In some of a reversal of the usual result of games using live-action cutscenes, Human Heads's ambitious attempt to tell a story from a deaf protagonist's perspective much more about his video half than his game-half. Its cinematics are technically competent – even impressive – to convey the feelings of the characters without sound, but the story as it tells is uninspired and the playable third person's fighting sequences are too simplistic and repetitive. Sometimes the quiet man like it was made for network TV, and the interactive elements are more an afterthought.
The quietest man's slightest audio usage increases the tension effectively, making it hard to look away from the screen for fear of missing some important plots during the live-action sequences. Heltan Dane is in an almost quiet environment with little or no audible dialogue. This creative choice forces you to focus on the players' facial expressions to interpret what they say in a given scene – and the actors do an exceptional job to convey their feelings. When someone talks to the Danish, the only sound is scary, ethereal sounds that let you know that he understands what is said. We also get subdued sound effects when landing a shot or kicks.
In his story, The Quiet Man is familiar and, sometimes, uninspired. After becoming a childhood filled with abuse and tragedy, Dane enters into a life a crime and acts as a bodyguard for one of the city's premier crime bases. In a typical Hollywood way, there is a forbidden love component, a death in need, and a lot of stereotyped (often dark-skinned) ruffians who need a good beatdown. I found myself to be a better lipstick of the halfway mark, but I wished there was some clever twist to the plot to make the effort worthwhile.
Instead, the silent man differs from his live-action scenes with production quality that feels like a well-made episode of television – less the sound of course. Its gorgeous cinematography features long traces of the streets of New York City and the intimate boundaries of a swanky nightclub, and the only times I felt embarrassed were in these beautifully designed film moments.
I was just pushing through all the cookie cutter I came across.
Things get tough when the cameras turn off and you get control of Dane for someone else's action. At first, the struggle for close quarters seemed exciting and exciting, especially when performing a perfect dodge or blocking and following up with a satisfactory slow-motion finisher movement. The lack of further movements and abilities to unlock meant, however, that I was just crushing through all the cakes cutter that I came across. Even under the thrill of its short three-hour campaign, there are many times that you have to fight the same lum baddies over and over again fast repetitively. There are some exciting boss games that offer unique challenges, as they are more powerful and flexible than your average opponents, but it's not enough to wear the gameplay segments. It does not help, unlike the varying live scenes, most of the game environments are unforgettable – after the third or fourth graffiti-ridged corridor or the dark alley you've basically seen it all.
There is currently little reason to play The Quiet Man when done, but developers promise an update later this week that allows you to activate the muted dialog and the sound to reveal what's really happening. It may lure you to give it another snapshot, or at least give them a bell on YouTube. But with a simple and sometimes predictable site, it is unlikely that the sound will be improved, especially since the creative use of silence is the most important thing that makes it interesting at the moment.