Most characters in our video games are voiced by relatively unknown people. That’s not to say they do a poor job (except in THESE cases), but their names don’t exactly grab your attention when the credits roles. Sometimes a more famous individual will step up and lend his or her vocal chords for the benefit of gaming. Here is a list of such celebrities. Enjoy.
Samuel L. Jackson – Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Samuel ‘Mother Fucking’ Jackson – the man who took on a plane full of snakes and won. In GTA: SA he voiced the role of corrupt cop, Officer Frank Tenpenny, the main antagonist in the game who pretty much gives CJ hell from start to finish. It is a commonly accepted fact that Samuel L. Jackson cannot be killed, though in GTA: SA Tenpenny dies when he crashes a fire truck. This marks one of the three ways that it may be possible to kill Jackson; the other two being Force Lightning and genetically-modified sharks.
Noticeable appearances: Jurassic Park, Pulp Fiction, Die Hard: With a Vengeance, The Long Kiss Goodnight, Star Wars Episode 1, 2 and 3, Deep Blue Sea, The Incredibles, Snakes on a Plane.
Other actors in the game: Chris Penn, deceased younger brother of Sean Penn, voiced Officer Eddie Pulaski.
Rapper/actor Ice-T voiced Madd Dogg.
James Woods, of Salvador and Contact fame, voiced Mike Torino.
David Cross, from Arrested Development, voiced Zero.
Charlie Murphy, brother of Eddie Murphy, voiced Jizzy B.
Peter Fonda, star of Easy Rider and Ulee’s Gold, voiced The Truth.
Kiefer Sutherland – Call of Duty: World at War
If you’re going to go headfirst into the pits of hell and back again you might as well do it with Jack Bauer. Kiefer Sutherland voiced Sergeant Roebuck, your hard-assed squad mate who gets promoted after Sergeant Sullivan finds himself on the wrong end of a banzai charge. His voice work gives the game a touch more intensity, as you feel you’re almost a part of a series of 24 based in WWII. They should totally do that for the next series.
Noticeable appearances: The Lost Boys, A Few Good Men, The Three Musketeers, Phone Booth, 24.
Other actors in the game: Aaron Stanford, Pyro from X-Men 2, voiced Private Polonsky.
Gary Oldman, of Fifth Element, Batman and Harry Potter fame, voiced Sgt. Reznov.
Haley Joel Osment – Kingdom Hearts 1 & 2
His ability to see dead people almost got him an Academy Award (sadly the same could not be said for Michael J. Fox in The Frighteners) though it seems work for young Mr. Osment has dried up a bit lately. His portrayal of the keyblade master, Sora, in the successful Disney/Final Fantasy series Kingdom Hearts is some of the finest voice work in the gaming industry, and with Kingdom Hearts 3 rumoured to be production no doubt he’ll have some more voice work lined up in the near future.
Noticeable appearances: Forrest Gump, The Sixth Sense, Pay It Forward, A.I….sort of goes a bit blank from there. Uh, Home of the Giants? This is what happens to child stars…except Drew Barrymore, though we would all be better off if she had just faded into obscurity.
Other actors in the game: Hayden Panettiere, the cheerleader from Heroes – and a certain 6A member’s BFF – voiced Kairi.
David Gallagher, from that shit show Seventh Heaven, voiced Riku.
Billy Zane, from The Phantom and Titanic, voiced Ansem.
Also, there’s Jesse McCartney, James Woods, Sean Astin, Brain Blessed, Christopher Lee, Gilbert Gottfried, Mandy Moore, Dan Castellaneta, Britney Snow….and quite a few other names.
Stephen Fry – LittleBigPlanet
LittleBigPlanet was such a warm and fuzzy game, and part of it was to do with the wonderful voice work of Stephen Fry, the British comedian best known for his work with Hugh Laurie. In LBP he voiced the games narrator, who pretty much sounded like that awesome great-uncle you have who probably killed dozens of Nazis in WWII yet came out of the ordeal just as jolly as ever. There’s a hell of a lot of tutorials in LBP and if it wasn’t for Fry’s delivery I think they would have become monotonous very quickly. Well, they still sort of did…
Noticeable appearances: V for Vendetta, Stormbreaker, A Fish Called Wanda, A Bit of Fry and Laurie, Blackadder, Jeeves and Wooster. He also voiced Reaver in Fable 2.
Other actors in the game: ..uh, none.
Brian Cox – Killzone 1 & 2
By God, this man has a rousing voice, and it is put to no better use than in Guerilla’s Killzone series. Brian Cox voiced Scolar Visari, the Emperor of the Helghast, whose prominent oratory skills make him an obvious parallel to Adolf Hitler. His speeches at the beginning of both Killzone 1 and 2 really got the average gamer’s blood pumping and made them feel like they were actually fighting for something. Visari’s death – at the hand of that dickhead Rico – makes me fear that his talents may be missing from Killzone 3, which would be a travesty beyond comprehension.
