Poll Question 221 – Would you play a mod with a story if it’s not in English?

23rd April 2011

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

Let me clarify the question. You find a new mod on PP that apparently has a really good story but the voice acting is only in a language you can’t speak.

Do you still play it knowing that you won’t understand anything – nada, rien, ingenting, ei mitään, hичего, niente, tίποτα, kuch nahin, niets, 무가치, nashi, ekkert, nihil, gar nichts? (Sorry, I got carried away with the translations!)

Some mods have subtitles, which is good, but not all. I am not suggesting that all mods MUST have English voice acting, because I don’t think they should. However, having English *may* help the mod get more coverage and exposure.

I’ve definitely played some Russian mods that didn’t have any English, either voice acting or subtitles and it was fine. Of course, they were action mods and let’s be honest, most of the time the script is not that great anyway.

I suppose it comes down to the type of mod. Alternative mods probably require it more than others. Imagine playing Dear Esther and not understand anything. Would kinda ruin it, don’t you think?

Actually, now I think of it, doers anybody know if they will be releasing non-English versions?

The Poll – Get Voting!


  1. Duke

    As long as the plot doesn’t involve understanding any text or voice acting…I can’t see it’d make any difference…a good scrap is the same in any language..

  2. You betcha if the action is fun…shooting head crabs is what it’s all about!

  3. Hec

    Oh this poll sounds like deja vu, because i’ve played those kind some times, I remember russian mod called chernobyl and a chezck mod called blbej den, which then I figured out that meaned, fool day, or dia tonto, those for HL1, I ended them, it was ok, but I felt like something missing on both, and yes that missing part was that I didn’t understand anything, of the plot or story if it was one.
    My mother language is spanish, but for mods english is like my second mother language, so I allways ask non native english speakers modders if I could, that at least put some english subtitles, because that’s like an international language for HL universe mods.
    But back to the question point, i’d say that if the mod is worthy to play it i’ll play it for sure action it could be perfect a 3d language, that u don’t need to translate!

  4. Rog

    I voted yes.

    Growing up in Canada, occasionally there would be a movie on a French channel that I would want to watch and I’d go ahead and watch it, even though I had little-to-no understanding of French at the time. I didn’t do this very often, but enough to appreciate how much emotion carries with inflection, along with the context / situation at hand.

    Later, just getting into adulthood, I spent some time working in an environment where everyone but myself spoke Cantonese. I didn’t do it long enough to pick up the language, but I did grow accustomed and comfortable with it.

    I would have thought I’d have learned other languages than English by now, lol.

    Anyway, I don’t know if anyone would bother reading my little story here. The point is, a lot of information can be carried outside of the words, even in something that’s pure story.

    1. I don’t know if anyone would bother reading my little story here

      I did, and I almost shed a tear. Just joking!

      You make a good point about context and emotion via the original language.

  5. Frohman Zelinsky

    Tempratura reaktora blizijsa kritickaj norme.

    I dont know what I just said there but I can find out 😀

    Naah , if the game would involve a russian story I would get it , if it would have a russian “game task system” I probably try to hijack the car while I was supposed to get into the garage.

  6. Only if it had subtitles. I have seen where a foreign language (with English subtitles) actually added to the experience. One example is the iPhone game Infinity Blade, where all the voice acting is done in some mix of latin and italian, adding to the mystery and atmosphere of the game.
    If there were no subtitles in foreign language mods, then even if I wasn’t missing anything important, I would feel like I was.

  7. GoodGuyA

    So long as the person is good at telling a story through environment, like all level designers should be able to, I would definitely play a foreign language mod.

  8. Pickings are getting so slim and infrequent, I’d play almost anything! 🙂

  9. zekiran

    I don’t mind when there are subtitles. Sometimes it feels more appropriate to be playing with Russian or a European language spoken, if it’s “in” the Half Life universe. Not so much if there are important cues that get missed due to either missing or badly done subs, but I haven’t run across any of those really.

    I don’t think I’d be able to work with a mod that doesn’t make the attempt at different language subtitles, though. By and large, isn’t the bulk of the mod player base English-speaking? Gonna sound horribly arrogant here and say, maybe it’s good practice for modders to at least try for subtitles. 😉

    That said, I’m a writer and would be happy to help work out issues with subtitles, as long as I know what’s supposed to be said.

  10. You know, there is a life out of English. Yeah, really. People are thinking, loving and diying without this language. So there are any mods beyond this border, and some of them are so interesting as Reseach&Development. Paranoia, Joutomaa, The event in village, Comatose for example. I live there and I know it. SCRAMBLED TEXT From Russia with love.

  11. Kyouryuu

    If the mod was totally dependent on story – if it was really the only thing driving the mod – then I’d have to say no.

    Fortunately, the vast majority of mods aren’t like this. A gunfight is a gunfight. That and many heavily story-driven mods are so pretentious I can’t stand them.

  12. I voted Yes, if, as marekzi rightly points: “…But its FPS, here you should shot, no ask…”

    marekzi, on Topic: Russian remakes FC (FarCry)
    Fri Apr 22 2011, 07:50PM

    “Unfortunately, only RU[ssian].
    But its FPS, here you should shot, no ask
    Seriously, I’ll search English.patch for it”

  13. If there is a non-English mod with a good story to it, I will play it as long as it has english subtitles. If I can’t understand what is going I generally become distracted and I lose interest.

    I might play a non-English mod if the reviews indicate it is fun to play and the story doesn’t really matter but I still feel I might be missing something.

    Overall, I tend to stick with English language mods wherever possible.

  14. Only foreign map I have ever played was an “Escape from Ravenholm” style map, which I assume was Russian.
    It thankfully had subtitles, and I found it just as easy to follow the story.

    I imagine that without the subtitles, and therefore no way of knowing what was going on, then I would not enjoy it as much

  15. I’m playing Paranoia right now, but that has english subtitles. If it didn’t, I probably wouldn’t be playing it. So, as long as it has english subtitles, yes.

  16. carloscarlin

    I used to play mods that werenn’t on English, but now I’m tired of them

  17. CovertChaos

    If it wasn’t in english and had a story, that would bother me, because I like knowing what’s happenning. I could play it if it had english subtitles, though.

  18. AGS

    I think that non-english voice acting can add realism. It’s really weird if every character can speak english.

    1. I agree. In fact, maybe somebody should make a mod with no English acting or subtitles, but leave clues within the maps to tell the story. Part of not understand what the people are saying is part of the story – if that makes sense.

  19. Bramblepath

    Applying this to films as well, I find it very surreal to watch foreign films that don’t have subtitles. You can almost formulate your own perceived story, which makes it a lot more interesting as it makes itself up as you go along. So: yes.

    1. Actually, that could be really cool. Imagine making a mod where people “seem” to talk but actually say nothing. This happens through.tout the mod and there are message in an unreadable language. AT the end of the mod, the player must submit their story, or at least suggest some ideas. The best idea wins a prize.

      The first mod, where the player actually creates the story.

  20. JohnnyMaverik

    I stuck in a maybe, if it has subtitles I don’t care what language it’s in, makes a nice change in fact, but if it doesn’t then probably not.

  21. I play a lot of of all three STALKER games and mods. I don’t mind that 95 % of the NPC dialog is in Russian, but at least for the US version, all the key story line vocal and written dialogs are in English, so the rest just fleshes out the core.

    If not for this, I simply couldn’t play them for utter lack of comprehension and the same goes for any other game or mod – how can you ! So that’s a nope from me !

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