30 Day Gaming Challenge: Day 26

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Oh. It’s you. It’s been a long time. How have you been?

 

We’re so close to the finish line readers. So close to me shutting up for a little while. But we’re not there yet. Today we listen to some other people talk.

Day 26 – Best voice acting.

There are so many great games out there with great voice acting; so many in fact, that it’s hard to come to a decision on what game I think has the best. The Mass Effect series has some great voice work, as do most Bioware games. Fable III, for all its flaws, has some fantastic voice actors (Stephen Fry as Reaver is a favourite). But for all round on-the-nose voice work, I turn to our great Valve Corporation.

My choice for best voice acting?

Portal 2.

I adore GLaDOS. Despite the tricks and mean things she says to you in Portal, by Portal 2, she has developed a voice and personality that transcends the robot body (or potato) she inhabits. She becomes a mother, a teacher, a guide and a frenemy. Yes, she tried to kill you in Portal, but now with her throne usurped, she wants to help you, if only to restore the natural order. Ellen McLain’s auto-tuned tones are perfect for the AI psycho robot, but the softer edges to her voice keeps that (possible) humanity.

The other main voice you will hear in Portal 2 is that of paranoid Personality Core Wheatley. Voiced somewhat controversially by Stephen Merchant (also voice of the Barclays bank adverts for a while), Wheatley begins as your guide and companion during a large part of Portal 2. I’m not the hugest fan of Merchant, but after listening to his robotic rantings as Wheatley, I think it was a great fit for the role.  It’s a contrast to GLaDOS’ definite, controlled speech, calculated and planned. Wheatley is the opposite, prone to blabbering, panic and screaming.

The third great voice actor in Portal 2 is J.K. Simmons. He voices the mysterious entity that is Cave Johnson, creator of Aperture Science. Whilst only nodded to briefly in Portal, Cave gets a whole section of the game in which he speaks about various things; Aperture, science, moon rocks and Caroline. He doesn’t actually appear in the game, but provides a voice over whilst you explore the old offices of Aperture Science. He therefore remains the enigma that he was in Portal, but drops enough story and interest in to make him a stand out character.

I also want to salute the efforts of Nolan North. He’s had much bigger parts in much bigger games, but I adore his corrupted Personality Cores; Space (“SPPPPAAAAACCCEE”), Adventure, and Fact Spheres.

Tomorrow, the most EPIC scene ever.

Now I only want you gone.

 

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