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Guerrilla Toning Down "Gratuitous" Language In KZ3

If you want a ton of behind-the-scenes info on the newly announced Killzone 3 project, you really need to check out this Eurogamer interview.

In it, Guerrilla boss Steven Ter Heide spoke about the new enhancements and alterations we'll find in the third installment, and even what the team regrets doing in KZ2. There was very little wrong with the latter, of course, but a team can always make improvements, right? And you may remember an awful lot of swearing going on in KZ2; it wasn't as bad as in other titles, but it did have a hint of the not-so-subtle message, "gaming is for mature people! Really!" This happens every now and then. Designers feel the need to put an overabundance of "mature" content into a game, if only to prove that games aren't for kids anymore. But Guerrilla has noticed this and they're not about to make the same mistake twice; said Ter Heide:

"Our sound director is here today, we said to him, ‘go through the entire database, and anything that’s got ’sh**’ or ‘f***’ in it, just get rid of it, we don’t want to hear it ever again!"

He admits the dialogue should never be "gratuitous" but should focus on advancing the storyline and characters; something that goes beyond grit and filth and really provides the gamer with a truly adult plot. Of course, the game will still be rated "M" for Mature but Ter Heide says that has to do more with violence; there's a new "brutal melee system," for instance. But as for the dialogue:

"...we feel that the dialogue which is in there shouldn’t be gratuitous. It should be about advancing the story, natural responses. It shouldn’t be this sort of off the scale swearing. We’ve toned it down a little bit to make sure that the story comes across in the way we wanted it to come across. That’s definitely one of the points we took on board from Killzone 2."

5/28/2010 10:35:14 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (69 posts)

Jawknee
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 10:50:54 AM
Reply

Nice, Rico was a freaking annoying. I wanted him to die. Hearing the F bomb dropped every few minutes was draining on the soul. :)

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telly
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 10:58:32 AM

Rico was such a wretched character I half expected Guerilla to kill him off-screen between KZ2 and 3. Oh well, at least it sounds like he'll have a better attitude and lose the potty mouth in part 3 ;)

Last edited by telly on 5/28/2010 10:58:55 AM

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Akuma07
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 11:39:09 AM

Man, its one of the best things about video games.

To see a game hold nothing back like that, its great, they ARE in a war, I doubt the soldiers of today are watching their P's and Q's on the battlefield.

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Jawknee
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 11:47:35 AM

It adds nothing to the experience, only makes it embarrassing to play in the company others.

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Rings0fUranus
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 4:11:43 PM

The weird thing is, he didn't swear very much in Killzone 1 or Killzone Liberation. I wonder what put him over the edge?

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Banky A
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 6:44:01 PM

@TaoMeowMeow

I wonder too. But I expected it to get worse after **SPOILER** his wartime friend Templar died. I cried.

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Rings0fUranus
Saturday, May 29, 2010 @ 12:22:28 PM

Yeah, that was sad when Templar died. I mean, I played as him for two games, and now he's dead? 'Twas a bummer, indeed.

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Underdog15
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 10:59:09 AM
Reply

I've always felt that adult language was juvenile anyways (a sort of paradox, no?). The overuse of swearing typically suggests a lack of a substantial vocabulary when someone can only articulate how they feel or what they think through the use of the 'F' bomb.

I think with this focus of not swearing, we'll find that the dialogue will be a little more intelligent and engaging to the audience.

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Underdog15
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 11:08:19 AM

True, but there's definitely a concrete difference between getting shot in the leg and swearing, and dropping F-bombs during briefing or dinner. My best man's brother fought in Afghanistan, and I'm sure he dropped the F-bomb or two while fighting. But at home, he's very articulate and well spoken. Somehow I doubt Rico is the type you'd love to have for dinner with the wife and kids.

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Highlander
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 12:39:55 PM

Spot on Underdog. A lot of games desperate to prove their maturity have tried to use a large ladle of immature language to do so. Proving the exact opposite instead.

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Nlayer
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 11:07:19 AM
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I've heard swearing in M games so much that I barely even notice it anymore, lol. But I am glad they are trying to make it more 'Mature' by getting rid of the language. I believe foul language can really be unnecessary in games. This is good news.

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Silent_J
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 11:09:52 AM
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I thought Rico would of gotten shot in the game.Good that they tone down the unnecessary F bombs .

P.S. joystiq has an early hands on demo of KZ3,you guys should check it out.

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Zorigo
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 11:20:01 AM
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I can kinda see where they're going but dont get rid of it comepletely, if your in a war and your as screwed as you were in KZ2, you're gonna say f***
It should be fairly easy to include the right amount. a kind of balance between real life ownageness (not a word) and a rap video

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rossinator_99
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 11:22:38 AM
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i remember far back in the day when there was no such thing as dialogue in a game,just a square bouncing back and forth across the screen.... PONG! then came 'thank you for saving us, but our princess is in another castle.' next thing i know my friends were over watching me play ffvii and barrett said, "shi' it!" we went hysterical over such a BAD WORD IN A VIDEOGAME!!! ah, the good old days.

