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Moooooooooon Wizards
June 23, 2014 10:00 AM   Subscribe

The gameplay in Bungie's Destiny "alpha" has been almost completely overshadowed by reaction to the voice acting by Peter Dinklage. Even Bungie itself has started producing shirts featuring the most infamous line: "That wizard came from the moon". Now, Justin McElroy (of the McElroy podcasting empire) has secured exclusive behind the scenes audio of the VO session.
posted by kmz (93 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
How can that be the same Peter Dinklage that steals the scene and takes lesser actors to school in every episode of Thrones?

It sounds like he's reading the lines for the first time. Of course, maybe he is.

I've long wondered why voice acting in video games is generally so bad—and if they can get a performance this bad from an actor as good as Dinklage, that's gotta be a clue of some kind. Do they not budget for enough recording time to get a good take? Do they fail to provide the actors with enough character background and direction?

For my money, Stephen Russell's work for the original Thief series is still the high-water mark for voice acting in games.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 10:15 AM on June 23 [3 favorites]


OK, so Bungie took a read-through, and called it a wrap?

Even when Dinklage is bad (get a load of his surfer-pirate accent thing going on in Ice Age 3) he's entertaining and engaging. This has to be a monumental miscommunication between the director and the actor - considering the actor's resume, I'd plant it on the director.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:16 AM on June 23 [3 favorites]


It's smart from a PR perspective, but I absolutely hate the ploy of "this thing is awful and embarrassing, and everyone called us out on it - so let's embrace it as a joke and act like it was intentional all along!"
posted by naju at 10:18 AM on June 23 [1 favorite]


That wizard came from the moon

Oooor, it could be the writing?
posted by gwint at 10:18 AM on June 23 [7 favorites]


Bungie should have taken a page from Bioware here. For all the crap Bioware has received lately their voice talent tends to be top notch. Mark Meer's Shephard is actually among the least strong of all the Bioware performances and even that was really much better than this.

I suppose it woulda been weird having Tricia Helfer do yet another AI.
posted by Justinian at 10:21 AM on June 23 [1 favorite]


Also I was totally expecting an Orson Welles "frozen peas" parody for the last link. I think they really missed an opportunity here.
posted by Justinian at 10:24 AM on June 23 [1 favorite]


(Er, just to be clear, the last link is a parody.)
posted by kmz at 10:26 AM on June 23




But its not a FROZEN PEAS parody! That's important!
posted by Justinian at 10:27 AM on June 23 [3 favorites]


gwint: " Oooor, it could be the writing?"

I think that's a fairly generous interpretation.
posted by boo_radley at 10:28 AM on June 23


As wooden as his delivery is, perhaps some consideration should be given to the fact that he's playing an AI?
posted by fifthrider at 10:31 AM on June 23 [6 favorites]


How can that be the same Peter Dinklage that steals the scene and takes lesser actors to school in every episode of Thrones?

Because he's on a project he doesn't give a shit about. There's zero expectation or, frankly, need for quality here. It's not like poor voice acting is really going to hurt game sales. It's an easy pay check for him.
posted by Sangermaine at 10:34 AM on June 23


Serious question - is there anything particularly notable about Destiny? I haven't been following the hype. It seems like another "cowboy marines in space" Halo-style mindless shooter with little innovation or reason to care about anything. Not to be a Negative Nancy.
posted by naju at 10:37 AM on June 23


There are two notable things about Desinty. One, it's a FPS/MMORPG hybrid. Halo is a more straightforward FPS. Two, the massive amounts of cash dropped on it. Which are massive.

There's also no PC version which means I can only ignore it by implication rather than directly.
posted by Justinian at 10:39 AM on June 23 [1 favorite]


Asking if there's anything notable about Bungie making a shooter is like asking why one might care if Martin Scorsese is making another gangster movie. Sure, it's just going to be a movie with a bunch of people killing each other, but it's probably going to be a really good one, given past experience.
posted by 0xFCAF at 10:42 AM on June 23 [4 favorites]


perhaps some consideration should be given to the fact that he's playing an AI?

Yeah, but then people wouldn't have an easy target for snark. Can't have that.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:43 AM on June 23 [1 favorite]


To (mis)quote Roseanne Roseannadanna, "you sure do ask a lot of questions about a guy from New Jersey."
posted by tommasz at 10:43 AM on June 23


I played the Destiny alpha and I heard this line after the first mission. It felt weird. Probably because the rest of the game was lacking character.

