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The voice of games

Posted by pseudoRequiem On 2010-10-27 8 comments

I've agreed with Yahtzee Croshaw about many things he's said and one of the biggest ones I've noticed him being right about is big name voice acting in video games. I first noticed it in Oblivion where I loaded up the game and couldn't help but think "Tea, Earl Grey hot mother ****ers" when Patrick Stewart starting doing the opening narration. Since then there have been a few notable examples that got me a bit excited. Liam Neeson playing as your father in Fallout 3 was a big one for me as well as Nathan Fillion and some of the other Firefly cast in ODST. The problem with these examples for me has been, with the exception of ODST, the characters use has been extremely limited. Of course, both Oblivion and Fallout 3 are Bethesda games so maybe the fault is theirs. Either way, I'm happy to see that this trend is 'falling out'.

In fact, ODST can probably be used in the second part of this post as examples of games that are using the talent well. Hearing Fillion's voice, I've heard, set some people off as breaking the immersion of the game. The same has been suggested of Martin Sheen voicing "The Illusive Man". Some people suggest that they can't get into the game when they are thinking "Hey, that's Martin Sheen! So excited!". Well, personally, I never had that problem. I heard the voices, recognized them and at the same time, incorporated them into the story as if I were watching a movie with them as an actor. Not that hard people. But to move on, I'd like to say that I'm excited about the upcoming potential of Call of Duty : Black Ops in particular.

Adding professionals from the movie industry can't hurt your product. I understand that their time is likely more expensive than a lot of game companies would like, but the quality shows where they have left their mark. Black Ops is having it's script consulted on by
David Goyer and there are going to be NPCs voiced by Gary Oldman and Ed Harris. Also, as a franchise first, they are going to enrich the single player experience by giving the player character a name and a voice. And a plus for all you Avatar fans out there (and the lesser quantity of Terminator:Salvation fans) the role will be voiced by Sam Worthington.

Now if you want to play 6 degrees you can see that David Goyer knows Gary Oldman from the Batman movies starring Christain Bale who played alongside Sam Worthington in Terminator:Salvation. So the only question here is did one of the game producers cry during Armageddon or were they one of the three people in the world who knows that Ed Harris worked on the visual effects in Lost In Space another film which Gary Oldman starred (and incidentally alongside Joey from friends -Matt LeBlanc). Yay sidetrack.

Anyways, do the names and voices behind the games produce any meaning for you? I've been excited every time I was able to pick out a voice or recognize it's familiarity. It always forces me to wait until the credits scroll to figure out who that sensual female voice is that has been gently tonguing my cochlea all game. Except in gears of war 2, cause Carolyn Seymour didn't really get me going in game or afterward. Although it was cool to learn how much she has contributed to the voices in video games thus far. Anyways, I 100%ed this topic so now I need some opinions. Go forth my minions!