5 Video Games with Awful Voice Acting

video games, voice acting, bad, resident evil, the town with no name, chaos wars, house of the dead 2, michigan: report from hell

The Last of Us’ Ellie and Joel, Far Cry 3’s Vaas, The Walking Dead’s Clementine — these characters evoke emotional responses because of the stellar performances behind them. On the opposite end of the spectrum is voice work so abysmal that it evokes mostly anger, and possibly a gag reflex.

Voice acting is a tough job, and what qualifies as “bad” is subjective, but there are some voice overs so dreadful they turn that qualification objective. Compelled to push my eardrums to their breaking point and share my audio misery with you, I scoured the internet in search of these aural offenders and compiled this list of games with the worst voice acting.

Resident Evil

If for some reason you don’t know, Resident Evil is set on the outskirts of the fictional Raccoon City as Bravo Team investigates a series of murders. When the group loses contact, it’s up to Jill Valentine, Chris Redfield, and the rest of Alpha Team to investigate the strange occurrence and find their comrades.

With memorable lines like “I hope this is not Chris’ blood,” “You were almost a Jill sandwich,” and “…the master of unlocking” (so mostly Barry’s lines), the original Resident Evil is one of the most infamous examples of poor voice acting. Capcom’s survival horror classic pretty much set the standard for the genre, and in retrospect, probably made bad voice overs acceptable considering the rest of the game’s quality.

The House of the Dead 2

With obnoxiously loud music, arcade-y light-gun gameplay, and lines like “Don’t come!”, The House of the Dead 2 exudes a campy over-the-top feeling that captures the essence of late 90s entertainment. The on-rails arcade game takes place directly after the events of the first game, as Agent James Taylor shoots his way through zombies to find and eradicate the source of the undead infection.

Although the voice acting is hilariously bad — Goldman literally forgets how to pronounce words sometimes — it’s all part of the charm of this relatively good arcade shooter. Luckily, the high-tempo, repetitive 90s beat drowns out most of the words. If you played it at an arcade, the garbled noise of children and the competing loudness of other machines ruined your ears anyway.

Michigan: Report from Hell

A few T-dards may recognize the clip above, but I’ll explain if you’re unfamiliar. Michigan: Report from Hell is a first-person survival horror game from Grasshopper Manufacture (yes, Suda51’s studio, which also developed Killer7 and No More Heroes) where a newbie cameraman investigates a mysterious fog that’s descended over Chicago, Illinois — I guess Illinois: Report from Hell doesn’t have the same ring to it. Your news crew, consisting of a reporter and a sound engineer, are there to get the “big scoop,” but end up getting roped into a plot involving monsters, viruses, and shady government operations.

Despite being a Suda51 game, Michigan: Report from Hell doesn’t have that weird charm that garners good reviews, and ended up as a joke in the west because of its voice acting. Allegedly, Suda51 himself had no idea that the game even released in Europe (there was no North American release), meaning that without his oversight, most of that Grasshopper quirkiness was likely lost in translation.

Chaos Wars

I wish I knew how to type a 10-minute long sigh, because looking up clips of Chaos Wars makes my testes cringe. Reviews for Idea Factory’s tactical RPG were relatively mixed, but this title has gained infamy for its atrocious voice acting. Based on the clip above, I’m sure you’ll agree it earned that infamy.

Originally released in Japan, then two years later in North America, Chaos Wars follows protagonist Hyoma climbing a mountain he once dreamed about. Then something in the mountain transports him and his friends to another world where he has to defeat creatures and find his way back home. The plot sounds a bit by-the-numbers, but it’s not nearly as offensive as the voice work (or the mind-numbing, looping music), which is speculated to be a classic case of using relatives to save a bit of cash, since the voice “talent” and publishing team share last names.

The Town with No Name

The top spot on this list belongs to a game you can beat in under 30 minutes. Yep, the video below is a complete playthrough (1000 internets to the masochist who can sit through the entire thing).

From the awfully rendered, barely-3D town to the characters that look like someone’s Klasky Csupo MS Paint fan art, The Town with No Name is a shoddily put-together piece of trash from the ground up.

video games, voice acting, bad, resident evil, the town with no name, chaos wars, house of the dead 2, michigan: report from hellPictured: Abraham Lincoln’s LSD-infused hellscape.

Unlike with other entries on the list, the voice acting here is just the shitty cherry on this turd of interactive entertainment. The visuals, the dialogue, the sound effects, the music, the terrible audio mixing — the only saving grace seems to be the brief length.

The protagonist sounds like South Park’s Nathan having a stroke, and every character sounds like their audio was recorded through a microphone made of cloth. Even if the voice work weren’t so horrendous, the cringe-worthy attempts at humor make the dialogue a pain in the ass to sit through.

video games, voice acting, bad, resident evil, the town with no name, chaos wars, house of the dead 2, michigan: report from hell“Why am I in this game, Mimsy?”

Maybe The Town with No Name is just a product of its time, and I’m looking at it through a 20-year-old lens. Or maybe it was, is, and will always be a terrible game with even more atrocious voice acting.

Article by contributor William Aryitey. Hit him up on Twitter for more bad voices!

4 thoughts on “5 Video Games with Awful Voice Acting

  1. I had never heard of a couple of these, but after a quick youtube search, I can see why they made the list. Def earns a Morgan Freeman “Dear god!”

  2. Equal parts anger and joy. I literally want to scream at you right now for unleashing this horror upon us, but I still love it. I hope you do some follow-up articles in the future. Dear god!

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