Destiny feels like if someone made a Marathon mod using the Halo engine, minus the world building, even though that's something Bungie has been really trying hard to do.
posted by hellojed at 10:44 AM on June 23


I suspect that most video game VO acting is done in isolation, in contrast to movie VO work, where the cast is usually giving performances together.
posted by drklahn at 10:45 AM on June 23 [1 favorite]


I remember the first peak at the game, the players walking into the wall thing. It was a giant, hollow chamber filled with catwalks and mystery. Which it didn't look like anyone will ever have access to. They might as well have been walking through a skybox.
posted by Slackermagee at 10:52 AM on June 23


Voice acting is a skill in its own right, not every actor can pull it off. There's a reason why the same few actors show up in everything.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:53 AM on June 23 [8 favorites]


Ouch, Destiny cost $500 million. How do you spend that kind of money and have a script and voice acting this cringeworthy? Now I kinda hope the game is a spectacular, hilarious failure. Like a $500 million Deadly Premonition. I would buy that.
posted by naju at 10:54 AM on June 23


Destiny is a very good game. The challenges promote teamwork in ways that I've never really experienced in a shooter. The sense of power and vulerability really rivals the first halo(Not its subsequent lesser sequels). Its fast and frenetic. The supers are both cinematic and easy to aim. The guns all have their own unique feel. you truly start to feel you have earned the powers they provide you with. There is a real wow factor with the supers they make you feel powerful without making you feel invulnerable. Bungie is in the business of making you feel like a demigod in the greek pantheon with all of mythology around you. If I could play destiny right now I'm not sure I'd be doing anything else.
posted by Rubbstone at 10:54 AM on June 23 [2 favorites]


That, and it being a small-party MMOFPS (but is it really an MMO?) makes it less exciting to me.
posted by Slackermagee at 10:54 AM on June 23


I was wondering if "wizard" meant something else in the game world, but apparently not. I mean they're aliens, but they have magic powers of some kind. So, yeah. Wizards. And they live on the Moon.
posted by brundlefly at 10:55 AM on June 23 [1 favorite]


Ha, the narration in Myth: The Fallen Lords was better than that. Bad VA stands out, but a lot of AAA games show lack of ambition in other areas (gameplay, narrative) that matter more.

Re the $500 tag that's meant to cover the franchise cost iirc.
posted by ersatz at 10:55 AM on June 23 [1 favorite]


I've long wondered why voice acting in video games is generally so bad—and if they can get a performance this bad from an actor as good as Dinklage, that's gotta be a clue of some kind. Do they not budget for enough recording time to get a good take? Do they fail to provide the actors with enough character background and direction?

Some of it is probably that they hired Peter Dinklage instead of, crazy idea, a voice actor. Not the same skill set.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:01 AM on June 23 [4 favorites]


Ha, the narration in Myth: The Fallen Lords was better than that.

Casualty.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:02 AM on June 23 [5 favorites]


Yeah, people say Halo is a great game but it isn't even the best game Bungie has made.
posted by Justinian at 11:04 AM on June 23 [3 favorites]


Voice acting is a skill in its own right, not every actor can pull it off.

He's done VO work before, for a pretty terrible role in a very dumb movie (Ice Age 4), and he was still really entertaining - he was bad in it only because he was taking chances with his portrayal and chewing CGI-scenery with abandon, both of which I can really respect even if it didn't pay off.

This was a read-through someone recorded - badly - and then rolled it into the game. Dinklage even has the sort-of-shakespeare-sounding "generic dramatic voice" many American actors use for cold reads - I wouldn't be surprised if he stopped and did a few vocal warm-ups in the middle of some of these lines.
posted by Slap*Happy at 11:04 AM on June 23


This just makes me want Charles "The Silver-Tongued Devil" Dance as a VA in something. Perhaps Francis Drake in Uncharted 4?
posted by zombieflanders at 11:07 AM on June 23


If anything this makes me want to play Destiny more. Wizards? On The Moon? and I get to beat them up?
posted by hellojed at 11:07 AM on June 23


If anything this makes me want to play Destiny more. Wizards? On The Moon? and I get to beat them up?

