Kiwi gamers are buzzing about the latest international video game - but not because of its technological advances.
Far Cry 3, released last week, features an island populated by characters with moko, distinctly Kiwi accents and a generous helping of "kia ora" greetings to the main character as he roves around.
"For Kiwis, that's probably the first thing that jumps out at you," said Gerard Campbell, Fairfax tech and game reviewer. "When I started playing it, I thought, heck, that seems like a Maori accent.
"And when the well-known phrases pop up, you think clearly they've used Maori as an influence. I'm sure there's even a few ‘bros' thrown in there."
Many of the islanders also have tribal arm tattoos and some have facial moko.
The first-person shooter game is the third in the Far Cry series.
Its French developer, Ubisoft, is known for blockbuster games such as Assassin's Creed, Avatar: The Game, and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, Ghost Recon and Rainbow Six.
One excited gamer, using the account name MutantC4Monkey, recently posted videos of game play on YouTube, in which two villagers talk among themselves about pig hunting, with one calling the other "cousin".
"Low [sic] and behold, one of [the villagers], as I walked past, said ‘kia ora'," he said. "I thought, holy shit, are you frickin' kidding me - that's Maori.
"Anybody from New Zealand . . . you'll love it, you can talk to the bros."
NZGamer's Hadyn Green said in his review that hearing Maori was a welcome surprise: "It was quite pleasant hearing a New Zealand accent and the occasional ‘kia ora' or ‘kei te pai'."
- The Dominion Post