I only put up with it in games like Bethesda makes, where there would be *so much* voicework needed it would actually damage the amount of content and freedom to create your own character. In stuff like, oh, lets say Costume Quest, it kills my interest in it entirely. Hate it especially in Bioshock and other FPS. There's no excuse, it's all linear. I guess Bioshock guy didn't have much to say anyway, but still... he should have spoke when people were right there talking to him.
The writing was on the wall with Bioware the minute you could completely void all of your decisions with one choice in KOTOR.
I agree that "Silent Hero=Better Hero" is a myth. What really irks me is that developers don't seem to understand that players don't relate to someone just because they're the main character. I can think of a handful of games (most of which are from the same series, admittedly) that have a party following a protagonist, yet the character I liked and identified with most was- at best- a sidekick. In real life, I'm basically a snarky jerk with good intentions. Rarely do creators make the main character like that, but it is common to see that archetype on someone else. More importantly, I'm not the overall likable, unconfrontational, heroic type. I can project my friends into the roles of the main character, but end of day I'm typically more invested in the mood of my teammate than the life of the protagonist.
There absolutely are silent characters I do enjoy, I just want to avoid every game forcing this imperative for the sake of "immersion" or whatever. I think a good example of a likable silent hero is Luigi from the M&L saga. Interestingly enough, the second game succeeded at creating a silent hero (Mario) that turned out to be quite a dick. That makes at least one main character that was not silent and bland, but silent and unlikable.. I conclude that talking does not automatically make a character better, and can indeed effect the opposite of the intended result.
You opened a debate, and I'll be damned if you're not going to finish it. ~smashbrother3
For something like Elder Scrolls/Fallout I don't mind silent protagonists but I absolutely hate it in most anything else.
Even though I love Persona 3 & 4, two of my favorite games, I wish the main characters would just speak like the rest of the cast considering how important they are to the story. They're destined to save the world but the party is there to push the story along and you're just the catalyst.
"I have two rules I follow. The first, never kill someone without a reason. The second, you can always find a reason to kill someone." - Saren