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Shut The Hell Up, Deacon

Illustration for article titled Shut The Hell Up, Deacon

The world of Days Gone is serious stuff. Zombies Freakers are everywhere, killing anyone who dares get close to them. Society has collapsed. Water and food are scarce. Bandits torture, kidnap and murder innocent people. But I can’t really take any of this stuff too seriously because the game’s main protagonist won’t shut up.

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Days Gone stars Deacon St. John, who is less a character and more a few emotions and grunts wrapped up in a leather vest. Deek, as his friends call him, is a very serious and gruff dude. To let us know how serious and gruff Deek is, Days Gone constantly has him talk in a Batman-like whisper-yell. I mean constantly.

I first noticed it when I encountered some enemies during the first few hours of the game. As I sneakily made my way around the camp, picking off enemies quietly, Deacon would just go wild about nearly every kill.

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“How do you like that, you ripper fucks?” and other similar voice lines play all the time. Kill a freaker, Deacon lets you know about it. Kill some rival bandits, oh boy you better believe Deacon lets you know about it. Sometimes these can go on. One time I killed a person and as I quickly rolled towards my next enemy, Deacon kept talking. It wasn’t until I started the next kill that I cut him off and then moments later he was spouting off again.

Illustration for article titled Shut The Hell Up, Deacon

He will also sometimes just say stuff that makes no sense. I killed an enemy with a sneaking knife stab and afterward, Deacon yelled about getting killed by someone who “shoots back.” I didn’t shoot him Deek. Are you okay? Pay attention dude. Please.

Sometimes Deacon can hear radio broadcasts from a local conspiracy nut. After hearing these broadcasts, Deacon will often yell out some angry response. If this broadcast starts while you are on your bike and you get off your bike before it ends, you will sometimes end up with Deacon yelling for no reason about how angry he is. I get it Deek, the dude on the radio is a real asshole and annoying, but you have to understand something: He can’t hear you, even if you yell REALLY loud. That’s just not how the radio works, buddy.

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The most annoying moments of Deacon not shutting up happen when you find audio logs. These audio logs are often left behind by police, military or scientists from before or during the early weeks of the apocalypse. They are really well made, with solid writing and acting, but good luck hearing them.

Deacon will nearly always talk about the recording, what he thinks he will hear on it and his thoughts on the people who recorded it as it plays. You can, later on, listen to them in the menu, but I just love how Deacon reacts to audio logs of the past. He just yells at them as he turns them on. And once they are finished, he gruffly yells about what was said.

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Illustration for article titled Shut The Hell Up, Deacon

Deek will also sometimes talk over himself. In what I assume is a bug, I had a moment in Days Gone where Deacon was talking to someone and then began yelling about something else, while still talking to the person.

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I dug around the settings to see if I could find a button that would shut him up or at least tone down how often he speaks. The always chatty Deacon is becoming even more annoying as I spend more time in the game. He is starting to repeat himself. A lot.

I don’t usually mind characters in games repeating a line. I understand that games only have so many audio lines. Eventually, you hear it all. But when you have someone who talks as much and as often as Deacon St. John, the repeated lines grating more quickly.

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All this talking is really distracting and silly too. My girlfriend was watching me play and started snickering at how angry and annoying Deacon is as he kills people. I’m sure I’m not supposed to be giggling while I brutally slit a dude’s throat, but Deacon is making me laugh as I murder.

Deacon, you don’t need to talk all the time. Listen more. Please.

And who knows, maybe another patch will change this in a few days?

Kotaku Weekend Editor | Zack Zwiezen is a writer living in Kansas. He has written for GameCritics, USgamer, Kill Screen & Entertainment Fuse.

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DISCUSSION

Hearing how supposedly generic the game is makes me want to laugh. I’ve literally never played a game like it or that looks like it (obvious clear out camp missions aside). It seems like most of the criticism is about Deacon being white or about him being a generic white man. The claims of no character development is false. The claims that the game is similar to other games is false. I have played over 400 games on my ps4 alone psn is Dani_Kizer(you could check yourself) and not one game I own feels like days gone. The game starts off kinda slow I will admit but by the third hour the game really picks up and doesn’t ever really fall flat. Deacon has to learn from his mistake that almost gets boozer killed. He almost gives up on his wife (yes this is a positive thing) and moves on with his life. He doesn’t treat her like she’s a perfect God when she turns up alive (spoiler seeing how almost all of you critiquing the game haven’t played it). Boozer definitely gets character development going from broken to becoming part of the camp as well. Sarah is a mythic bitch but she’s that way because of everything that’s happened to her and her regret and drive stop the freakers. Skizzo is a scumbag. Decon becomes more like Iron Mike. All the references to Boozer and Deeks past life come back to haunt them through Carlos. Rikki gets over Deacon and becomes the leader she needs to be for the camp. Deacon goes from someone willing to look past the evil in the world perfectly content with dying and drifting to someone who wants to help and live for others (before he even finds Sarah again). His past as an outlaw, his past in the army, his past with Sarah, and his past as a scumbag all gets addressed and resolved. The disconnect between games journalist, actual playes, and even youtubers is so vast that it’s hilarious.(no I don’t mean people like the quartering I think he blows too) people like slimecicle, girlfriend reviews, dunkey, and even the progressive as fuck Jim Sterling disagree with you. This game doesn’t deserve 3/10 or 5/10 or 6.5/10 it’s easily a solid 8 at least a 7. No it’s not a masterpiece but it’s definitely a great game. The story had me and my wife into it from start to finish (I know most of you haven’t finished it because getting even half way through the game has a 3.1% ultra rare status). And before anyone hits me with oh shut up alt-right white guy. I’m Puerto Rican and Japanese and my wife Sabiha is Bengali. All the reviews from Slant, Gamespot, and IGN seem agenda driven and absolutely ignorant to the actual game or its mechanics and this is from a person that does believe politics belong in our games and always have been a part of our games/media in general. I’m glad I actually read the reviews instead of looking at the number and going oof guess I’ll just wait for TLOU2. I hope Sony Bend doesn’t go under because of these hit pieces. And honestly I’m glad websites like Kotaku, IGN, and Gamespot are losing popularity with “journalism” like this you certainly deserve it!