Friday Favorites #3: Hollywood Performances in Video Games

Mads Mikkelsen in Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding

As I grow a little impatient with interpreting the enigmatic trailers for Death Stranding featuring Norman Reedus and Mads Mikkelsen, I got inspiration for another Friday Favorites list. What games have featured Hollywood actors to great effect? 

This list is by no means “complete”. I also excluded actors who are more well-known for their voice acting, at least at the time of this writing. I have great love for several VAs that I will express in future LPs, however. 

Nathan Fillion as Gunnery Sergeant Edward Buck – Halo 3: ODST and Halo 5: Guardians

Canadian actor Nathan Fillion voiced a character in Halo 3 before lending his likeness and his voice to the character of Buck. Fillion has charisma and wit, which makes Buck more memorable than most Halo characters. 

He asked the developers to make him look more handsome in Halo 5. Ok…

I’m still mad that Fillion wanted to play Nathan Drake in the long-suffering Uncharted flick. He campaigned his fans on Twitter to try to convince the film makers to cast him as Drake, but no dice. Since then, the film adaptation burned through such potential choices as Mark Wahlberg and Chris Pratt. 

Speaking of Halo…

Tricia Helfer as EDI – Mass Effect 2 and 3

Canadian actress Tricia Helfer started off her career as a model, but she’s much more than just a pretty face as she has proved in many TV shows and movies. She provided her voice and likeness to the character of Veronica Dare in Halo 3: ODST but I prefer EDI. 

EDI is an artificial intelligence installed into the Normandy SR-2 provided by pro-human organization Cereberus after they brought Captain Shepard back from the dead. In ME EDI takes over the artificial body of a Cereberus synthetic infiltration unit, giving her a physical form for the first time in her existence. From then on, EDI becomes a partner on Shepard’s missions. EDI also begins a relationship with Joker, the pilot of the Normandy. 

EDI allowed BioWare to explore themes of how physical experiences and relationships with organic beings would shape and affect an artificial life form, making for an unexpectedly poignant character. 

Robert Carlyle as Gabriel Belmont and Patrick Stewart as Zobek – Castlevania: Lords of Shadow

Scottish actor Robert Carlyle and British actor Patrick Stewart both have strong performances in this game. However, Zobek arguably overshadows (no pun intended) Gabriel a bit; Gabriel is something of a stoic cipher, but Zobek offers observations on Gabriel’s adventure and in narration between levels. Stewart performed Zobek with considerable aplomb and even compassion…

Keith David as Chaos – DISSIDIA

African-American actor Keith David has a long and storied career, and a very recognizable voice. He has some notable credits in video games as well, such as in Fallout and Mass Effect. I picked Chaos because David’s voice and performance lends a dignity and coolness to the main antagonist of DISSIDIA, the god of chaos itself. 

Jack Black as Eddie Riggs – Brutal Legend

OK, so Brűtal had iffy RTS gameplay and got screwed over pretty hard by publisher EA… but it still had lots of heavy metal charm. Black was in his element in this humorous game where he played a roadie transported to a heavy metal fantasy world, who discovers that his dad originally came from said world.

What are your favorite performances in video games?

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