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Arvis
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 12:52:04 PM

Never forget, Mega Man said it first at the end of X2.

My friend thought it was "sooooo cool." As a young lad, I was shocked and offended. Now that I am much older... I'd still be shocked and offended, but also amused by the fact that it's freaking MEGA MAN saying "The S Word." :D

-Arvis

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sunspider13
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 11:26:09 AM
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I'm all for developing the voice of a character but I do agree there was way too much swearing in K2. I wonder what the writer was thinking when he wrote the script. I also wonder why the voice actor didn't say anything about the increase of the f-bombs from the first game.

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NazzyQ
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 12:01:46 PM
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Haha it will be entertaining to hear Rico's dialogue in KZ3 now that the swearing has been toned down: 'Oh fiddlesticks! The Helghast are approaching from the north! Sev, would you be ever so kind and move your bottom up to that turret up there? Please, old boy?'

Last edited by NazzyQ on 5/28/2010 12:02:32 PM

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Underdog15
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 12:05:43 PM

So people who don't swear are akin to British Monarchs? lol Imagine Rico with his pinky up.

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Highlander
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 12:41:33 PM

Rubbish. No on's going to do that. But you don't have to say "Oh F-bomb, the F-bombing Helghast are approaching from the North. $h*T! Sev move your F-bombing a$$ and get to that Turret and blow the f-bombing $h*t out of those M-F-bombers." Do you?

You could say, "Oh crap! Helghast approaching from the North. Hey, Sev, get your a$$ on that turret and blow those creeps back to the stone-age!"

As for your pinky being up, try drinking hot tea from a small china cup, while holding the handle of the cup. Your fingers will not all fit, and your pinky will indeed be up.

Last edited by Highlander on 5/28/2010 12:47:10 PM

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Arvis
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 12:53:38 PM

Oh Highlander, leave it to you to break down the whys and hows of the old pinky-up phenomenon... :D

-Arvis

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Underdog15
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 2:04:40 PM

China doesn't fit any of my MAN fingers, son! I drink my tea using JUST my pinky!

j/k guys. >.<

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totozero18
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 5:47:57 PM

ROFL I could even see Rico with an elitist expression in his face!!!

@Underdog: What's wrong with mocking 18th century British drama? I'd understand that you find that offensive if you were...idk C3-PO

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Underdog15
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 10:11:16 PM

lol, nothing wrong with making fun of 18th century theatre, although it is some of the best political and societal commentary in the history of theatre (so much so that there are entire courses devoted to it's study).

I was just commenting on people thinking the only alternative to swearing is to be all monarchical. lol. Not a real commentary, mind you. Just an observation.

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Deleted User
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 12:05:20 PM
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Well, as long as the dialogue isn't toned down to the level of Halo, I'm fine with their decision. I think the language should be at the level of Gears Of War, Red Dead Redemption or Heavy Rain. The profanity is used judiciously in those games. Even if it's PG-13 like Uncharted 2, that would be fine. We don't need more games following the lead of House Of The Dead: Overkill, MadWorld or latter-day GTA games.

Last edited by n/a on 5/28/2010 12:07:07 PM

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CharlesD
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 12:26:11 PM
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It's a good call to make sure that the dialog isn't gratuitous but taking it out all together might be a bit of a reach. After all, there's no changing the fact that KZ3 will be rated M and it does add to the intensity and grittiness of the situation. It's just not necessary to make it overkill. But w.e. I trust the team working on KZ3, I'm sure they'll compensate for the grittiness of the language in a far better way.

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NazzyQ
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 12:30:55 PM
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@underdog. Rico with his pinky up lmao

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Highlander
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 12:47:16 PM
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This is very smart. Extreme language should punctuate sentences and only in extreme situations. Anything else doesn't sound right.

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TheAgingHipster
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 1:27:01 PM
Reply

BOOSH!

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Underdog15
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 2:21:25 PM

The Mighty Boosh?

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sunspider13
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 3:34:34 PM

Love that show.

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Underdog15
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 10:13:00 PM

*tear* we all got downvotes from someone. lol

-feelings? ... hurt. /cry

Last edited by Underdog15 on 5/28/2010 10:13:24 PM

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Rings0fUranus
Saturday, May 29, 2010 @ 12:24:28 PM

The Mighty Boosh is like a bad acid trip...but that's what makes it awesome!

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Tim Speed24
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 1:32:13 PM
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I don't swear that much in real life and I was not offended by the language in KZ2. Why's everybody sooo touchy?

It's big MACHO men in combat...who cares.

