Voice acting in video games is a thing that wasn’t very popular over the years but the quality and effort of voice actors for virtual characters increased very well with every decade that gone by. Especially games of the early 90s suffered by the limited technology tru soundcards for computers or soundchips for consoles. If you’re new to gaming, then you may laugh about the fact that Duke Nukem’s “I’m Back” from 1993 for example, was a big hit for some gamers ears. Nothing compared to the badly digitalized sentences of Wolfenstein 3D guards one year earlier that made gamers smile and laugh instead. You see that voice acting in early video games got a very different quality, depending on companies and their posibilities or knowledge of sound design. Enough talk about the past, for this article I have picked a more modern generation of video gaming at the end of the 90s.
In 1999, we had the very silent Black Mesa scientist Gordon Freeman that never raised his voice and only listened to his random things speaking colleagues and we had the UNN Soldier “Googles” that got no own voice either, but listened to the one or two day old audiologs of already or almost dead inhabitants of the space ship Von Braun. Sure, there was Metal Gear Solid for the Sony Playstation in 1997 with almost endless dialogs and skilled voice actors, but the fact that most of the voice actors for System Shock 2 were amateurs or game designers themselves make the mentioned audiologs very special.
It never occurred to me that some of the actors of that game were just amateurs, since they spoke their monologues with so much effort and passion that it was hard to tell if you’re listen to an amateur or a skilled voice actor. First ten years later I’ve read about this fact and got pretty surprised. The more I was surprised as I realized that one of the characters is our very own Ken Levine from Irrational Games. The man behind the game itself.
- Ken Levine as Enrique Cortez: Play (open with media player)
You better listen to the audio logs yourself. Some very dedicated fans created a data base including all the english and even german audiologs of System Shock 2 under: