When Call of Duty: Vanguard was released in November 2021, marked the 18th entry on the Obligations series, which has spawned an entry roughly every year since 2003. In that time, the franchise has featured many notable actors from the world of cinema to voice some of its best characters.
However, it’s easy to forget about some of these performances, not because they’re unmemorable or unimpressive, but because so many of them were performed more than a decade ago. So what stunning celebrity voices were lent to the games that you might not remember?
Gary Oldman as Viktor Reznov
Own some of the most iconic Obligations quotes, Viktor Reznov is one of the best characters in the entire series, and a main character in both World at war Y covert operations, both from Treyarch. However, even fans who remember the icon could easily forget that Oscar winner Gary Oldman voiced it.
Oldman is one of the most acclaimed actors of his generation and possesses a chameleon-like ability to change the accents of the role. This is how he has been able to play British, American and Russian roles, the latter of which clearly benefited from Reznov’s characterization. But he doesn’t sound like Sirius Black or Commissioner Gordon, unless fans are already hearing Oldman’s voice.
Ed Harris – Jason Hudson (Covert Ops)
One of the greatest strengths of covert operations This is how he translates the 1960s Cold War, conspiracy and paranoia-laden culture into an exciting video game, and his cast is the main component to make it work. Ed Harris was the perfect fit to be the rock-solid manager of that era, as well as a great partner in the game, even if Frank Woods is more iconic.
Harris also plays the role in the levels where he is the playable character, matching the intensity of the FPS protagonist in any COD level needs. However, even when his voice is distorted in the interrogation scenes, the acting shines, and it’s clear that whoever is interrogating Mason is no joke.
Michael Keaton – Jason Hudson (Black Ops II)
When Ed Harris didn’t reprise his role as Hudson in Covert Ops II, the studio did not go for a generic voice actor; emerged for Michael Keaton himself, the best Bruce Wayne in any bat Man movie. Although it can not be played as in covert operationsHudson remains an integral part of the story until his death.
The recasting was obvious to covert operations Fans, and those who preferred the performance of the grumpy Harris in the first film, might understandably have been disappointed in Keaton’s somewhat softer voice. Still, Keaton’s presence also gives the game a summer blockbuster feel that the developers were definitely going for, especially since they hired dark Knight screenwriter David S. Goyer to co-write the game.
Ice Cube – Joseph Bowman
At the height of the most rude characters of Ice Cube is Joseph Bowman, who accompanies Alex Mason from the beginning of covert operations‘ campaign until a grueling scene straight out of The deer Hunterwhere, refusing to play Russian roulette, Bowman is executed by Viet Cong soldiers.
It’s truly an emotionally terrifying scene when Bowman dies, and Ice Cube’s performance sells the desperation but also the strength the character feels in his final moments. Although Mason and Woods make it out alive, until they do, it really does feel possible that Woods could die too, given how well Bowman’s death sells the bets. It’s an undeservedly overlooked performance by the rapper.
Troy Baker – Jack Mitchell
If any video game actor owned 2013, it was Troy Baker, who played The last of usis Joel and infinite bioshockby Booker DeWitt; both performances rightfully deserved the actor’s acclaim. A year later he found himself playing the lead, Jack Mitchell, in advanced warfare.
Baker isn’t a celebrity on the same scale as Ice Cube or Michael Keaton, but video game and animation fans definitely knew him by now. The star of the game, both in marketing and plot, was Kevin Spacey’s Jonathan Irons, who now outshines the game for a different reason. It’s disappointing because Baker really does provide a great voiceover. Y motion capture acting, but knowing his other roles it’s not a surprise.
Idris Elba – Truck
Before finally conquering the big screen as one of the most exciting action stars of the 2010s, Idris Elba played the supporting character “Truck” in the 2011 film. Modern Warfare 3a fellow Delta Force operative of “Frost” Westbrook, a playable character who debuted in that game.
While it might be the lowest rating call of duty: modern warfare game, this wasn’t due in part to the performances, as Idris Elba gives as much to this role as any of his others. He is a prudish character in the mold of many of Elba’s hero roles, and there is a hint of his Pacific Rim role as Pentecost Stacker in the performance.
Timothy Olyphant Grinch
Idris Elba is not the only famous actor to voice a Modern Warfare 3 Delta Force officer; JustifiedTimothy Olyphant voiced the Grinch, another supporting character on the quest to hunt down Vladimir Makarov. Also like Truck, he is a relatively minor characterization role, as the Grinch is unplayable.
As a supporting character, he gets the job done, but Olyphant’s Southern accent adds a subtle bit of characterization that wouldn’t have existed without him, as the Grinch’s past is uncharted. Still, when he, Truck, and Sandman are left behind and die along with Makarov’s forces, a fate they accept to help Price escape, it’s truly sad for players who have fought alongside him in the game.
Kiefer Sutherland – Roe Deer
Gary Oldman’s first game as Viktor Reznov, 2008 World at waralso featured 24‘s Kiefer Sutherland as Sergeant Roebuck, a Marine Corps sergeant who rescues the American protagonist, Miller, from Japanese captivity and is his partner for the rest of the game.
As with many other actors, Sutherland’s previous experience as an action hero (in his case 24‘s Jack Bauer) clearly informed his COD acting, and the character really feels like he could count on the support of the soldiers. It’s also what makes players want to save him over Polonsky at the end of the American campaign, and why the developers made him more of a challenge; they knew he would be the most popular choice.
Sam WorthingtonAlex Mason
Weather Avatar was definitely his breakout role, Sam Worthington was able to showcase his acting chops in a completely different medium when covert operations released in 2010, with Worthington playing the lead role of Alex Mason in it and, as a co-star, in Covert Ops II.
Their covert operations history as a captured American experienced by a foreign power is clearly indebted to The Manchurian Candidate, including the implication that Mason was involved in an assassination (in his case, that of John F. Kennedy). Like Hudson, Mason fits perfectly into the conspiracy era, and the story often relies on Worthington’s narration for flashbacks, at which he excels. You feel like you’re with him in flashbacks and in the interrogation room.
Jason Statham – Sergeant Waters
Perhaps the darkest celebrity role in a COD The game is by Jason Statham. He voiced Sergeant Waters in the first game of the series, 2003. Obligations. The role is important in the British campaign of the game, as after Waters is saved by the player in the fourth mission, he remains part of the team as a support until the end.
Statham’s well-known presence in the game is somewhat impressive considering it was the debut game in the series, and the Obligations name therefore did not have the international recognition it has today. For a 2003 computer game, it was quite an achievement, and Statham’s charm is present in his portrayal of the character, even if the effect is muted due to dated graphics.
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