The Top 7… Awful fake accents

Your ears may never forgive you

From: Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust

Attempted accent: Russian

Actual accent: Drunken Borat impression

Even by the standards of fake accents, Olga Weissgrip is horrifying. A monument to half-assedness, Box Office Bust featured several physically interchangeable, secretary-type women with huge tits, all of whom Larry was expected to awkwardly romance by navigating dialogue trees and performing inane fetch quests. These were mostly unmemorable, with one exception: Weissgrip, a supposed Russian immigrant with a “patriotic” faux-German gag name and one of the laziest fake accents this side of an obnoxious Borat fan.

Now, granted, assuming you played Box Office Bust (and that’s pretty damn unlikely, let’s not kid ourselves), you could argue that her accent is intentionally awful, since she’s actually a mildly deranged American pretending to be foreign. But this isn’t “The Top 7… awful fake accents that were awful by accident.” No, if anything, the fact that it’s a fake accent in the context of its game makes Olga’s more worthy of inclusion. It’s doubly fake. It also makes the extras in Red Alert 3 sound like native Muscovites by comparison. Especially the ones who didn’t talk.

From: Heavy Rain

Attempted accent: “American”

Actual accent: Faintly insulting

Again, we’re not making any judgments on the overall quality of Heavy Rain. We know a lot of you loved it. But we’re willing to bet that even those that did will admit that the game’s “American” accents – spoken as they were by a cast of mostly British and French actors – left a hell of a lot to be desired. On the “not that objectionable” side of the scale, for example, we have distraught father Ethan Mars (played by British actor Pascal Langdale), whose flat, unremarkable American diction only occasionally gives way to a strange, Irish-sounding accent.

Somewhere in the middle, there’s Leon Ockenden as FBI profiler Norman Jayden (or “Nahmanjayden”), who’s got some sort of weird Boston thing going on…

… and then there are the kids.

Above: Holy shit, the kids

There are exactly four children with speaking roles in Heavy Rain, and both pairs are played by the same two (French) child actors, Max Renaudin and Taylor Gasman. The first time they show up – as Ethan’s sons, Jason and Shaun – their accents are noticeable and a little off-putting, but not exactly terrible. They could just be particularly vapid kids with speech impediments.

It’s when they return, later in the game, as the Sheppard brothers that things take a turn for the truly laughable. Making less of an effort to hide their French accents, the boys awkwardly chew their way around every syllable of their dialogue, clearly struggling with lines like “Leastya wohn’t git beat!” and “Nochance, I can do it alright! Justyuwotch!”

Not only is it the least convincing portrayal of downtrodden American youth we’ve ever seen, but the accents and awkward line delivery make this simultaneously one of the creepiest and most unintentionally hilarious scenes in a game that already features plenty of both

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After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.
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