I have this thing about games that I suspect is tied into my sensitivity to noise. I need games to have good voice acting if I’m to enjoy them. Thankfully, games have moved away from being cartoons to being real acting and I’m super grateful for that. Because I’m not a native English speaker, I think I might have a harder time to pick up on hammy acting than people born to the language, but I do hope I recognise good work when I hear it. So, without further ado, some of my favourite voice actors in games.
Jennifer Hale as Krem
This probably comes as no surprise at all. I love her as Commander Shepard, but I think I love her more as Krem. Krem from Dragon Age Inquisition is a masterpiece of voice modulation. This performance just blows my mind, because it’s both skilled and respectful. According to inside sources, Hale spent a lot of time researching and talking to men who had transitioned, how they work with their voices and so on.
Sarah Elmaleh as the Freelancer
Here’s a probably little known fact about game development. When you build a game you have to play it over and over and over and over and over and over… You get the idea. I think I listened to the first parts of Anthem when shaking out tutorials at least 30 times. Probably more. Bantering between Owen (T.J. Ramini, also a brilliant voice actor) and the Lancer was always fun and well enough done that I didn’t skip a cutscene unless I had to. Think about it. 30 times. No skipping. No one has ever said “Owen!” in a more outraged and amazing way.
Abubakar Salim as Bayek
I rarely play games where I have to play as a male player character, but Bayek is different. For one, I can hear his smile in his voice, and two, it’s a damned nice voice.
Bayek is multifaceted and Salim manages to let nuances of joy as well as pain shine through in his voice as he speaks, and that deserves a mention. Bayek’s relationship with his wife Aya is also incredibly sweet (and it helps that Aya is portrayed by another favorite, Alix Wilton Regan).
Melissanthi Mahut as Kassandra
I love Kassandra. I really do. Kassandra is magic. She’s the perfect blend between strong, irreverent and fun, and so much of that comes through in her voice. Mahut brings Kassandra to life and makes her into one of my favorite characters ever.
Of course there are more. All of the supporting roles, the honey voiced Anthony Howell as the Monitor in Anthem. Steve West as Galahad in The Order: 1886, Gareth David Lloyd as Solas in Dragon Age: Inquisition, Jason Spisak as Chumbucket in Mad Max or for that matter Jonathan Oldham as Griffa in that same game. Mark Meer as all the vorcha, hissing and spitting. Claudia Black as Morrigan (and Aetytha! Jeez!) and Kate Mulgrew as Flemeth. Without them, the experiences of these games wouldn’t be the same and I’m amazed by all these extraordinary people, lending their voices to the games we make.
You are awesome, dear voice actors, and I’m so grateful for the work you do.