Voice Acting "pool" of sorts

I see some posts about having “setting for activate voice”, or “tone down voice on combat” and general things on voice acting in this game.

This is a “age old” question since the first games that had a broader role of voice acting, when talking about RPG most of all, with three things:

  • Voice acting (yes/no/whatever/silent protagonist)
  • Combat voice (yes/no)
  • Narrator (yes/no)

This game has only a few cinematics with narration, and doesnt really feature something that one could call narrator. You have the “text narration” on scrolls and journals. That in itself trigger the thing about having you choose to have or not them to be voiced, but it is not a problem here, it will be a problem compounded within the environment, more on that further below.

The combat voice has two aspects onto itself. The combat voice itself, which is not universally a “good thing”. Some people might find annoying or unrealistic, the whole thing, like someone talking while fighting for no reason, or some people think instead, these voice lines should be of instructions, alarm calls, or help requests, when needed. Some people think it is even needed more “fight voice banter” to make it feel “volume”. I have seen some frequent comments on the lines “poke poke mate”, or those “movie one liners” like the one about the styx river or the bite of the cobra.

The voice or not is a more of equally divisive one. Some people think there are good reasons not to have voiced lines, others good reasons why there should be, and equally common is “whatever”. But one special case is the player character. Specially in Fallout Games, a lot of people resent the adding of voice to the player character, others think it is better like that.

There is also the interaction of factors, one that call attention in many games, but specially in this one: Variety and delivery.
Mass Effect has a distinct difference for example between how Ashley speaks, and how Liara Speaks, even if in Mass Effect one for example some full lines of dialogue on them both are the exact same. Liara in many Mass Effect interactions sound like her voice is one of those old AI voices. She has a speed and pitch change for the emotion on the voice, but not a dynamic difference like the more human Ashley does. And that might not accomplish the claimed aim of distinction between the human Ashley and the Asari Liara. Sometimes it also come across as bad delivery on Liara.
Something like that I have seen on Reddit and here on old topics about the voice acting. People saying in many cases it seems like the people are reading the lines in a prompter and delivering them, without some kind of context that shows in the voice the situation. Like the famed “poke poke mate” said by different characters, carry very diverse qualities of delivery.

And the elephant in the room: The number of voices.

This one is my impression, but I will cite some other stuff I read. When you start the game, you hear what seems to be same person reading the note about “crossing the fence and ending it all” and “missing the smell of his daughters hair”, which seems to be the same guy that is Arcos we meet later on. Scrounging the files on the devkit, we see there are a set of different voices, but it seems some of the voices are from people who “left the project at a certain point”, if they are not “bought lines”. I wont judge, I have bought ready made lines of dialogue for my own projects in the past, it is a cost effective way to get some generic stuff done fast and with variety.
But in many instances, I see other posts pointing out that many of the voices are of the same person, and sometimes you have half dozen thralls fighting, but all their voices are the same.

Besides the starting “question” of the post, about the 3 things, that is another question I wonder:

  • Is it better to have voice even if it is the same overall voice, or is this the case of better off without it ?

That explains a lot… :rofl: