Hitman 2 uses the R word as a throw away line and its soul crushing for me as a disabled player


#1

proof: https://twitter.com/Wheels1993/status/1062269829741187072

i just dont understand how we get here

i think what sucks most is that i dont know how many more times im going to have to hear this again


Hitman 2: Hit a Man (With a Fish) (Hitman 2 Mega Thread)
#2

That fucking sucks, I was so excited to get my hands on the game after loving the last one but that’s really just killed my buzz for it. Do better IO, I don’t remember such slurs in the last game, why now?


#3

God and of course they use it in the map I’m most interested in. FML.


#4

That’s disappointing. Feels like many people still haven’t caught up to it being a bad word to use. I have friends with otherwise sensible opinions that use it (or an equivalent in my language) and it always jolts me.


#5

This was actually, unfortunately, a hold over from the last game too.

(cw: use of ableist slur)

This is a Dunkey vid. I remember the line coming up in his video when I saw your thread, OP.


#6

This sparked a memory of a discussion about this and I can’t for the life of me actually remember where I knew this from (don’t think it was in a video essay but also I can’t find it in my history/search of previously followed criticism I’d read in the last few years).

While searching I actually found a GB community discussion that brings up the point.

Edit: Unfortunately I suspect that this appearing in the last game means it’s even less likely IOI will comment on it (or remove the lines from the game). It would be good if Patrick or someone reached out to them (even if only to get a no comment response).


#7

That’s such a strange interaction.

person: I have a family member in this specific situation, and it makes me notice these things and I think it’s actually really awful that this game everyone loves uses language that degrades people I love and care for in such a flippant manner.

other person 1: what about anything is offensive everything is fine because i dont feel that way

other person 2: yeah okay you kinda make a good point maybe but don’t censor my speech!

gamers y’all


#8

A really disconcerting thing is that, while it’s debatably a move backwards from HM2016, there were hints it could end up like this even back then. I think IO (falsely) thinks they can just make guards say shitty things when hostile just to make them more punchable/killable??? Because HM2016 had [CW: queerphobia] “Shoot that hippie commie pinko queer!” as a generic guard bark during combat, and it was one of a handful of weirdly crappy lines in that game, hell I wouldn’t be surprised if there was ableism buried in that pool of barks, too. Also, Colorado had an opportunity for exploiting a dude’s OCD, which was defos played for laughs.

Despite all that, 2016 as a whole was a step away from old HItman’s bullshit, so seeing them just kinda stagnate/shift back without anyone noticing because the gameplay’s still competent really, really sucks.

Plus, if more people call this out, I can already see gamerfans defending it as “well you’re probably gonna punch them when you hear it, they’re meant to be unlikable!” or “you’re just a Hitman, man, they ain’t sympathetic characters!” just like they did with the old series, without even wanting to realize how that doesn’t make it any less tonedeaf, normalizing and/or hurtful.

edit: someone else confirmed that the slur’s used in 2016 as well, might not be the exact bark from that video, though it might be since that is a VA from the first. Bummer.


#9

I wonder if they recorded new lines for the guards in this game… Cause it seems like a lot of stuff in Hitman 2 is a copy-paste from the old game. But I have read that a lot of the writing in the new game is incredibly progressive. So it strikes me as odd that this would come up in the newest game too.


#10

That’s not that surprising to me, it’s like mango said above, this is one of those words that otherwise progressive people just frequently just don’t understand is a slur, and weirdly dig in on on their “right” to use.


#11

Yeah you’re still going to see it because the idea of no longer using it hitting mainstream channels is relatively recent (like not even ten years, and IIRC it wasn’t til 2015 IIRC that there was a real active campaign to retire the word). Language doesn’t evolve like the flip of a switch and of course due to the timing of this one, it’s a word many a person has latched onto to annoy “politically correct” people (another “achievement” of South Park).

So I’m glad people are angry about it here. I honestly don’t expect IOI to patch it out or anything but whenever Hitman 3 inevitably drops they’ll have moved on to newer offensive dialog to make guards unsympathetic.

I have to admit I’m always torn on this - Arkham City got a lot of flak for its guard banter too but when I finally played the game all of it was in line with how Batman villains and goons have spoken for decades in the comics/cartoons/etc.

It makes me think about how a character saying/doing something bad in a game can be justified or not in folks’ minds too though and how much of that success/failire comes from a desire for less cheaply written one off dialog vs. a desire for violent catharsis. Like the way people fell hard for Far Cry 5’s marketing and then were, let’s be real, supremely let down that it wasn’t The Purge but about killing Trump supporters. Which would have made for a great game but of course you were never going to see an open world Ubisoft game take that a stand like that.

But in the case of games like this the guard dialog will always be the “goofy” poorly thought out last minute runoff of the game’s script. Almost a step back in the age of everything must be meticulously fully voiced all the time - in the oldest games most of the guards would just scream shit a lot.


#13

Unfortunately, this is very true. The R slur actually being a slur is an idea that is only just starting to gain mainstream acceptance. I work a part time job every few weeks that is basically a middle school dance. Every night they play Rolex by Ayo & Teo, a song which uses the R slur. The DJ doesn’t even censor it. I’ve spoken to him about it and he just shrugged and told me he doesn’t censor the songs, he just downloads the official “clean” version. I don’t expect some underage rappers to be respectful, but the fact that their label (Columbia Records, btw) thinks they should censor the word “hoe” (also in the song) but not the R slur is a real indication of where mainstream America is at.


#14

i’m going to double post here because like honestly when I think about the continued prevalence of the R Slur i just get mad that it’s probably an indication that too many people watch South Park and not enough people watched Freaks and Geeks.


#15

One of my colleagues used that slur to describe another’s telephone manner to me just yesterday. It’s use is still incredibly prevalent among people my age (24) and it’s beyond sickening.


#16

The amount of times it’s thrown around in my office is gross too. I feel awful about not speaking up, but I’m a contract worker and I don’t have enough clout to change things while also not jeopardizing my job. It sucks.


#17

ugh, that sucks. i hope they take it out but yeah, i definitely get what other people in this thread are saying where it seems like a lot of mainstream culture hasn’t cottoned on to the fact that the word feels like a fucking slap to the face for anyone who has mental disabilities. although i thankfully don’t hear it much where i live, whenever i go to visit relatives in illinois, they just think of it as a synonym for “stupid” and use it regularly. it does not feel good and people don’t take me seriously when i try to tell them not to use it.

regardless of “realism” or “making bad guys feel like bad guys” i don’t think anyone should have to hear that while playing a game.


#18

i wanna thank you all for the kindness and support shown in this thread… i doubt anything will ever change but its good to know folks do care


#19

I don’t really have anything to say about this other than that this is a bummer. I’d really like to see IOI at least discuss this – even in the scenario where they wash it away as “our vision”, I at least want a studio to think about including this kind of language in their game.


#20

it makes me wonder… how many disabled adults are living in denmark… did no one on the team go to school with disabled kids… is this the studios way of being like ‘heh Americans sure are shitty huh’


#21

In all likelihood it’s IO thinking that they’re making a statement and missing wildly. I’d liken it to how Rockstar thinks they’re commenting on torture in GTAV by having you fuck up some guy so that Trevor can lecture his victim later on the nature of torture, or in RDR2 where you’re asked to kidnap a guy so a scientist can experiment on him with an electric chair. It’s just throwing nasty, insensitive shit at the player and then stepping back to say “fucked up right? the world’s a real bad place” rather than unpack why it’s bad.