Feature – Could Hollywood Actors Become Videogame Stars?

5 min read
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NolanNorth.jpg

In my hands-on article about Shadow Complex that I wrote this week, I said that the beginning of the game felt a whole lot like I was playing some sort of 2.5D version of Uncharted on my Xbox 360.

The game goes it’s own way after a short while but quite a couple of hours in something was still bothering me a whole lot and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. That was until I came to the realisation that the lead character in the game sounded a whole lot like Nathan Drake from Uncharted as well.

Not only does he sound just like Nathan Drake but he looks the same and is dressed the same as well. After poking around the internet for a while, my suspicions were proven to be correct. Nolan North, the voice actor for Nathan Drake is in fact the same voice actor that plays Shadow Complex’s protagonist, Jason Fleming.

In Hollywood, unlike in videogames, many characters are played by the same people. As we all know, big names sell movies. This got me thinking… could we see the complete likeness of actors become the same as they are in Hollywood blockbusters?

It’s no surprise that the two characters in these games are voiced by the same actor, as North has featured as the voices of many videogame characters of late. In fact, he has played more of the characters in the games you have been playing than you may realise, here is a list of a few:

  • Sgt. Forge – Halo Wars
  • Sideswipe – Transformers 2
  • Dobkin – Terminator Salvation
  • Master Father/Operator B – Madworld
  • Dead Pool – Hulk Vs.
  • Joe/Narrator – Lost Planet
  • Prince – Prince of Persia
  • Nathan Drake – Uncharted
  • Jason Fleming – Shadow Complex
  • Desmond Miles – Assassins Creed
  • Young Jackie – The Darkness
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The full list on IMDB is insane and made me realise how many games this guy has actually worked on.

The main point that I want you to think about, is that both characters are essentially the same person, just like one actor playing two different roles.

From the image above you can see exactly what I mean. The characters look similar, sound the same and are dressed up in almost exactly the same clothing. Most importantly, they both look a heck of a lot like Nolan North himself.

Did Chair and Epic Games decide to leech off of the popularity of Nathan Drake once they knew that they had the same voice actor? What if Hollywood actors became more involved in future, considering that videogames are quickly becoming the biggest money-makers in the entertainment industry.

I can see it now… (In the voice of that movie trailer guy)

This summer, get ready for the action thrill-ride of your life.

One hero, one mission, no survivors.

Brad Pitt (whooosh), Jessica Alba (whooosh) …

Pause… WHOOOSH!

Uncharted 3. (Boooom)

thisvideogameisratedMforMature.

Possible? I think so. Only time will tell on this one but if big names can help sell videogames in the same way as they help sell movies, then it will only be a matter of time until someone gives it a go.

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The real question we have to ask ourselves is whether or not we think it would actually make the games better.

Just like with books, videogames have the freedom to create the perfect person for the role. At the same time, we need to remember that a top notch actor in the right role has the ability to breathe life into a character in a unique way that many could never have imagined.

I am really interested to hear what comments or ideas any of our readers might have on the subject, so be sure to leave a comment or twelve below telling us what you think. For example, take into account that when making Brutal Legend, Tim Schafer actually changed the look of their protagonist to be more in line with that of Jack Black.

The concept of having actors play multiple videogame roles may seem strange to us but it has worked for movies for years, so it may very well work in videogames as well.

Still, that doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea. What do you think?

Last Updated: August 21, 2009

Nick De Bruyne

Video games writer, editor and critic since ’08. Living and breathing video games, movies and cars since the 80s. Follow me on Twitter if you love tons of gaming talk, and @pennyworthrevs for fun stuff and links.

  • Jockamo

    here’s a comment.

    eat a dik 😆

  • Vitamin C

    wow, jockamo, you’re so intelligent, eloquent and funny. Can I be like you when I’m 12? :w00t:

  • I find this unoriginal on Epic Games Part..

    Characters wise..

    I mean sure use the same actor nothing wrong with that..but make them the same ?

    I love both games ..both great games really just fussy and full of shit with these things.

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