In fact, sir ,you get to smite them with your godlike powers. There is nothing like playing a warlock and blowing away bodies like chaff in the wind. They literally turn purple rise into the sky and blow away.
posted by Rubbstone at 11:10 AM on June 23


Mark Meer's Shephard

Shepard was voiced by Jennifer Hale. What the hell game did you play ?
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 11:17 AM on June 23 [21 favorites]


I played the one where femShep had no high resolution texture, unfortunately.
posted by Justinian at 11:18 AM on June 23 [1 favorite]


hellojed: "If anything this makes me want to play Destiny more. Wizards? On The Moon? and I get to beat them up?"

Through the power of Venusian Alchemy and Mercurial Firepower.
posted by boo_radley at 11:19 AM on June 23


"We go wherever we want, nothing holding us back." *sits down sexily*
posted by ckape at 11:27 AM on June 23 [1 favorite]


I can't tell if the post title is an andy williams joke

I'm going to assume it is
posted by Ferreous at 11:31 AM on June 23 [2 favorites]


The opening narration before each mission in Myth II will always stick with me.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 11:31 AM on June 23 [2 favorites]


The (highly recommended!) Crate and Crowbar podcast* made an interesting point about this that I'll paraphrase. Yes, it's true that the character Dinklage is playing is an AI/robot/automaton/thing and his performance reflects that; I also gather this is clearer when 'robotty' processing is applied to his voice in one of the trailers, whereas this build of the game apparently doesn't have that applied yet.

But it's still a weird/offputting delivery because it still retains human-like inflections, emphases, changes in tone, pauses, general speech patterns and all the other things that make it clear that it's Human Dinklage we can hear speaking. The only bit that's been tamped down in order to sound computeresque is any sense of enthusiasm or connection with the line that would make it a good performance...
posted by Drexen at 11:32 AM on June 23 [1 favorite]


It was the closest we'll ever get to a Black Company game. Which would be super awesome.
posted by Justinian at 11:32 AM on June 23 [7 favorites]


(re: Myth and Myth II)
posted by Justinian at 11:32 AM on June 23


Yeah, people say Halo is a great game but it isn't even the best game Bungie has made.

Well, yeah, but they lost the brains behind Marathon.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:36 AM on June 23 [4 favorites]


This game is in Alpha correct? I don't expect everything to be polished. That certainly includes voicework. The Elder Scrolls Beta had some WOODEN voice acting (including some "microsoft sam voice" This was all polished up and sounded fine upon regular release.

I realize it might seem silly to have voicework done at all if it was poorly done, but maybe they got some placeholder lines in there with the intent to go back and give them some polish/rerecord them.

I mean this is Alpha, I'm not going to nitpick things like voice acting (particularly from someone I know can do stellar work) just yet.
posted by Twain Device at 11:41 AM on June 23 [1 favorite]


ahah oh my god, please everyone watch the Justin McElroy video. It is so good.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 11:49 AM on June 23


I haven't done any VO, but I have been involved in a greenscreen shoot for a videogame (don't ask, it was a long time ago) with a household name actor who just didn't give a shit about doing his job well. He wanted everything to be done on the first take, and would get frustrated if we had to redo. He would say things like "oh it's just a game!". He just wanted his paycheck and to go home asap with the minimum effort. All the other actors made an effort. Perhaps Dinklage feels similarly about games.
posted by Joh at 11:50 AM on June 23


Second-takes cost money.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:51 AM on June 23


I guess nobody is going to mention Tiptoes? I'm just saying, it's not like Dinklage can do no wrong.
posted by lumpenprole at 12:01 PM on June 23


For my money, Stephen Russell's work for the original Thief series is still the high-water mark for voice acting in games.


I noticed you spelled Ellen McLain incorrectly. That's probably because your parents didn't raise you properly.


Oh...


That's right...



You don't have any parents.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:02 PM on June 23 [6 favorites]


Moooooooooon Wizards
. . . misses by a mile,
But the t-shirt is in style, today . . .

 
posted by Herodios at 12:07 PM on June 23 [1 favorite]


If you'd likd to hear franchise consistent and great voice acting in video games / movie media, play Riddick: Escape from Butcher bay. Vin Diesel's character may be somewhat one dimensional, but between the story, the game play, and his intensity - he transforms the game from a good shooter to an epic story.

The role of a floating orb by Peter Dinklage feels more like a company going 'yay we signed Peter Dinklage!' and forgetting to write lines worthy of him. Tripple A budgets can afford A list actors, but that doesn't mean that they aren't still responisble for a compelling narration.

