Nobody cares about the nanites, Josh.
I know there are plenty of people out there that choose to play with subtitles on; my wife is among those people (Jen: because I am awesome). However, just because a lot of people do something, doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily the best thing to do (Jen: you’re gonna get butt punched later for saying this). I used to be one that turned on the subtitles in video games as a way to make sure that I didn’t miss out on important dialogue, but sometime in the last year or so, I stopped.
You may be wondering why, so I’ll elaborate for you.
Subtitles Ruin Screenshots
Sure, this is something that’s really only an issue for the few of us that take screenshots of games on a regular basis. However, ever since this latest generations of consoles were introduced, I’ve been abusing my network’s bandwidth by downloading and uploading my PS4 and Xbox One screenshots. Want evidence? Just take a look at my Mass Effect 3 super gallery. There are over 100 screenshots from that game alone, and one thing is conspicuously missing… subtitles. There are no words clogging up the bottom of each shot, ruining the perfect photography. Only beautiful images that are worthy of being desktop wallpapers. You heard it, but not from me. The internet spoke and declared that they were…
Certainly wallpaper worthy! -iplayedthegame
Great shots! So many memorable moments captured, and I agree with iplayedthegame: these are definitely wallpaper-worthy! -Athena
Both comments above say these are wallpaper worthy, but hey! Here’s a 3rd comment saying the same because I also agree. -One Depressed Gamer
Very intelligent people, this lot. Good people. They really know great work when they see it. Want to know what the images had in common?
There were no subtitles.
They Distract You From The Game
With the subtitles on, you spend the majority of your time concentrating on reading the words. You miss out on the little nuances of the characters, or in the case of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, the comically exaggerated gestures. What’s going on in the cutscene, or around you in the game world? Your perspective is narrowed, your immersion is stunted, and you’re stuck in the narrative. You might as well just be reading a book.
Playing Halo 5 with the subtitles on? Well while you were reading what your squad was saying to you, the Covenant was flanking you. Now you’re dead. Yeah you got to see every word they were speaking, but you’re going to hear it again anyway because you have to relive that moment.
You Read Things You Shouldn’t Understand
It may seem nitpicky, but it isn’t. Why is it that most games translate foreign languages in the subtitles? Chances are they aren’t saying anything important anyway. Most of the time it’s just little flavor stuff, filling you in on the details of the random NPC’s dating life, his inability to properly maintain his hygeine, or his exploits at the local bar.
The truth is, you really don’t need to know what they’re saying, which is why the developer put it in a foreign language. Otherwise, they would’ve made it forced subtitles, like in The Hunt For Red October, where all the Russians sound like they’re from the UK. I was far more concerned as to why James Bond and Dr. Grant were stealing a submarine, and why Darth Vader worked for the CIA. Furthermore, why didn’t Vader just force-choke everyone to death to get his way.
Am I Right? Or Am I Wrong?
Well, of course I’m right. My wife may disagree, but I’m waiting on her rebuttal. She certainly doesn’t like my views on subtitles despite their empirically proven consequences.
Jen: You can find my rebuttal right here, where I tell you why Shelby is wrong.
How do you feel about subtitles though? Do you play with them on, or off? Why? Tell me in the comments!
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