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Submitted by Pozzle 1173d ago | opinion piece

Do Video Games REALLY Need Leading Men?

With games on current generation consoles blurring the lines between Hollywood-style epic narratives and conventional gameplay, the voice actors behind the lead characters in our favorite games can be crucial to the overall experience.

Even with the video game industry enjoying consistent growth while the movie industries try to re-invent themselves, the actors so crucial to the success of these games still don’t get the type of love Hollywood actors get.

There are obvious reasons voice actors for the most part aren’t elevated to mainstream celebrity status. On one hand, it’s understandable average players don’t associate the voice of their favorite character with the voice actor, given the fact that, unlike a movie, they’re not actually staring at the actor’s face for two hours. Of course, the “acting” isn’t the main entertaining aspect of a game; the gameplay is.

The question is, how important are these voice actors to the overall experience of a game? (Batman: Arkham Asylum, Batman: Arkham City, Culture, Mark Hamill, Nolan North, Patrick Stewart, PC, PS3, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, Xbox 360)

Tired  +   1174d ago
I like Nolan North, the guy is truly talented...his dubbing credits etc show just how versatile he is.

However more often than not he seems to just use his default voice. Maybe it's because he is now so famous..he doesn't have to work so hard.

But hearing the same voice in a different setting kind of ruins the experience a little for me.

He's a voice actor...he should be using different voices...the man has proved he can do it...so why doesn't he?

Do studio's think having the same voice as a popular franchise will give their own work more gravitas? It puts me off.

The same can be said for Claudia Black...love her work...was really excited to hear her in some games but that quickly became...oh it's Claudia again...i wonder if she's going to change her delivery in this game or is her character in this game just 'Claudia black'...again. In games at least she seems to have checked her acting skills at the door.

Voice actors should be more versatile than movie actors, movie actors can get away with using their own voices because there is so much more to their performance. Voice actors have to be 10 times better. And sadly that's not the case at the moment.

The main problem with video game dialogue is that actors are rarely together when recording takes place. 90% of acting is re-acting. They have nothing to react to. So it always sounds disjointed.

One actor might think a line is written angrily and react to that anger and shout his next line, but if the lead up line is delivered in a non-plussed way then that angry reaction is totally out of context.
DragonKnight  +   1173d ago
Now, I may be misunderstanding you, but you do know that as the same character for 3 games, Nolan North CAN'T change his voice while as Drake right? It would be stupid and wrong. People tend to gravitate to what they are familiar with and use what works. Why put something pretty guaranteed to be a success at risk just because you want to hear a different voice?
Dragonfodder  +   1172d ago
I think what he means is that Nolan North should have used a different kind of voice for the various characters that he's played so far. For example, Nathan Drake sounds exactly the same as Desmond Miles in Assassin's Creed and the Prince of Persia in the 2008 version of the series and that, for some people, can prevent a full immersion into the game.

That being said, I tend to agree but for some reason I no longer see Nathan Drake in my head whenever I hear Desmond Miles. Took me a while to get there but it's no longer an issue.
#1.1.1 (Edited 1172d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(0) | Report
DragonKnight  +   1172d ago
See, now I didn't even know he did the voice of Desmond Miles. But then again, it could be just because Desmond is so not a focus of the AC games that you don't even notice. Didn't know he did the voice of the Prince either. I tend not to care too much about little things like that and rather focus on the actual gameplay and stuff. I'm not a critic, nor a game tester, so why should I care about little nuances between games like why Nolan North didn't make his voice deeper or sound stupid?
Pikajew  +   1174d ago
Men and woman are equal so it doesn't matter what gender the lead is.
ATi_Elite  +   1174d ago
You gotta have a main character:

Man, Woman, Mutant, Alien, Droid, etc...

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