Now excuse me, I'm going to back to replaying fallout 3.
posted by Nanukthedog at 12:07 PM on June 23 [1 favorite]


I really liked Tim Curry's VA in Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers. But, to be fair, I'd listen to him read the phone book.
posted by xedrik at 12:07 PM on June 23 [3 favorites]


Good performances in video games are possible. My evidence would be Andy Serkis in Heavenly Sword.
posted by kikaider01 at 12:19 PM on June 23 [1 favorite]


>Ha, the narration in Myth: The Fallen Lords was better than that.

Casualty.

You're good. Mine was more like Ca-ca-ca-ca-casualty. Often due to my own fault.
posted by ersatz at 12:39 PM on June 23


I really liked Tim Curry's VA in Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers. But, to be fair, I'd listen to him read the phone book.

Oh yes. Even though as a New Orleans accent it's completely unbelievable, it's still great fun.
posted by asperity at 12:40 PM on June 23 [1 favorite]


I'm confused, I thought this game was in alpha? Is it not feasible that they would bring him in to rerecord later, particularly if it turns out new and different lines needed to be written for a more polished game?
posted by Mizu at 12:57 PM on June 23


That costs money which could otherwise be spent on marketing. Guess which will win?
posted by Justinian at 1:03 PM on June 23


You're good. Mine was more like Ca-ca-ca-ca-casualty. Often due to my own fault.

"Make a Hole."

I swear half the difficulty of those games was in dwarf management.
posted by pan at 1:05 PM on June 23 [1 favorite]


Wildly inconsistent VO performances from the same actor are not unusual. Case in point: Michael Madsen's work voicing Daud from Dishonored (most of his lines are in the two single-player DLC episodes) and also as Carver from The Walking Dead Season 2. Madsen is terrible in the Dishonored DLC - his timing and inflection are just way off (it's really noticeable if you have captions on). But he did a great job in the TWD episodes his character appears in. One can only guess as to the reasons why though (poor direction? he was having a bad day?).

In general, I prefer performances by actors that specialize in video game work. It's hard to find a bad performance by someone who does this type of acting for their daily bread (e.g., Troy Baker, Nolan North), but big names doing VG roles (particularly for the first time, e.g., Patrick Stewart in Castlevania: LOS) are hit or miss (mostly miss).
posted by longdaysjourney at 1:08 PM on June 23


Which makes me so angry. It must be cheaper to hire Troy Baker or Jennifer Hale than a recognizable live-action screen actor. And they are often so much better! Please don't make me suffer through an obviously bored and uncaring Sean Bean or Patrick Stewart.

That's not true of all screen actors, of course. As I mentioned above almost everyone in Bioware games does well whether or not they are primarily voice or screen actors. But the more famous the screen actor the more likely their work will be terrible. Probably because they don't know why the hell they are doing voice work for a video game talking about moon wizards or whatever.
posted by Justinian at 1:14 PM on June 23


Here is Ellen McLain, the voice of GLaDOS from Portal, giving commentary about good and bad voice direction.
posted by gilrain at 1:17 PM on June 23 [6 favorites]


I am under the impression that most video game voice acting is done in isolation, with the actor delivering each line in a few different ways, and the director/editor choosing the reading that fits the scene they need later on. So the actor may not even know what it is they're reacting to.
posted by telophase at 1:33 PM on June 23


You're good. Mine was more like Ca-ca-ca-ca-casualty. Often due to my own fault.

Dwarves yelling, "Catch!" were both the solution and the problem in many Myth battles.

Bungie broke my heart when Halo went from being a MacWorld debut to an X-Box exclusive. We used to be such buddies, too.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 1:36 PM on June 23 [3 favorites]


Ellen McLain and her husband stop by her nephew's podcasts occasionally to talk about their VO work and other things.

Disclosure: Her nephew and the podcast's other host are both my good friends.
posted by Corinth at 1:50 PM on June 23 [2 favorites]


Looks like a fun cliche fest but trailer needs more BWAAAAAAMM.
posted by StephenF at 1:52 PM on June 23


Video game voice acting really is a genre all its own. In movie and TV animation you get a script to read that has a story, and sometimes other performances to react to. But in video games there's just a long list of lines. It's sort of a story in the sense that you're doing a character, but there isn't really a narrative (for the actor) because you have to record lines for the many different possibilities that the player will encounter.
posted by Kevin Street at 2:04 PM on June 23 [1 favorite]


I really liked Tim Curry's VA in Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers. But, to be fair, I'd listen to him read the phone book.