Noticeable appearances: Rob Roy, Braveheart, The Long Kiss Goodnight, Nuremburg, The Bourne Identity and Supremacy, X-Men 2, Troy, Zodiac. He also voiced Lionel Starkweather in Rockstar’s infamous game, Manhunt.
Other actors in the game: Sean Pertwee, the child of Doctor Who, voiced Hakha in the first game and Colonel Radec in the second.
Ronny Cox, who’s not related to Brian Cox but did star in Robocop and Total Recall, voiced the traitorous General Adams in the first game.
Michael Madsen – Grand Theft Auto III
Gritty-men like Michael Madsen don’t come around often enough, and the phenomenon that was GTAIII would have been slightly less phenomenal if it didn’t feature his vocal talents. Madsen voiced Tony Cipriani, the big momma’s boy who is actually one of the few characters still alive when the end credits role. The character proved interesting enough that in the prequel to the game, GTA: Liberty City Stories, Cipriani was made the main protagonist, though in this iteration he wasn’t voice by Madsen, which detracted from the overall awesomeness. Many a manly tear was shed.
Noticeable appearances: Reservoir Dogs, Free Willy, Wyatt Earp, Species 1 and 2, Kill Bill Volume 1 and 2, Sin City.
Other actors in the game: Debi Mazar, known for playing Shauna Roberts in Entourage, voiced Maria Latore.
Frank Vincent, from Goodfellas and The Sopranos, voiced Salvatore Leone.
Rapper, Guru, voiced 8-Ball.
Liam Neeson – Fallout 3
If there was any person on Earth I could choose to be my father, it would have to be Mr. Neeson. A large part of Fallout 3’s appeal for me was the fact that it allowed me to finally live out this dream, as Neeson voiced your dear old Dad in the game. Not only was he a smart guy but he also was a crack shot with a rifle, a definite role model for children of all ages. Sadly, his romp in the wastelands was brought to a premature end when he sacrificed himself for the good of mankind. Typical Neeson.
Noticeable appearances: Excalibur, Krull, Ethan Frome, Schindler’s List, Rob Roy, Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace, Gangs of New York, Love Actually, Kinsey, Kingdom of Heaven, Batman Begins, The Chronicles of Narnia, Taken, Clash of the Titans, The A-Team.
Other actors in the game: Malcolm McDowell, from A Clockwork Orange, voiced President John Henry Eden.
Ron Perlman, of Hellboy fame, voiced the Narrator.
Ray Liotta – Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Another GTA appearance, though it’s not a surprise, really, considering the people Rockstar can attract to their game. Ray Liotta voiced my personal favourite GTA protagonist, Tommy Vercetti – the Harwood Butcher – who pretty much kicks everyone’s arse for the duration of the game while doing it in mid-80’s style. Honestly, the guy fought a Scarface-styled final mission, killing literally 50 people in the process, and lived. That means he’s better than Tony Montana which, comparatively, means he’s better than Jesus. Hats off to Vercetti, and further hatting off to Liotta who gave the character that added edge.
Noticeable appearances: Goodfellas, Hannibal, Narc, Blow, Smokin’ Aces, Wild Hogs, Bee Movie, Observe and Report, Date Night.
Other actors in the game: Phillip Michael Thomas, from Miami Vice, voiced Lance Vance.
Burt Reynolds, of Boogie Nights fame, voiced Avery Carrington.
Dennis Hopper, from Easy Rider and also that terrible Super Mario Bros. movie, voiced Steve Scott.
Lee Majors, the Six Million Dollar Man, voiced ‘Big’ Mitch Baker.
Gary Busey, the freaky looking guy from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, voiced Phil Cassidy.
Patrick Stewart – The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
Or should that be Sir Patrick Stewart? Since I’m not really down with formalities we’ll just call him Stewie. Now Stewie voiced Emperor Uriel Septum (Urinal Septic?) in Bethesda’s fantasy masterpiece, spitting out Shakespearean references left, right and centre and generally just being old and wise. It was a smart casting choice, as Stewie’s past experience with the Royal Shakespeare Company allowed him to bring some class to what would otherwise be fairly cheesy dialogue. His role in the game was only a short one as Uriel was soon to die – a fact which he was well aware of – which gave everything he said an added touch of poignancy.
Noticeable appearances: The new Star Trek movies, The Pagemaster, the X-men series, American Dad, TMNT.
Other actors in the game: Sean Bean – Crazy Boromir – voiced the Emperor’s bastard son, Martin.
Terence Stamp – General Zod in Superman II – voiced the chief antagonist, Mankar Camoran.
Lynda Carter, 70’s Wonder Woman, voiced random NPC’s. Nice to see her career didn’t flop.