I was reading Coyote’s post today about text use in games. And the thought occurred to me: Do we really need voice-overs?

Personally, I can do without them. Often, the speech in games leaves much to be desired. It comes across as bombastic, or dull, or silly (inept attempts at “accents”), or “sounds like someone reading a transcript”.

In addition, I can read faster than the NPC speaks. So I already know what he/she/it has to say before the talking is done. That’s when a game has text along with the speech. When it doesn’t, I tend to be bored.

Now, it’s certainly true that some games have had good voice work. But has it really added anything to the experience? Or at least, my experience? Not really.

Of course, I started gaming when about the only sound in games was the “beep and boop” of the Apple’s speaker. And I was a big fan of adventures, where careful reading was necessary.

So I’m quite all right without “talking heads” in games. Okay, I’ll make allowance for cutscenes/FMVs, where speech is necessary. Outside of that, though, they could dump voice-overs and I’d never notice. And think of the time and money saved by not adding speech.

Perhaps, however, you have a different perspective? Do voice-overs in games add to your enjoyment? Or are they just more annoying than anything else? I include Coyote’s link, although it doesn’t really discuss this aspect.

The Power Of Text In Gaming on Coyote’s blog