Back 4 Blood Zombies Aren’t Saying Racial Slurs – But They’re Close

“Heated Gamer Moments” Aren’t Just For Players, Apparently

It’s not unheard of that people can hear words in a random collection of sounds – pareidolia is an extremely common phenomenon, after all. And if you’re a voice actor hired to record generic zombie-like moans, random sounds are exactly what you were hired to create. But the human mind evolved to spot patterns, whether you want to hear them or not – and that lesson is one Back 4 Blood players had to learn the hard way.

Now, what’s probably happening is that the voice actors were given a generic line like “nnngaaah”, but… well, just listen for yourself:

Just a slight tweak to the script – an unfortunately timed “i” sound and a more guttural “ah” – is all it took to change an otherwise-inconsequential line into something more… ear-catching.

Luckily, players have received the line in good faith: it was very clearly a mistake that went unnoticed in development, and not some hidden bit of lore or symbolism. While it may be funny to draw a parallel between mindless zombies and brainless racism, that probably wasn’t the angle Turtle Rock Studios was going for with the inclusion of this line. It’s interesting that something like this wasn’t caught before the product shipped, but considering how obscure the line is, it’s not an impossibility.

Regardless of intent, it’s clear that a statement as jarring as this probably shouldn’t stay in the game for very long. Players react strongly to stuff like this (understandably so), and that could distract from everything else the game is trying to accomplish. It’s a memorable quirk, sure, but something like this should probably stay a memory.