Darin De Paul as Samuel Hayden
The Robotic voice of Samuel Hayden chimes in during your whole trek through Mars and Hell in Doom. The cyborg is the leader of the UAC and the highest command point for the entire project on Mars. Darin De Paul helps bring that cybernetic element to Hayden, along with a deep, gravelly growl.
Every time the character comes over the radio he sounds imposing, as well as a little bit suspicious. He usually has a reason to be. De Paul also played a role in one of the biggest games this year, voicing Reinhardt in Overwatch.
Jon Lipow as ERL
Double Fine’s quirky, off the wall humor returned this summer with the release of Headlander. You’d expect any game from the company to have more than a few colorful characters, and that definitely reigned true here.
ERL is a computer that basically acts as a narrator and your guide for much of the game. The slow southern drawl of the character matches the absurd nature of Headlander, and Jon Lipow manages to pull it off quite well. Lipow does have a history of game voice acting, being featured in titles like Batman: Arkham Knight and Ninja Gaiden 3.
Nolan North as Nathan Drake
The Uncharted series has become one of the best series around for dramatic storytelling, and characters that almost seem to pop off the screen. A big part of that is the series’ protagonist Nathan Drake, who in Uncharted 4 was yet again voiced by Nolan North.
The improved technology of Uncharted 4 allows Drake to show more emotion than ever before, with detailed facial animations, and of course North’s stellar voice acting performance. One last adventure awaits Nathan Drake with his long lost brother, and North does an even better job than bringing the character to life than ever before.
Troy Baker as Sam Drake
If there’s one voice actor as well known as Nolan North, it’d be Troy Baker, the man behind Joel from The Last of Us. Although it may have been Baker’s first Uncharted game, he fit right into the already well-rounded cast of characters.
Sam Drake is Nate’s long lost brother, who was believed to be dead. In Uncharted 4 he represents the adventurous way of life that Nate used to live, before deciding to settle down with Elena. The only life Sam has ever known is one of danger and treasure hunting, and as such he drives his brother to keep pursuing those things. Baker brings a bit of a suave attitude as Sam but is able to play off of Nolan North as Nate incredibly well.
Rich Somner as Henry
Firewatch is all about its character, specifically, the relationship that develops between the protagonist Henry and the other ranger Delilah that he communicates with over the radio. Henry has a sad sequence of events that have led up to him taking the job in the Shoshone National Forest. He’s a conflicted man who, depending on your choices, can develop conflicted feelings for his wife and Delilah.
Richard Somner, best known for his role as Harry Crane on Mad Men, brings a healthy dose of emotion to Henry. Somner does a good job of fleshing out Firewatch’s main character, adding an appropriate amount of panic and suspicion as the events of the game play out.
Cissy Jones as Delilah
Virtually the only other character you ever hear in Firewatch, Delilah builds an interesting relationship with Henry. At first, the two are a bit standoffish and awkward with each other, but as the game proceeds, their relationship grows.
Cissy Jones has quite a history with voicing game characters, just recently taking the role of Joyce Price in last year’s Life is Strange. She does an exceptional job in Firewatch making her character feel like a real human being, with some severe character flaws and a tendency to jump to conclusions. No matter what you think about Delilah as you play through the game, her voice is a welcome guest in the secluded wilderness.
Shawn Ashmore as Jack Joyce
Quantum Break’s unique setup, combining a video game and a TV show, was helped tremendously some talented actors. Alongside Aiden Gillen (Peter Balish from Game of Thrones) as the villain, Shawn Ashmore assumes the pivotal role of Jack Joyce.
Joyce is thrown into an impossible situation as he’s granted the ability to warp time itself through the activation of his brother’s time machine. Ashmore has quite a resume, including playing Iceman in the X-Men movies, and he visibly wields his expertise in this role. As the situation becomes more and more desperate, so does Joyce, a buildup that Ashmore does a great job accentuating. He’s always confident that he can find a solution, even as time itself unravels.
