This article isn%26rsquo;t about those fake accents. It%26rsquo;s about shitty ones. We%26rsquo;re talking accents that slip a little too frequently, or are delivered a little too half-assedly, or that are so ridiculous or nebulous that trying to figure them out actually detracts from the experience of playing the game. These aren%26rsquo;t %26ldquo;bad accents%26rdquo; %26ndash; these are awful accents, and their existence should stand as a stark warning to casting directors and voice talent of what not to do. What follows are the most notable %26ndash; which is to say excruciating %26ndash; examples we could dig up.
From: Call of Duty: Black Ops
Attempted accent: American
Actual accent: Strangled Australian
Australian actors typically do pretty well at imitating American accents (Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman being a couple of noteworthy examples), but Sam Worthington%26rsquo;s record is a little spotty. He does OK most of the time, but go back and listen to his performance in Avatar again, and you%26rsquo;ll notice little bits of his actual accent poking through his incredulous Marine%26rsquo;s patter.
And that%26rsquo;s fine for a sci-fi movie set 140-odd years in the future. After all, who knows what our accents will sound like by then? It%26rsquo;s when you hear those same slip-ups in a gritty military shooter set during the 1960s that things get weird. As Alaskan special-forces operative Alex Mason, Worthington%26rsquo;s voice is with us for most of the game, providing both narration and in-game dialogue. Most of the time there%26rsquo;s nothing strange about it, but every once in a while Mason develops an oddly foreign twang that, after a while, had us convinced the game%26rsquo;s Big Twist would be that he was a Russian spy the entire time.
Above: The actual Russian spy was voiced by Belarus-born American Gene Farber, and sounded like an American with occasional Russian inflection
Not so! It was just that Worthington%26rsquo;s accent (apparently strained by the prolonged fakery) kept slipping into a tangled mess somewhere between Australian and American. That was, of course, when he wasn%26rsquo;t just speaking with undisguised Australian diction, which happened a few times.
Worthington%26rsquo;s numerous slip-ups and weird pronunciations had the long-term effect of making CoD:BlOps%26rsquo; campaign into a bizarre mindfuck %26ndash; just probably not in the way its creators intended.
From: Midnight Club II
Attempted accent: Chola
Actual accent: A Minnesotan trying too hard to fit in around downtown L.A.
The voice of Maria %26ndash; one of the first racers you throw down against in the free-range street-racer Midnight Club II %26ndash; is apparently the only role ever performed by actress Melissa Delaney DeValle, so we can%26rsquo;t say with 100 percent certainty that her accent is fake. At the same time, we refuse to believe that an accent this silly is anything but.
Maria starts out as a passable rendition of a tough, urban Latina%26hellip; until it%26rsquo;s actually time to race. Then her stiff Chicana accent suddenly skyrockets to cartoon-stereotype levels before suddenly veering into a heavy Minnesotan inflection when she yells at you to look out for %26ldquo;the cawp-chawpper!%26rdquo; It%26rsquo;s weird and grating, possibly even to the point of being offensive, but it%26rsquo;s too broad to not be (unintentionally) funny. Funny enough to make Maria stick out as one of the more memorable (if not exactly likable) characters in MCII, anyway.