Do Actors Have A Place In Games?

Written by Mark Mackay

October 12, 2009 | 11:36

Tags: #actors-in-games #brutal-legend #holly-valance #oblivion #ra3 #red-alert-3 #tim-curry

It would be true to say that there have been many a great game with actors in it. Actors (or celebrities, to be exact) don’t necessarily make games bad. It just seems to me that there are so many terrible games with actors in that you've really got to question why developers bother.

Let’s start off with Red Alert 3, a game which Joe liked, but I thought was an overworked load of pants. And then lets take Gemma Atkinson, for example. Now, most people that live in the UK will be familiar with Hollyoaks. It’s a teen-type soap opera of epically fail acting.
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I’m not the sort of person that goes to see a movie and walks out afterwards saying things like, ‘wow like, yah, I really feel that Depp did a fine job to develop the sub plot of his character, hinting towards the troubled childhood that he must have experienced', but the acting in Hollyoaks is a joke.

Why then would you want to get some chick from such a program in your real time strategy computer game? Yes, I appreciate that it brings some boobs to the table, but I still didn’t enjoy the game and no amount of boobs would make me think the gameplay was good. Even though Tim Curry has been entertaining me in films such as Peter Pan and The Worst Witch since I was but knee high to a Mammoth Tank, I still couldn’t give the faintest of craps that he's in the cutscenes surrounded by hotties that cant act.

I want a good game, not bad soft porn. If I wanted to gawp at chicks there's no end of places on the interwebs that cater for than need specifically.

Do Actors Have A Place In Games?

Next up? Oblivion. It flat-out sucked. Probably the biggest disappointment in my gaming career. Now that the modding community has salvaged it from the depths of utter trash, it’s due another run through. Still though, Patrick Stewart in the opening scene? I just couldn’t give a crap. Having an actor and narrator (he was awesome on Planet Earth), even one that I like at the beginning doesn't compensate for the fact that I can level my character all the way to max and then find a wolf that's a challenge to take down because there’s some ridiculous mob-scaling system.

Do Actors Have A Place In Games?

Then on the other side of coin, let’s take a look at Brutal Legend. Tim Schafer worked closely with Jack Black for the game. Many feel that Jack Black has become increasingly more obnoxious since his springboard to superstardom from Tenacious D. In many respects I would have to agree with them. But what Jack Black does is rock (as in the music genre and not the adjective) and he does it very well. Brutal Legend is a game set in the world of metal (the genre, not the material) and it’s a comedy. For this reason, Jack Black was man for the job, no questions asked. The combination of the Schafer and Black has resulted in an awesome, original game because two people have collaborated on a project doing what they do best.

Do actors have a place in games? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.
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