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Underdog15
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 2:07:12 PM

I suppose yo uhave an excellent point if true men were defined by the fact that they are capable of using trashy language. I can see the occasional swear word being used to be true to real life, but I think that much swearing makes them sound like... well... stupid... not manly.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 2:22:15 PM

It just sounded forced.

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Underdog15
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 3:30:00 PM

@World
That's probably the best way of putting it. I like that better.

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CaptRon
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 1:49:45 PM
Reply

What the hell? I mean if I was in a war everyother word outta my mouth would be a curse word. Hell is basically already is. If you ask me it adds to the experience. Its not the guy in the trench beside you is going to be like crap there goes the enemy. he really is going to say "oh sh*t, there goes the mother f***** now!" point made

Last edited by CaptRon on 5/28/2010 1:50:21 PM

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Phoelix
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 1:57:18 PM

Agreed. I'd rather hear too many curse words than ever have to hear "Golly gee willakers, Sev, someone shot me in the leg!"

Rico was an idiot for reasons beyond the amount of cussing.

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Underdog15
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 2:13:09 PM

Why does everyone have to go all 18th century British drama as the alternative to cussing? I can understand a point made about the occasional outburst under certain circumstances, but I definitely disagree that the obsessive amount of swearing added to the experience. It really made them sound dumb. Any half witted writer could write intense dialogue without using the F-bomb every 3 or 4 words or less.

This whole thing reminds me of Samuel L. Jackson in Snakes on a Plane (dumb dumb dumb movie) when he yells something about all the 'mother effing snakes'. It didn't add to the intensity of the moment... it just made everyone giggle and feel a little awkward. It was bad writing. The issue isn't necessarily centered around realism. It's around the fact that it's lame dialogue. Why would anyone want to write characters that are shallow and uninteresting? You don't. People want exciting and provoking dialogue with content.

Let's face it. That much swearing wasn't awesome, and it was more lame than it was offensive, although it was offensive.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 2:24:48 PM

Actually underdog, because "mother effing" is something people really like to hear out of Sam Jackson (see: Pulp Fiction), they altered the script to add that part in and even had to change the rating from PG13 to R because people wanted to hear him say it.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 5/28/2010 2:24:59 PM

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Phoelix
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 2:33:59 PM

You have a point, but what they're doing is removing all instances of two words.

I would understand them toning down the language, but I believe removing it entirely is a step too far.

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Underdog15
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 3:32:32 PM

@World
Oh yeah. I remember that, now. I did a group study on Pulp Fiction movie in a pop culture class. Forgot all about the mother effing line in that one.

Actually, that fact supports the point that saying it for the sake of saying it (forcing it) makes it sound silly. lol

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 5:17:05 PM

true, it would be supportive since they felt it needed to be wedged into that movie.

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Underdog15
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 10:12:19 PM

Truth be told in that context of needing to put it in cause it's ol' sammy... it's actually kinda funny.

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BeezleDrop
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 1:51:04 PM
Reply

It really isn't the fact that it was a huge problem, it just wasn't necessary. It didn't really add anything to the game, I thought Narville was funny. He was always talking about the ISA is getting their "A$$es kicked" haha. Excessive profanity shows signs of ignorance, it just didn't need to be so much.

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Underdog15
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 2:20:17 PM

Exactly my sentiments! The offensive nature of swearing is as big of a deal for me as much as the lack of originality from the writers was. As I said before, any writer worth hiring can write intense and applicable dialogue without that excessive amount of cussing.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 2:28:03 PM
Reply

It's pretty simple really, only swear when necessary. Which is usually when you don't have time to deal in niceties. If someone rear ends my car yeah the first thing out of my mouth would probably be "Sh*t!" but if I broke a pencil a simple "oh man," would suffice.

Red Dead Redemption uses profanity perfectly.

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Underdog15
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 3:36:23 PM

I agree with you on this topic, I think. One of my favorite plays (for you theatre buffs out there) is "Perfect Pie" by Canadian playwright Judith Thompson. Her play is a perfect example of dealing with harsh realities of life, and the instances her writing incorporates a curse word are entirely appropriate and can be directed in such a way that hits home hard for people. When considering her play, I'm convinced that any language use can add very high quality to a dialogue. The harm comes when it's there for the sake of being there, and does nothing for productive character development or portrays a dull and shallow character, like Rico. Why not try to make them interesting?

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Mornelithe
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 3:03:52 PM
Reply

As long as adult language is used appropriately and not to a gratuitous extent, ie put it in there simply because it's a swear, I'm all for it. As the guy said, making sure it's a natural response.

That does not, and will never mean that swearing isn't an adult response, because it most certainly is given some circumstances. For example, how would Apocolypse Now appear, without any swearing?

You may argue that movies and games have differences in how stories can be told, and I suppose that's accurate, however, to posit that swearing is a phenomena amongst adults in stress situations is downright silly.

But, I'm definitely supportive of any dev who wants to go back through dialogue with a fine tooth comb and remove any such instances of misuse of word usage.

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CharlesD
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 3:16:32 PM
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Another thing to keep in mind is there are quite a few swears out there, only cutting out two could actually make them more obscure and effective lol

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Rings0fUranus
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 3:40:55 PM
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It's good to hear that Guerrilla is listening to the fans in order to make the best game possible. Warms my heart. :)

OT: I just heard that Gary Coleman died. Lets all have a moment of silence.........

He died by falling down.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 5:20:27 PM

Apparently he had some kind of brain hemorrhage. The Dif'rent Stroke curse continues. RIP Gary.

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iPwn_3G
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 3:56:16 PM
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Thank God. The language was really annoying because I couldn't blast the amazing soundtrack when people were around. Sometimes sh!t is ok to use but not in every other sentence.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 5:22:24 PM
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I useda know a guy who was even worse that Rico, just talking about his day or what he was up to he would literally be like: "Oh man, I effing woke up late and the effing traffic made me late to work so my effing boss got on my effing case so I gotta pull some effing night shifts and I can't effing hang this weekend man... sh*t."

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CharlesD
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 5:30:56 PM

Not a fan of people who make swears just as or more prevalent than their vocabulary

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booze925
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 6:33:55 PM

are you sure? i seriously heard rico say this one time.
"Where the FUCK is Garza when you need him? FUCK this! SHIT!"
all in 3 sentences

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Rings0fUranus
Saturday, May 29, 2010 @ 12:23:10 PM

No one complains when gears of war says that stuff...just sayin'

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booze925
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 6:41:16 PM
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the #1 drawback of killzone 2 was the characters and them using the vocabulary of 8th graders learning 2 cuss. if we had a script like uc2 or bc1 in killzone 2, it could've been exceptionally better.
if gg puts a great script and coop in killzone 3, then the game can achieve perfection.

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natho86
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 7:09:13 PM
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I didnt find it bad at all its just a game! I like how they are down playing the use of swear words but are cranking up the violence,so now you can stab a guy in the face.

Now people will say KZ3 has to much violence.

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CharlesD
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 8:30:48 PM
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That's fine, the title is Killzone after-all..
The more I hear about KZ3 the more I get pumped, definitely too long of a wait :'( but, w.e. I know it will be worth it in the end.

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___________
Saturday, May 29, 2010 @ 2:55:13 AM
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i really dont see the problem i think it adds to the atmosphere of the game, they are after all at war and swearing just demonstrates the emotions and stress the characters are going through.
i love the "ahh, nows not the time sir!" remark just after the first atak comes storming in that made me piss myself laughing!!!

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deadline
Saturday, May 29, 2010 @ 10:13:25 AM
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"but it did have a hint of the not-so-subtle message, 'gaming is for mature people! Really!'"

Ironically, I find that adding a bunch of gratuitous F-words actually says 'gaming is for teenage boys! Really!'.

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schillah
Saturday, May 29, 2010 @ 5:01:46 PM
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if you're not cursing in a war....there is something wrong lol

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Id00urmomma
Saturday, May 29, 2010 @ 5:16:00 PM
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It's funny how people can get offended and even upset over words, I mean you are playing a game where you are blowing people's heads off; and the f-word offends you? Silly oxy-moronic people, words are for kids... say what ever you want, if i were in war, i'd be f-ing all the f*cking time...

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Underdog15
Saturday, May 29, 2010 @ 5:50:49 PM

I don't think you know what an oxymoron is.

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Underdog15
Monday, May 31, 2010 @ 10:32:35 AM

I like to think the hero's in the games I play are somehow more special than your average militant. Otherwise, what's so special about them?

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BikerSaint
Monday, May 31, 2010 @ 3:33:51 PM

Id00....

Hell, I find your user-name much more offensive than I would towards any f*cking cursing.

Last edited by BikerSaint on 5/31/2010 3:35:06 PM

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Bandit King
Sunday, May 30, 2010 @ 9:00:31 AM
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This is fantastic news! The game play was great but the dialog was enough to make me want to cheese grate my ears shut. I almost at times wanted to play it in a different language just so I could not understand all the profanity. Im glad to see they will begin to follow the same standards for quality (in all areas) that the rest of Sony's first party umbrella has. Now if only the rest of the industry would follow suit. Profanity does not equal maturity.

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Mavfan321
Monday, May 31, 2010 @ 7:52:39 PM
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Best use of an M rating so far for me was Heavy Rain. It always remained tasteful, never pandered for a mature rating it was an M due to mature subject matter. More M rated games (and many R rated movies) should follow suit and get a rating like this because of it's subject matter not just because of gratuitous violence, nudity, and language. P.S. I loved KZ2.

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