The Bad, The Worse and The Willis | The Worst Celebrity Performances in Games
Video games are the most popular they’ve ever been, and with that comes a host of new things that gamers would have thought impossible even 20 years ago. Chief among these is celebrities voicing video game characters. I mean, who would have thought that they’d see high profile celebrities in video games?
However, that isn’t always a good thing; just like in movies, celebrities can have a bad performance in video games. With that in mind, we’re bringing you some of the worst celebrity performances in video games.
The majority of people will always remember Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing in Friends. However, he made an appearance as Benny in Fallout: New Vegas where his actions set the game in motion. While players weren’t exactly expecting a performance similar to his most famous role, they were at least expecting some form of performance. What they got instead was extremely underwhelming.
Where players were used to constant jokes and sarcasm, they were getting one of the worst celebrity performances that was clearly phoned-in on Perry’s part. At times, it even felt as if random NPCs you passed in the wasteland had more life in their performances that Benny did.
Contrast this with Fallout’s other high profile celebrity appearance – Liam Neeson in Fallout 3 – and it just adds salt into the wound.
Peter Dinklage’s performance in Destiny had some of the same complaints as Matthew Perry above. In the game, he voices the AI Ghost, which has a prominent role throughout the entire game. Naturally fans were excited to have Game of Thrones’ Tyrion Lannister voicing such an important character.
Unfortunately, however, fans were sadly disappointed. Instead of the confident, aggressive attitude he portrayed in Game of Thrones, players were treated to one of the worst celebrity performances in video game history. If there was ever an example of an actor phoning it in, this was it.
And it had nothing to do with the script; when Destiny got a major update, Mr. Dinklage’s performance was replaced by veteran voice actor Nolan North, with the script being kept almost exactly the same. The biggest difference is that North brought an actual performance to the table.
The Call of Duty franchise has a history of some pretty good voice acting. Even though many gamers may complain about the franchise, very little is aimed at how well, or not so well, the voice talent does their job. That changed when Call of Duty: Black Ops was released.
Sam Worthington was brought in to voice a central character, but he fell victim to what I’m calling the Worthington effect: essentially, he’s either miscast or doesn’t have much to work with in a role. It happened in Terminator 4 most prominently, as well as in several other roles.
The same thing happened in Call of Duty: Black Ops. In order to get his character’s inner turmoil across, he simply screeches his lines, and mutters incomprehensibly about “the numbers.” He’s another big name actor who’s not going to be a big name voice actor.
Apocalypse was, by all accounts, a terrible game. Originally, Bruce Willis was set to star as the player character’s sidekick, which in 1998 was an insult to players, and to Bruce Willis. After the developers realized that players wanted to play as the star, they quickly switched the roles.
However, they couldn’t afford to bring back Mr. Willis for some more voice acting sessions, so they quickly re-edited his lines to fit the new situation. Needless to say, the delivery of the lines ended up becoming terrible due to the editing.
While this isn’t exactly Bruce Willis’ fault, it still goes down as one of the worst celebrity performances in a video game.
XIII is a pretty fun game; it’s got a somewhat unique art style, some good combat and an interesting enough storyline. Unfortunately, it does have a serious flaw in its voice acting; specifically David Duchovny.
In many of his more famous roles, especially in Californication, he’s been known to play a more laid back, and often stoned role. However, that doesn’t translate well into video games, unless you’re playing an out-and-out pothead. That wasn’t the case with XIII. Duchovny voiced the main protagonist, an amnesiac assassin trying to clear his name. However, his laid back approach takes almost all of the fun out of the game, with the character just sounding constantly bored.