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Discovering the Sub-Genres in Video Games

By Alan Shires. Published Aug 14, 2023.
Filed Under: Video Games

Hey there, all you video game voiceover aficionados! Whether you're the one behind the mic or the one choosing the right voice for a game character, understanding the sub-genres in video games can be a game-changer (pun totally intended) for your career. The missing piece of the jigsaw is the difference between having something perfect or leaving it short. But, the challenge is, there are so many different sub-genres in video games how does one possibly navigate that? How does one know what the correct voice, style, or feel is for these sub-genres? Well, let us explore this together by diving into this vast and varied world.

A Full and Detail List of Video Game Sub-Genres

First Player Shooters (FPS): When you think FPS, games like "Call of Duty" or "Counter-Strike" might come to mind. This sub-genre often features gritty, war-torn settings or fast-paced cyberpunk atmospheres. Voiceover actors in these games require a raw edge. Performers often have to convey urgency, fear, leadership, or camaraderie, sometimes all in the span of a few lines. Think sharp commands, battle cries, and intense dialogue.

Fantasy: Ah, the land of dragons, magic, and epic quests! "The Elder Scrolls," "The Witcher," and "Final Fantasy" series are quintessential examples. Here, voiceovers can be vast and varied. One moment, you're voicing an elvish queen with an air of grace; the next, a cunning goblin merchant. The range is key. Voice actors should be prepared to tackle archaic language, sing a tavern song, or perhaps chant an ancient spell.

Racing: Zooming past the FPS and fantasy genres, racing games are a different beast. "Need for Speed," "Gran Turismo," and "Mario Kart" showcase the spectrum. You're not often voicing characters in deep narratives, but rather announcers, racers, or even the occasional crowd cheer. Energy, excitement, and the thrill of speed should echo in your voiceover for these games.

Adventure: Whether it's hunting treasures in "Uncharted" or navigating post-apocalyptic cities in "The Last of Us," the adventure genre often blends action, narrative, and exploration. A well-rounded voice actor here can be the reassuring companion, the menacing antagonist, or the wise elder offering clues. The tone can vary greatly, so versatility is a boon.

Role-Playing Games (RPG): A sub-genre that often overlaps with fantasy, RPGs like "Mass Effect" or "Persona" can also venture into sci-fi, modern, or historical settings. Here, character development is key. Voiceover actors might be required to bring a character to life over dozens, if not hundreds of hours of gameplay. Emotional depth, consistency, and the ability to evolve with the character are vital skills.

Strategy: From historical epics like "Civilization" to space odysseys like "Stellaris," strategy games demand a different kind of voiceover. It could be a calm, omniscient narrator guiding players, or leaders rallying their troops. Precision, clarity, and a touch of grandiosity can often set the right tone.

Horror: Games like "Resident Evil" or "Silent Hill" thrive on atmosphere. Here, voiceover can be hushed whispers, terrified screams, or the eerie voice of an unseen antagonist. The ability to convey palpable fear or haunting menace is paramount. A well-delivered line can send shivers down players' spines!

Indie Games: This category is a wild card. Indie games like "Undertale," "Hollow Knight," or "Firewatch" often blend genres, offering unique narratives and settings. Voiceover work in this space can be deeply personal, quirky, or completely out-of-the-box. An open-minded approach and a willingness to experiment can lead to some truly memorable performances.

Video Game Sub-Genres: Mission Complete, You Win!

Navigating the sub-genres in video game voiceover isn't just about recognizing the differences; it's about understanding the unique nuances and demands of each. For casting professionals, it's crucial to find the right voice that fits the mood and theme of the game. Then, for the performers, it’s about delivering authenticity, versatility, and emotion, no matter the setting.

Here's to creating iconic characters and unforgettable gaming experiences! Whether you are aiming for the heart-pounding thrill of an FPS or the magical allure of a fantasy realm, mastering the voiceover art for these sub-genres can elevate your game. Game on!

Sub-Genres in Video Games by Alan Shires

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