Voice acting in video games is one of those professions that has its own stars, like Dee Bradly Baker (pictured above), Troy Baker, Tara Strong, and Nolan North. However, that doesn't take away the excitement when a movie, web, or TV actor takes their step out onto the digital stage. Sometimes though, they slip by us. Here are nine celebrity voice overs you probably didn't realize were in games.
It has been many years since the tragic twist ending of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, but that doesn't mean fans have forgotten about former series mainstay Lucy Stillman. What those same fans might have realized is that Lucy was played by none other than Kristen Bell of Veronica Mars fame. Bell played Lucy through each entry in the series, going from a side role to being one of the lead protagonists.
Assassin's Creed is not Bell's only dip into video game voice acting. She also reprises her role as Cora from Astro Boy vs. The Junkyard Pirates in Astro Boy: The Video Game and as Anna from Frozen in Disney Infinity.
Yes, right after Ashley Burch of Hey Ash Watchya Playin'? got her big break in voice acting as Tiny Tina for Borderlands 2, she voiced a very (let's call it "unique") Gearbox production. In Aliens: Colonial Marines, Burch plays the red headed, by the book pilot Lt. Reid. Reid often comes into argument with the lower ranking members of the cast, including ordering them to leave a marine behind at one point for the sake of the mission.
What's most impressive is that it's actually hard to identify that it's Burch in the role until you read the credits. While more recent projects such as Life is Strange have highlighted Burch's range, this was one of the few times most gamers heard her do a far more serious voiceover. Sadly, neither Burch nor anyone else of the star-studded cast (including Lance Henriksen and Michael Biehn) could save the game's dismal story.
While old school adventure game fans remember Christopher Walken's iconic appearance in Ripper, most gamers don't realize he's also the voice of George, a character from Activision's True Crime series. Walken not only voices the character, but narrates both the game's intro and outro sequence. What makes his inclusion particularly odd though is how subdued he is by comparison to his usually flamboyant performances.
Tony Jay remains one of the few actors who can say he acted in one of the original hand-drawn Disney films and in several iconic video games. From The Hunchback of Notredame to Fallout, he's voiced dozens of characters for gamers and moviegoers alike.
What remains one of his most iconic roles is the Elder God in Crystal Dynamic's Legacy of Kain series. His baritone voice carried great weight in every role, but he made Elder God truly titanic, mocking series protagonist Raziel's struggle. While he sadly passed away in 2006, his voice lives on for generations of fans through his prolific work.
Most people remember first seeing Mortez break onto the scene as Hitgirl in Kickass. She packed a surprising amount of punch for such a young actress, but she actually has done far more subdued roles. Take for instance her role in Dishonored, as the heir to the throne, Lady Emily Kaldwin.
Mortez not only had to portray the character, but handle two completely separate voice overs due to the branching narrative. As a result, she played Emily as both a malevolent ruler to be, and as a peaceful idealist. Not an easy job for anyone, but Mortez brings something genuine to Emily that many young characters in video games lack. While Emily's looking all grown up in Dishonored 2, it's not confirmed if Mortez will continue voicing her or not.
One does not simply become the lead actor in two epic fantasy franchises, but Elijah Wood pulled it off anyway. Not only did Wood get to play the iconic Frodo Baggins from Lord of the Rings, but was also brought on board for Krome's reboot trilogy of the Spyro series.
While the games themselves had a middling reception (leading to Activision rebooting Spyro into Skylanders), the story and voice acting were highly praised. Not to be deterred, Wood has taken on other gaming related projects, including playing one of the lead antagonists in Season 10 of Roosterteeth's Red vs. Blue.
You might be able to take the gangster out of the real world, but he'll still be looking for trouble. Ray Liotta's profilic movie career is full of action and mobster films, so it seems only fitting that his two appearances in video games are as gangsters. He not only appeared back in 2012 as one of the cast in Mob of the Dead for Call of Duty: Black Ops II, but is the star of his own Grand Theft Auto game.
Taking place in the middle entry of the PlayStation 2 GTA trilogy, Liotta plays Tommy Vecetti, a loyal gunman with an ax to grind. While many of the same ideas present in Grand Theft Auto III were present in Vice City, one of the biggest shifts was the greater focus on story. By bringing Liotta in, the series began a trend of voiced protagonists with real motivations. Vice City heralded a turning point for the franchise that would later lead to the further complex stories in GTA IV and GTA V.
Sean Bean must be very tired of dying, which is probably why he agreed to narrate the indie horror title Kholat. Not only does he get to be the voice players hear at every turn, but he gets to live by virtue of not being present. This is equally fitting, seeing as Bean's only other video game role was as the bastard son of the reigning emperor in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. The lack of assassination attempts likely is very refreshing.
While technically Phil Collins only says a few brief lines, there is an entire mission built around his in-game concert in this PSP/PlayStation 2 spin-off of Vice City. You have to stop some bombers with your bare fists, all while keeping Collins and a movie director safe. Your reward after preventing the heinous attack? An entire song performed by Phil Collins, in-game. As mission rewards go, this is a pretty rock solid one.
While gaming struggled many years for recognition and acceptance, every day we see more proof of how mainstream it has become. As games become more commonplace, so do celebrity appearances in games. Got a favorite celebrity appearance in a video game? Let us know in the comments below!