Appreciating great voice acting

I generally like voice acting in games, and view it as a plus most of the time. Yes, you do occasionally get voice acting that is so bad it detracts from the experience, but from the games I have played, that is usually the exception and not the rule. Today I want to talk quickly about the voice acting behind the main character in Dying Light, Kyle Crain, because I truly love it.

The voice is done by Roger Craig Smith, who has a long list of stuff he has done on IMDb. What I like most about his work as Kyle is the balance between ‘tough guy’ voice and actual human. Kyle isn’t a superhero, but at the same time is very capable and not a pushover. The voice acting nails this perfectly, and gets me to enjoy the story that much more.

Some examples: Early on you are forced to do a few missions that hurt the local people. Kyle is conflicted, but still follows orders. Via intimidation, he gets the locals to do what he wants, without the situation escalating into a bigger problem. Later, he mends some of those fences with people in very believable ways.

Another situation has you looking for someone, only to find a zombie lair beneath their house. You get what you need from the house, but when you find what has happened to the person (zombie breeder), Kyle keeps the details to himself and only tells the person who sent you to find them that they are dead.

Similar interactions happen when Kyle has to confront a zombie child, who when you first encounter them are legitimately disturbing (as is the way you kill them). Kyle reacts accordingly, and that reaction adds to the horror of the situation, without feeling overly campy or like a ‘gotcha’ shock moment setup.

The main game was great overall, with far more examples, and The Following DLC has also been excellent in terms of story and how Kyle reacts to it all. As mentioned before, Dying Light is a great game, and the work Roger did as the voice of Kyle is a great cherry on top.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
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