The Daily Grind: Which MMO have you played with the worst voice acting?

    
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Back then.

There was a particular line from the male Norn back in the beta for Guild Wars 2 that made me laugh much more than it should have, an enthusiastic declaration of, “I will find these problems and fix them!” It was meant to establish how the game’s overall flow was meant to work, but it made me giggle every time. Not that this is half a patch on Guild Wars 2’s overall voice acting, which is generally good and at least doesn’t deserve mockery.

But there are lower-budget games with voice acting that… well, let’s just say that the developers needn’t have bothered. Bad voice acting can be far more detrimental than no voice acting, since as soon as a voice sound absurd or meme-tacular that’s all people are going to remember about the dialogue. So which MMO have you played with the absolute worst voice acting?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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Kieran Bull

Repulse online. When you get killed one of 3 voice lines will play, all the same voice actor, who is clearly not a professional and there is a good chance he ad libbed the death lines. Two were pretty generic like ‘ugh, dammit…!’ or ‘aah…!’ but I’m not joking, the last one is ‘…I’m too handsome…to…die…!’ lol 😂😂😂

Haven’t played it, but the mobile MMO war of angels has some really cheesy dialogue, too. Saw a video of someone trashing it and it had me dying.

Jibrille
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Jibrille

The English version of FFXIV; ugh. I always play it in Japanese with English subs. The English voice actors sometimes don’t even have the same voice register as the Japanese voice actors!

Cavalier Remix
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Cavalier Remix

It’s so interesting to me to see folks nominating GW2 and FFXIV as having terrible voice-acting, because I think (for the most part) the VA is great in those titles. Especially FFXIV – some of the voice work (especially Joe Dempsie as Ardbert) quite regularly give me all the feels. As the saying goes, though, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, so c’est la vie.

Swords of Legends Online‘s English dub was so cringe, I had to change it back to its original Chinese within the first 10 minutes of playing. So this game would probably be my top contender for MMO with the worst voice-acting, and certainly the most recent.

Black Desert Online‘s opening cinematic used to have Tay Zonday, of “Chocolate Rain” fame (or infamy) as its narrator. Remember that? (Pepperidge Farm remembers.) It was, obviously, a very poor choice, and almost made me uninstall the game outright the first time I played.

And DC Universe Online comes to mind as having had (especially early on) some terrible voice-acting and/or VA direction. Gina Torres and Michelle Forbes are AMAZING actresses onscreen, but they were both done dirty in their respective roles as Wonder Woman and Circe in this game. And the stuffed-up, asthmatic Hal Jordan in the old “Lair of the Spectre” instance? Oooof!

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Peregrine Falcon

Perhaps the author of the article should have been more specific with “bad.”

Is the word choice bad? Does the author consider that “bad voice acting” or “bad writing”?

Is the quality of the sound bad? Does the author consider that “bad voice acting” or “bad sound engineering”?

Do the actors sound unenthusiastic or like they’re just phoning it in? (Which last year they literally might have been) Ok, now that’s bad voice acting. Someone who doesn’t understand the specifics of bad might consider GW2’s bad writing to be “bad voice acting.”

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Ravven

Agree – for instance, René Zagger’s work as Emet Selch in Shadowbringers was some of the best voice acting ever and the writing was gorgeous. But yeah…SOLO’s English voiceovers are pretty cringeworthy.

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Ardra Diva

GW2’s voice acting is pretty bad, but only after you’ve played a game like SWTOR that spent millions of dollars on it.

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somber_bliss

Destiny- peter dinklage was hilariously bad. That wizard came from the moon. Killed me.

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Vunak

“There it iS tHe iSlaNd oF DawN!”

TERA for sure.

misanthropomorphic
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misanthropomorphic

At the moment, I would say New World is in the running. I literally cringe listening to their voice actors. It’s almost as if they just asked the programmers to do it so they could launch with something. Come on, Amazon, cough up some of that Prime money you’ve gotten from me over the past 20 years and do it right.

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Sajiri

A lot of the voice acting in ffxiv during A Realm Reborn was pretty awful. Thankfully all the characters with voiced lines from 2.0 were replaced in heavensward, and a few (like Biggs and Wedge) even had their 2.0 lines rerecorded by their HW voice actors. What made it even worse for some was that they had much better voices in 1.0- Yda is an example of this. She had pretty great and specific voice acting in 1.0 then someone who sounded like they were trying to imitate in 2.0 and just failing.

I like to think thats why *Stormblood spoilers* happened for her later

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Louie

ARR’s voice acting quality is kind of interesting because quite a few of the actors are demonstrably talented in other titles, which makes me think there was a direction issue on top of it all. I thought it was still more than fine, but it’s vastly improved in the expansions and on when they switched to a UK talent agency.

Harry Koala
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Harry Koala

Depends on what your criteria are. Swords of Legends had a lot of voice acting where the emotional content of the delivery is unrelated to what is going on. So they probably gave the lines to the actors, got them read in s few different styles, and stitched it all together like a badly made quilt.

No fault of the actors really. Unless you’ve got all the people in a dialog in the same room so they can feed off each others tone, it’s always going to sound weirdly disjointed.

But SWTOR annoyed me more. The acting was probably better (and more coherent) but I really hate it when they voice what *my* character says. I find myself thinking “that’s not the voice I want for this character” and “I’m saying that because I’m pissed off. Why are you sounding flirtatious?”. But that’s more an issue with SWTORs dialog system rather than the actual acting; it’s just the content of the acting is the point at which the disjoint is experienced.

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Mahyar Goodarzi

FF14