Tim Curry has sure done some great video game work, that's for sure.
posted by lumpenprole at 2:06 PM on June 23 [1 favorite]


Damn, Tim Curry would have knocked that Moon Wizard line out of the park!
posted by Kevin Street at 2:13 PM on June 23 [2 favorites]


Bungie broke my heart when Halo went from being a MacWorld debut to an X-Box exclusive.

No shit. "Yay! Mac gaming has finally arrived--- Oh."
posted by brundlefly at 2:32 PM on June 23


Damn, Tim Curry would have knocked that Moon Wizard line out of the park!

He wouldn't even have to say it, he could just Cheshire Cat grin it.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 2:57 PM on June 23 [2 favorites]


For my money, Stephen Russell's work for the original Thief series is still the high-water mark for voice acting in games.
Sooomebody hasn't been playing Borderlands 2
posted by fullerine at 3:02 PM on June 23


Oh, God, Tim Curry saying "That Wizard came from the Moon".

Although there are likely to be dozens of hours of singleplayer gameplay in "Destiny". If Tim Curry was doing all of it... well. You're meant to go to the emergency room if it doesn't subside after four hours.

Is all I'm saying.

As an aside, Old Russia is probably the most mature bit of Destiny, which probably also means it was probably the first area to be voiced, and possibly voiced "cold" - i.e. they needed this voice track in early to sync it to the alpha, so they sent him a bunch of lines and booked studio time in LA, but possibly didn't have a chance to send Marty o'Donnell (at the time) down to direct them.

I don't think this is necessarily reflective of the whole Dinklage voice track, basically.
posted by running order squabble fest at 3:20 PM on June 23 [1 favorite]


Although there are likely to be dozens of hours of singleplayer gameplay in "Destiny"

Eh... I'm not sure there is going to be any single player gameplay in it. It's kinda an MMO.
posted by Justinian at 4:00 PM on June 23


Eh... I'm not sure there is going to be any single player gameplay in it. It's kinda an MMO.

Other people are optional for explore and story misisons. Maybe not for strikes or multiplayer but you definetly have plenty of single player content there.
posted by Rubbstone at 4:18 PM on June 23 [1 favorite]


Well, you can do the explore missions on your own, at least early on, and I found that the strike missions were pretty easy to play through while treating your teammates as AI companions - I hooked up with a couple of strangers for the alpha, who didn't have microphones.

But you're right, singleplayer is a misnomer. I really mean "campaign" - i.e the parts with Dinkage v/o-ing Ghost. The PvP doesn't have a Ghost voice track, AFAIK, so the... effect of Tim Curry's voice would not be so impactful.
posted by running order squabble fest at 4:18 PM on June 23


As wooden as his delivery is, perhaps some consideration should be given to the fact that he's playing an AI?

Kevin Spacey played an AI in Moon and it wasn't laughably bad like this. For that matter, Rosie on the Jetsons was a better performance than this. But if a terrible delivery was what they actually wanted then why pay for Dinklage?
posted by Gary at 4:54 PM on June 23


Back when I worked in games, we began to see a pattern with casting well-known actors to do VO. We'd get all excited -- "Holy crap, we get to work with Big Star Celebrity!" Then, we'd get jerked around for weeks and months trying to get them into the studio -- "Holy crap, when do we get to work with Big Star Celebrity?" And then they would come into the studio, act like they were slumming, do the work, cash their check, and move on -- "Holy crap, that was Big Star Celebrity?" There are exceptions to the rule, but after a while, the announcement of celebrity casting kind of gave us a knot in the stomach.

PR teams think having VO from a certain actor is going to sell a million copies. I've yet to be convinced that it's true.
posted by ga$money at 5:00 PM on June 23 [2 favorites]


Bums me out, too, since I've been a big Peter Dinklage fan since _The Station Agent_.
posted by ga$money at 5:06 PM on June 23


I wonder how much of this can be blamed on the recent unexplained firing of Marty O'Donnell, the famed Bungie audio maestro who oversaw all the voice acting sessions in prior games in addition to composing the soundtrack. I can't speak to their older titles, but the voice acting and dialogue in Halo has been generally excellent, with only a few notable exceptions (namely, weaker replacement voice actors for Miranda Keyes and the Prophet of Truth in Halo 3).
posted by Rhaomi at 5:52 PM on June 23


Also, Bungie has a recent history of using celebrity cameos: Ron Perlman, Terrence Stamp, David Cross, the entire cast of Firefly in ODST. They usually do a pretty good job; Stamp was the only disappointment IMO, and that's only because he offered such a radically different take on a key villain who had been portrayed by a different actor in the previous game.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:08 PM on June 23




How can that be the same Peter Dinklage that steals the scene and takes lesser actors to school in every episode of Thrones?

