I still haven’t fixed this damn blog’s artwork. Any time I actually have the time lately, I’ve been playing Battlefield: Bad Company 2. A few of us pooled in at work and got our own server, you can find it as “JSG Clan Server” if you want to play with us. It used to be called, “Jet Set Games Clan Server” but the way we are kicking and banning cheaters, we figured we shouldn’t be so open about who we are.

But cheaters though, that is the thing. I found out that when I’m not playing on a server where a bunch of the guys on the other team are using aimbots and wall hacks, I’m actually not bad at the game. I pretty much always rank above 50% and often am right up top. I’ve also come to accept that the medic is overpowered and that is the class to play to rank up.

But I didn’t come here to whine about how cheaters are taking over the servers in Battlefield and that Punkbuster has failed. Instead, I decided to make a little post about voice localization in these types of games. Battlefield, to continue with that game as an example, has excellent background audio. Not only is there the voices of your teammates when they do something, but there is low level background radio chatter as well. It really helps set the mood. These games areset up as the U.S. forces verses some other nationality and at times in multiplayer, you take turns being the attacker and defender so you play both as the U.S. forces and as somebody else.. If you are playing the other nationality, you have the option of playing their voice audio in their original language or localized. I like playing the original language in these cases because, like I said, it really helps set the mood.

The problem is I don’t speak Russian or whatever nationality I’m playing and I need to understand what is being said. The game expects you to play a lot and start to recognize what phrases are associated with what gameplay element, but that takes a long time and isn’t really all that fun. Though, I always find it funny to hear things that aren’t there in the foreign phrases. I could have sworn one of the clips in Battlefield 2 was, “The cost of a sniper, is less than I thought.” Another in Battlefield: Bad Company 2, which I think is a “Ha, I got you message” in Russian, sounds like he’s saying, “Where’s Wolfgang Sally!?”

When you set the voice audio to play in English for the foreign forces, it just plays the U.S. forces audio. But what I would rather see is every language done in the original language and in English with an appropriate accent. I can pretend I am speaking Russian if the radio chatter is in English with a Russian accent. I also think it would be fun to have a nonsense/gibberish English version for the U.S. Forces, so I can play another nationality’s forces and NOT understand what the U.S. forces are saying.

That is my two cents, though I’d pay a quarter if they could figure out a way to remember my localization settings between games. Dice makes some good games, but they really need to work on their user interface.

P.S. I am hoping that if I post more I'll be more motivated to fix the artwork.


Scott said...


Just last night I commented to someone that BC2 would benefit greatly if the russian voice-overs said "Hey, a grenade," in english with a medium-heavy russian accent, rather than IN RUSSIAN.

Moo said...

I dunno... it seems to me that for important things they used Russian words close to the English equivalents. For example, they say things like "grenada!" and "snaiper!" I think it adds to the atmosphere

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but which one means I need a medkit vs. ammo vs. a lift?

I'd rather here, "Comrade, please give unz medkit" in a thick Russian accent.

It takes me out of the atmosphere to think, I have no idea if that voice just said we took or lost a flag.