Game Awards 2015: Who Will Win Best Performance? (Poll)


The Game Awards celebrates all aspects of video gaming, including voice acting performances. Which of these five will take home the trophy?

Considering how much focus of attention follows the subjects in art mediums (actors in film and television, artists in photography and illustrative art), video game performers aren’t paid attention to in the same respects. The majority of players will never know that Paul Eiding was the voice of not just the Vault-Tec Rep in the beginning of Fallout 4, but also Roy Campbell in Metal Gear Solid, Pepin in Diablo and Aldaris in StarCraft. Players are responsible for the gameplay, but voice acting performances breathe life into the stories and narratives within. Thankfully, The Game Awards has a category dedicated to their efforts.

But there can only be one winner. Who will win the Best Performance Award at The Game Awards this Thursday?

Courtesy The Game Awards

Ashly Burch (Chloe Price in ‘Life Is Strange’)

When your video game centers around the paranormal activities of a suburban Oregonian girl enrolled in a private liberal arts school, you just have to have an angsty punk character to balance out the narrative flow. In comes Chloe Price, protag Max Caulfield’s oldest, best friend, who accompanies you in your journey to save Arcadia Bay. Life Is Strange focuses on the personal relationships beyond the dramatic story beats, and Ashly Burch does a remarkable job at presenting a troubled girl with a “f— you” attitude that toes the line between awkward and accurate.

Despite the overuse of the word “hella” (used at developer Dontnod’s discretion), Ashly gives the character a sounding board that showcases a very opposing rebel figure to counteract the player’s pristine, straight edge protagonist. Yet, there’s more to Burch’s performance than meets the eye, especially willing to show off her tender side. Ashly Burch has a strong chance of winning the Best Performance award at The Game Awards this week.

Courtesy The Game Awards

Camilla Luddington (Lara Croft in ‘Rise of the Tomb Raider’)

It’s rare for an actor to jump into video game voice acting straight into a leading role, and rarer is it in an updated portrayal of a famous video game character. Camilla Luddington is the perfect choice to bring Lara Croft back to life, and the most recent entry in the Tomb Raider series showcases a grander, well-rounded representation of the character than we’ve seen in the original PlayStation days.

There’s a reason that The Game Awards rewards the best “performance,” as Ms. Luddington brought a much-needed physicality when it came to motion capture work. Not only does she get to show a Lara Croft in scenes of strength, weakness, vulnerable and confident, but also with a concerted effort in combat, platforming and intensive action scenes. It’s an effort worth commendation, that’s for sure.

Courtesy The Game Awards

Doug Cockle (Geralt in ‘The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’)

A larger audience than ever is getting to see, understand and respect the subtleties of Cockle’s Geralt with The Witcher 3. The PS4/Xbox One console generation is the first to provide the hardware specifications deserving of The Continent’s scope, and the depth that the RPG’s world provides is inviting of new audiences to the smoldering, magical witcher of Eastern European medieval lore.

Depending on how you play Geralt, you may not find his performance in The Witcher 3 deserving of recognition at The Game Awards. However, it is the understanding of Doug Cockle’s overall performance that is truly worthy of respect. It’s easy to brush off the character as a gravelly (anti)hero, but it’s the ability to play the role coy, brazen, sarcastic, saddened, angry and happy in a multitude of repeatable scenarios that show the strength of both the character and the voice actor, himself.

Courtesy The Game Awards

Mark Hamill (The Joker in ‘Batman: Arkham Knight’)

There are two things that irk me about the involvement of Mark Hamill in this award. For starters, it gives away a major revelation about the story of Batman: Arkham Knight (although the game is more than five months old, at this point). Second is that, because Mark Hamill is set to appear at The Game Awards as a presenter, there’s no doubt in my mind that he will win the Best Performance award.

Not that he’s undeserving; quite the contrary. My first introduction to The Joker was from the animated cartoon series from the nineties, and he will always be the shining example of the character’s portrayal in any form of media. Each performance as The Joker in the Arkham series has been better than the rest, demonstrating his ability to literally get under Batman’s skin with his psychologically grating schtick. Hamill has voiced many, many characters across animation and video games, but none of them surpass the excellently twisted projection of comic evil quite like The Joker, and a Best Performance win would definitely be earned, not provided as a means to bring Hamill to LA for a video games show.

Courtesy The Game Awards

Viva Seifert (‘Her Story’)

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Her Story is a unique visual novel, in that the mystery of the game involves you going through police investigation tapes of a young woman throughout several different days. You can only interact with the game by searching for keywords voiced by Viva’s character, meaning that you really have to pay attention to what she says to piece together some semblance of an the overarcing mystery.

Because of that, you need to provide one hell of a convincing performance in order to keep players entertained. Viva Seifert brings a remarkable energy to her role as the subject of investigation, playing a woman who knows a lot more than she leads on. It’s hard to get too much into detail about how she manages to excel without going into spoiler territory, but let’s just say she is quite engaging in both an offensive and defensive position. Her performance quite literally makes up 99% of the gameplay of Her Story, and to sell it so convincingly out of nowhere makes her a deserving candidate at The Game Awards.