5 voice actors’ CVs that go on forever
Contrary to popular opinion, voice acting can be an extremely stressful job, and painfully difficult to sustain a livelihood from. However, a handful of talented people make the job look (and sound) easy, and their extensive portfolios are a testament to their skills. This week, PS3 Attitude is paying tribute to five of our favourite voice actors, and taking a look at their established careers.
Sometimes it seems like a videogame isn’t a videogame unless Nolan North is in it. Arguably the most well known voice in the business, he boasts a gameography that other actors would kill for. He’s most famous for the lead roles of Nathan Drake in the Uncharted series, Desmond Miles in the Assassin’s Creed series, and the Prince in the 2008 Prince of Persia reboot.
However, what you may not know is that Nolan possesses an incredibly diverse vocal range, to the extent that his voice is completely unrecognisable in several games; for example, check out his work as the Penguin in Batman: Arkham City, Dr. Edward Richtofen in the Call of Duty series, the defective turrets in Portal 2, and Sigmund in Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time.
And just in case that wasn’t enough games for you, he can also be heard in God of War, Mafia II, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2, Resonance of Fate, Singularity, Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, Spec Ops: The Line, Valkyria Chronicles, White Knight Chronicles, and many, many more.
The lone woman on our list, the ever-smiling Laura Bailey is possibly the most widely used voice actress in the English-speaking world. Even if you’ve never heard of her name before, the chances are that you’ve heard her voice in a videogame or two.
Laura specialises in providing voice work for the English-language versions of Japanese videogames and anime series. Her major roles have included the titular character in Catherine, Raspberyl in the Disgaea series, Serah Farron in Final Fantasy XIII and XIII-2, Reimi Saionji in Star Ocean: The Last Hope, and Chun-Li in the recent Street Fighter games.
However, even if you never listen to the English voice track in Japanese games, you can still keep an ear out for Laura in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Fallout: New Vegas, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Mass Effect 3, and Saints Row: The Third.
After Laura, it makes sense to talk about Troy Baker, who has starred alongside her in several games, often as her on-screen partner; for example, Troy’s major roles include Snow Villiers in Final Fantasy XIII and XIII-2, and Vincent Brooks in Catherine.
However, Troy is arguably most well known for his involvement in a game that isn’t even out yet, playing Joel in Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us. He will also lend his voice to main protagonist Booker DeWitt in the upcoming BioShock Infinite, and newbie Jake Muller in Resident Evil 6.
Other characters voiced by Troy include Robin and Two-Face in Batman: Arkham City, Abaddon in Darksiders, Ryu Hayabusa in Ninja Gaiden 3, Alec Mason in Red Faction: Guerrilla, one of the three options for the male protagonist in Saints Row: The Third, Captain Renko in Singularity, and Dash in Sorcery, as well as many other smaller roles.
James Arnold Taylor
James Arnold Taylor’s gameography may not be quite as wide-ranging as the other actors on this list, but he gets extra points for voicing everyone’s favourite Lombax; Ratchet. James has starred in every game in the series since Ratchet & Clank 2, replacing Mikey Kelley, in an effort to make the character more likeable; and it worked.
Other major characters include main protagonist Tidus from Final Fantasy X (which Square Enix is currently remastering in HD for a release on PS3 and PS Vita), and Gabe Logan in the most recent Syphon Filter games on PS2 and PSP.
We said earlier that James’s gameography isn’t quite as impressive as the other voice actors we’ve mentioned, but you can still hear him in titles such as Back to the Future: The Game, the Kingdom Hearts series, Lego Batman: The Videogame, Resonance of Fate and Valkyria Chronicles II.
Roger Craig Smith
Roger Craig Smith is definitely the odd one out on this list, in that the voice he is most famous for is significantly different to his voice in real life. That’s right; he spent three Assassin’s Creed games feigning an Italian accent as Ezio Auditore da Firenze (and doing a surprisingly great job at it too!).
As well as voicing Ezio, Roger is known for playing Chris Redfield in the recent Resident Evil games, including the upcoming Resident Evil 6. He is also the current voice of Sonic the Hedgehog, after taking over the role from Jason Griffith in 2010.
Smaller roles voiced by Roger can be heard in the Final Fantasy series, Metal Gear Solid series, Naruto series, Red Dead Redemption, Red Faction: Guerrilla, Resonance of Fate, Saints Row: The Third, Siren: Blood Curse, Soulcalibur series, Tekken 6 and Valkyria Chronicles II.