Voice acting; it's a commonly accepted practice in the modern gaming industry. The prevalence of actors and actresses in the digital scene is now higher today than it's ever been. So much so that it's practically a requirement to telling a top-tier story.
Since the onset of 3D gaming in the nineties, storytelling in games has only grown more complex and multi-layered. Once you only needed a few exclamations to fill in a portly plumber making his jump into the third dimension. As time went on, titles like Grand Theft Auto, Metal Gear Solid and Half-Life led the way for character development.
Nowadays, video game voice acting is more prevalent than ever.
As games look to get closer to movies, many more creative decisions are made when it comes to portraying the different characters. This can often involve changing actors in-between games, sometimes to the detriment of the previous performances.
From past and present, these are some of the major swaps that took place in the industry. Some took their characters to new places, while others stood out as slightly inferior. Let's dig in...
10. James Arnold Taylor - Ratchet & Clank
By far the most well known franchise from Insomniac Games, Ratchet and Clank have been tearing up the galaxy for nearly twenty years now. They've crossed three console generations and the series is set to continue with the upcoming Rift Apart for PlayStation 5.
The original game in 2002 gave the duo a humble beginning, pairing up the furry Lombax with a rogue robot as they took on the diabolical Chairman Drek. Being the first release, much of the game's story involved around the developing partnership between the characters with a slice of consumerist satire thrown in.
The opposite personalities were always on display; Ratchet, voiced by Mikey Kelley, was headstrong and stubborn, while David Kaye's Clank was more logical and considered.
After butting heads several times throughout the game, they learn to work together and become friends, resulting in a solid debut for the both of them.
Just one year later Ratchet's rebellious persona was changed to James Arnold Taylor, who continues to voice Insomniac's mascot to this day. Taylor's performance is much more subdued, opting for a more by-the-book personality that relied on the developer's writing. Nowadays, some fans bemoan the franchise's shift into more kid-friendly territory.