Ratchet & Clank
James Arnold Taylor as Ratchet
PlayStation’s favorite intergalactic duo returned this year with a remake of the very first Ratchet and Clank. James Arnold Taylor has been voicing Ratchet since the second game, Going Commando, and he’s only worked to perfect the character throughout the series.
Ratchet may be the more spontaneous of the duo but his courage and abilities always help him prevail in the end. Taylor brings more energy to Ratchet than ever before, and had to pull double duty this year also voicing the character in the Ratchet and Clank movie.
Ratchet & Clank
David Kaye as Clank
David Kaye has been voicing the tiny robot Clank since the beginning of the series, even before James Arnold Taylor joined on as Ratchet. He provides the intellectual piece of the duo, and that shines through clear as day with the mannerisms and tone that Clank speaks with.
Kaye has had plenty of time to work with Taylor, and his Clank plays off perfectly with Ratchet. The duo keeps the comedy up throughout the new game, and each fills their distinct role.
The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine
Doug Cockle as Geralt
Doug Cockle returned as the gruff Witcher Geralt this year in its final expansion, Blood and Wine. This time around Geralt’s a bit out of place, journeying to the land of Toussaint, a fairytale land filled with partying and revelry.
For his tough exterior, Geralt is still a thoughtful character, who wants to do the right thing. Cockle helps reflect Geralt’s discomfort at much of the frivolity of Toussaint with another great voice performance.
The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine
Mark Noble as Regis
Regis was an important character in the Witcher books, and a higher vampire, who appeared in the games for the first time with Blood and Wine. He’s a longtime friend of Geralt’s, and Mark Noble makes it feel like that with how easily he performs as the character. Regis immediately feels like a familiar character, someone that Geralt instantly recognizes, and it feels like they have a long history together. The two actors each do a good job at representing the joy of being reunited with a friend.
For being a powerful immortal being, Regis is an incredibly level-headed individual who’s forsaken the act of drinking blood. Mark Noble does a stand-up job making Regis one of the most fascinating characters of the entire Witcher video games series.
Far Cry Primal
Terrence ‘T.C.’ Carson as Wenja Shaman Tensay
Terrence Carson is already quite well known in video games for bringing to life one of the angriest characters ever, Kratos from God of War. Far Cry Primal was interesting in the fact that Ubisoft used the help of historical linguists to create its own ancient language.
Carson provides his talents to the unhinged but charming shaman of the Wenja Tribe, Tensay. He’s an eccentric character that helps Takkar at multiple points, and one that just couldn’t have been brought to life without a talented voice actor.
Dark Souls III Olivia Mace as
The Fire Keeper
Dark Soul’s voice acting may be scattered few and far between throughout the game, but its characters provide an impact. The Fire Keeper is one of the most important characters in Dark Souls III, providing advice throughout your journey, and allowing you to level up.
Olivia Mace is the talent behind this cryptic Fire Keeper, and she’s an ever present voice of reason in a world torn asunder by madness.
Batman: A Telltale Series
Laura Bailey as Catwoman
Catwoman is one of Batman’s most notorious villains, and not always an easy role. The villainess seems like she’ll feature prominently in the rest of Telltale’s series, after her role in the first episode.
Laura Bailey, also known for Fetch in Infamous: Second Son and Nadine Ross in Uncharted 4, manages to provide a convincing take on the character as she emulates Catwoman’s playful and rebellious spirit. In all fairness though, this isn’t her first time filling Catwoman’s shoes, as she also provided the voice for the character in the LEGO Batman games.
The Entire Cast
It’s honestly hard to pick out one specific character from Overwatch, as the entire cast does such a great job of building each one’s personality. Part of what makes Overwatch work so well is how unique and developed each hero feels, especially for a multiplayer-only game.
The designs along with the voice actors help breathe life into characters like D.Va, Reaper, Junkrat, and more. Not to mention you have an already talented cast made up of actors like Darin De Paul as Reinhardt, Crispin Freeman as Winston, Cara Theobold as Tracer and Fred Tatasciore as Soldier: 76. Overwatch is proof that a good voice cast and audio design, can make all the difference.