Voice acting has always been a vital component of storytelling in multimedia. However, the rise of narrative-driven video games has given voice actors a colossal platform to showcase their talent. For voice actors looking to carve out a niche in the gaming industry, understanding the nuances of character delivery in top-rated video games is indispensable. Let’s explore some of the most popular video games today and discern why they're a treasure trove for voice actors. Note, styles and genres change not only between platforms but between games and genres too. It is important to cast a fairly wide net when looking at your video game samples.
Gone are the days when video games were merely about graphics and gameplay. The contemporary gaming landscape is rich with stories that are deep, emotional, and often on par with cinematic narratives. Titles such as "The Last of Us Part II" and "Red Dead Redemption 2" have demonstrated that gamers crave intricate, well-told tales. Such games require a depth of character portrayal that can only be achieved through stellar voice acting. This is something that has evolved over time, starting with grunts, yelps, and sounds soon moved over to catchy phrases like 'It's Me, Mario'. Now, the voiceover is a fundamental and vital part of the full narrative of a video game.
"The Last of Us Part II" - This game is a masterclass in nuanced storytelling. The intricate relationships, emotional upheavals, and ethical dilemmas make it a playground for voice actors. Actors like Ashley Johnson and Troy Baker brought their characters to life, turning them into household names.
"Red Dead Redemption 2" - Set in a vast, open-world environment, this game offers a plethora of characters, each with their unique backgrounds and stories. The diversity of roles, from gritty outlaws to eloquent scholars, provides a broad spectrum for voice actors to analyze and learn.
"The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt" - A sprawling fantasy epic filled with multifaceted characters. The rich lore and varied accents in this game showcase how voice actors can adapt to different cultural and regional dialects.
"Firewatch" - An indie darling, this game is essentially a dialogue-driven narrative between two characters. It underscores the importance of natural dialogue and how voice actors can carry an entire game on their vocal strengths.
Voice actors can benefit immensely by studying these titles because of the character depth involved. Video games often involve complex characters with layered emotions. Grasping these nuances can help actors deliver more genuine performances. Another benefit is the diverse accents and dialects. With games set in various locales, voice actors can hone their skills by mimicking a variety of accents and dialects. A final study topic is the importance of subtlety. Not all game moments are high-octane. Many require subtlety, a whisper instead of a shout. Recognizing these shifts can elevate an actor's performance.
The gaming industry is booming, with more narrative-driven games on the horizon. Voice actors stand at the threshold of a golden era, where their skills can shine brighter than ever. By studying the most popular video games for voice actors and understanding their storytelling intricacies, aspiring voiceover artists can better equip themselves for a thriving career in this exciting domain. Dive into the world of video games not just as a gamer, but as a keen observer. The stories, characters, and voices behind them are bound to inspire and inform your journey in the ever-expanding universe of voice acting.
Popular Video Games for Voice Actors by Alan Shires