It’s nice to attach a voice to a character you care about, and the actors and directors sure put a lot of work into all-voice games. But it’s still tempting to read the translations and Skip to the end. Sometimes you can get impatient to get to the next part, or you don’t actually want to hear someone focusing on all the wrong places. It might make you feel bad, but it’s tempting to just tap or spacebar your way.
Do you listen to the dialogue or read and skip it?
These are our answers, plus some of ours forum.
James Davenport: I am the captain. Unless the facial animations and voiceovers are out of this world, I feel like I can get the gist of emotional intent without missing out on anything. I’m a fast reader too, and I don’t like waiting to catch up with vocal performers. I don’t feel like skipping over anything hacked into Divinity: Original Sin 2 or the Mass Effect trilogy.
Morgan Park: I’m trying. I try again to sit through every bit of the dialogue, but I often skip after about 80% of the line has been said and feel guilty about it (especially on the main quests). I’m starting to think the next reading is the villain here. During the last Witcher 3 reboot, I turned off subtitles so I could stop staring at text and start looking at faces. It totally worked, but had the unintended effect of not skipping over the audio lines and I loved it. You really can’t turn off subtitles in something like Disco Elysium: The Final Cut, but that soundtrack is so good that I’ve managed to resist the urge to skip ahead.
Judy McGregor: I start a new game thinking this time I will definitely listen to the shows, really savor it. But I put in the subtitles out of necessity – I often miss important dialogue because the sound effects hide it – and I can’t help myself from reading them. I read quickly. Two hours later, I hear half a set of opening words for sentences as I jump at each scene. The last time this happened was with Solasta: Crown of the Magister, although it’s very clear that the actors have no idea the context of some of their lines, so I’m not missing much.
Andy Chalk: I don’t like skipping. If the scenes are routine, or not done well, I will occasionally read the subtitles and be on my way. But if I’m playing something with a story that I’ve invested in at all, then in most cases I want the full experience and so I’ll let them play. The Plus developers put all this work into their design, so I feel a certain obligation to watch – it’s a huge effort!
Brian Burrow: The first time I play a game, I participate in the full show – opening credits, tutorials, FMVs, speeches, etc. To get information and appreciate the efforts of the developers. If the game has a little story, the full show is usually a great part of the immersion.
The second play I get annoyed if I don’t have the option to skip everything. I may still search and listen, but I want the option. The unskippable scenes are a major annoyance to me – a couple with a return point right before one of them and I have a “do I really want to continue this game?” conversation with myself.
DXCHASE: Read on and skip ahead unless I’m interested in what the dialogue is. No dialogue was skipped when playing The Witcher, and most dialogues were skipped when playing Eternal Death.
Decius Winder: It depends on the game. For story-based games, I usually listen to dialogue, and generally games that catch my attention and are interesting, I listen to dialogue. Sometimes though, like with a game I played recently, Fallout 4, it’s not that interesting so I’ll read it and skip ahead, other times I might really like a game but don’t feel like listening to the dialogue at the moment so I read and skip ahead after that.
Zaluth: Listen, assuming it’s the first time you’ve heard the dialogue. Why am I in such a hurry to have fun!?
Befinger: I usually listen to all of that. However, if there’s a whole bunch of shows that’s taking too long to tell us, I’d probably start skipping ahead. This happened a lot while exploring all the dialogue options in Mass Effect. I’d like to learn more about world building, but the voice acting doesn’t really add much to the info dump.
Zed Clambett: I intend to listen and read, but sometimes he checks my brain, and I end up doing neither. I enjoy powerful stories, though. I’m not someone who gets easily frustrated with movie scenes unless I have to watch them more than once. Dying and having to watch a movie scene again makes me very angry.
If I had to choose between flattening out with heavy machinery or just listening to Final Fantasy banter for the rest of my life, I don’t know which one I would choose.
pain: I find it really depends on my mood. If I wanted to hear/read the dialogue I would, and if I didn’t feel it adding to my experience (if I wasn’t in the mood) I would skip it. I guess I try to listen mainly to the dialogue though.
Main: Start. Ever. I mostly play RPGs, and most of these have a good to great story, where my character choices are important, and can influence not only NPCs and companions, but local or global events. Even in the second, third, or more play I always listen to the dialogue (if it’s voiced), and read it (although some games give you the option to disable the subtitles for spoken dialogue, I just leave them running)
I don’t get bored (even if I’ve seen it a few times), and I don’t have that need to rush into the next event or fight; I’m not a sprinter, and I don’t play just to fight. Also, some of the voice actors are incredible (Jennifer Hill you’re awesome!), and some of the dialogue, even if a bit amateurish, can be funny and set the mood for the game world. Yes, even Bethesda games.
The dialog changes with the choices you make. Sometimes a lot, sometimes a little, but you never know when you’ll encounter a unique situation you’ve never seen before. Even games that are ARPG, I read and listen to the dialogue. If I’m playing a game, why do I just rush through it to get to the next part? I’m in it because of the world, the mood, the atmosphere, the choices, the dialogue/companions/nps, as well as the combat. Experience. Why rush it?
Jonway: It all depends on how annoying I am, short of time and/or impatient. For the first play, I listen to everything and generally don’t skip. However, there are exceptions to the rule. If I hear the same simple dialogue (like a shopkeeper saying goodbye), I’ll skip it. Another example is boss fights where there are huge monologues/huge movie scenes before I fight, I skip that when I try to beat them again. I remember in the Icewind Dale the last boss I was so tired of listening/reading grand speeches that I just made a choice similar to “I don’t care about your motives! Let’s just fight!”
Shaamster7832: For me, it depends on whether you have played the game or not.
Because if it’s a game I haven’t played before, I wouldn’t want to miss any dialogue so I can see what’s going on in the game’s story. However, games that replay a certain cut scene because you died can be a bit annoying and admittedly I’d skip that.
Linguise: Since it’s my first time testing the game, I definitely don’t skip it. And depending on how good things are, I don’t skip certain parts/quests/characters even when I play them for the 100th time. ❤
Sarfan: It really depends on the game. In the Witcher series I can’t even imagine skipping the dialogues. They are so good it is almost a crime not to listen to them! In isometric RPGs via sound, I’ve been skipping it a lot. This is especially true for the games I play with my native language subtitles and original dubbing. I find it hard to wait for the entire dialogue to run, as I tend to read the text faster. But even in these cases sometimes I slow down and wait for the voiceover. It all depends on the game, mood and dubbing quality.