Which actors are those? As far as I can tell, Dinklage is in a cast of equals for the most part.
posted by juiceCake at 8:27 PM on June 23


I remember hearing Brian Cox say, years ago, he loved doing VO work for games, because it was a decent paycheck for a three-hour day.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 12:05 AM on June 24


(frog blast the vent core)
posted by Evilspork at 3:40 AM on June 24 [3 favorites]


Having made games that have employed dozens of voice actors it always frustrates me when I hear bad celebrity VO work in games. Are there really people out there who buy games because they have famous VO actors? I doubt it.

It doesn't even generate that much PR either, and if anything, it ends up compromising the game because the devs and designers get distracted trying to model the characters towards the actor (hello creepy Martin Sheen in Mass Effect 2!); and gamers get distracted as well.
posted by adrianhon at 4:41 AM on June 24 [1 favorite]


Oooor, it could be the writing?

I think the writing is certainly playing a part. The E3 trailer for Destiny had robotic sound effects added to Dinklage's VO, and it sounds a lot less bad. The writing, however, is pretty atrocious. They've got him saying, straight-faced, lines like, "I'm not going to lie to you, guardian. You are Earth's last hope."
posted by tocts at 5:23 AM on June 24


Having made games that have employed dozens of voice actors it always frustrates me when I hear bad celebrity VO work in games. Are there really people out there who buy games because they have famous VO actors? I doubt it.

It doesn't even generate that much PR either, and if anything, it ends up compromising the game because the devs and designers get distracted trying to model the characters towards the actor (hello creepy Martin Sheen in Mass Effect 2!); and gamers get distracted as well.


There was the time Sarah Michelle Geller, alone of the core Buffy cast, didn't do her character's voice for the Xbox video game (due to a movie scheduling clash, I think), and Giselle Loren did such a good job that they kept her for the sequel, despite Geller being available.

Although Seth Green is good in Mass Effect... That said, he was in the v/o booth for a lot longer than Martin Sheen, and his character has a lot more flesh on its (brittle) bones. Sheen's is a bit "be enigmatic and a bit evil in 3...2...1... go!"
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:35 AM on June 24


Also, Bungie has a recent history of using celebrity cameos: Ron Perlman

Speaking of Perlman, he can do the introductory VO of every Fallout title ever.

Anyway, celebrity appearances are nothing new - just remember Wing Commander 3/4 starring John Rhys-Davies, Malcolm McDowell and Mark Hamill (plus a tonne of tasteful* FMV in an extravaganza spanning 4/6 CD-ROMs).

*not really

Hm, now thinking maybe I should have bought WC3 too on GOG.
posted by ersatz at 6:26 AM on June 24


it ends up compromising the game because the devs and designers get distracted trying to model the characters towards the actor (hello creepy Martin Sheen in Mass Effect 2!)

I'm not sure what you're basing that on, or how you feel that the game was "compromised", but I quite liked Sheen's job as The Illusive Man. He made the character seem polite, solicitous of Shepard's well-being when it was appropriate, encouraging... and utterly unapologetic of what he or Cerberus did to achieve their goals (which other characters would remind you of throughout the game, especially if you import an ME1 saved game in which you did the side missions that involve Cerberus). There are other VAs in the game that don't work well (nothing against Claudia Black, but I wish that they'd gotten someone for Aethyta with an authentic whiskey-and-cigarettes voice, instead of having Black drop her pitch and add some vocal fry), but Sheen as TIM works quite well IMO.
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:43 AM on June 24 [1 favorite]


Well, different strokes, etc., but at least personally during the TIM scenes I didn't think, "Wow, what a great story, what great acting!", I thought, "Hmm, I'm watching an animation of a young Martin Sheen in a videogame."
posted by adrianhon at 3:59 PM on June 25


Miranda looked exactly like Yvonne Strahovski but I didn't mind. At all.
posted by Justinian at 11:54 PM on June 25


Miranda would have been more tolerable if BioWare could have gone a whole cutscene/dialogue without leering at her ass.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:02 AM on June 26 [4 favorites]


Yeah, there was definitely a legitimate basis for the nickname Ass Effect.
posted by Justinian at 11:59 AM on June 26


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