Friday, October 21, 2011

The Most Awful Accents In Gaming

Ever since Mario added his first unnecessary vowel to the end of a word, the scripts and voice actors of the gaming world have revelled in the ability to trot out dialogue and deliveries that would have performers in any other industry up in front of a tribunal, or at least hung out to dry in the court of public opinion. In gaming, however, they just keep on coming, and they range from those that are inappropriately hilarious, to those that are just inappropriate full stop.

Here is our pick of some of the worst accents ever to bless the gaming world:

Sean Devlin - The Saboteur
It would be silly to expect subtlety from a game that offers you the option of paying for nipple-tassell removing DLC before you even start playing, but really, Sean Devlin’s Irish accent goes beyond unsubtle and deep into cartoonish territory. “Thad’ll boof roight out,” he yells after a fender bender, “Bleedin arl orvir,” he yells when shot, and when he dies, it’s usually with a heavily accented exclamation of “Chroist!” All delivered by the actor Robin Atkin-Downes, a British boarding school boy best known for the role of Byron in Babylon 5. To be fair to him, his British accent in that was terrible, so maybe it’s just his voice?

UNSC Marines - Halo
In 3001, Arthur C Clarke proposed a future in which skin colours had mingled to a hazelnut shade, exotic names no longer gave any reliable hint as to nationality, and accents had merged into a mid-Atlantic tone. In Halo, Bungee simplified this by proposing a future in which everyone was Australian. Okay, maybe not everyone. Captain Keyes and Sergeant Johnson sounded Brideshead Revisited and Miami Vice, but everyone else? Pure Home and Away. When later Halo instalments started trotting out players with diverse European accents and names, you couldn’t help but wonder if the writers were trying to water down their much mocked vision of a future where Australians were as good at space soldiering as they are at sports.

Duvalle Mingo - The Saboteur
Another entry for The Saboteur, and a more depressing one this time. You meet three resistance leaders in the course of the game: Luc the leftist intellectual who values the cause above all and has you working to free fighting men, Margot the elitist who has you running violent errands to protect French culture, and Duvalle Mingo, the leader from the ghetto, who sends you out to murder his ex-girlfriend because “she couldn’t keep her legs shut”. Up until then, The Saboteur has been entertaining enough that you could ignore its dubious sexual politics, but Duvalle Mingo’s clich├ęs delivered in a bad James Earl Jones impersonation suddenly takes away a lot of the fun.

Bolo Santosi - Just Cause 2
Ah, Just Cause 2. When it comes to awful accents, Just Cause 2 is a mess of outrageous performances but one woman stands out above all the rest...

Bolo Santosi has gained a cult internet following for her ridiculous accent, composed of two parts Singapore, one part Botswana, and ten parts exaggeration. Strangely, her character starts out as cagily flirtatious, but ends it making blunt come-ons that wouldn’t sound out of place after dark in Kings Cross. I wonder why she abandoned all subtlety? Perhaps she was having difficulty making herself understood.

Everyone - Dead Island
The tropical island of Banoi, just off the coast of Papua New Guinea, is not only home to a horde of ravenous zombies but also some rather panicky hotel staff with shocking Antipodean accents. Sure the whole plot of Dead Island isn't exactly believable but throw in some absolutely appalling accents and any semblance of realism goes completely out the window.