5. Atlas (Bioshock)
Would you kindly continue reading this piece? What can I say that hasn’t already been said about Bioshock. It’s a masterfully designed game that has a plot so packed to the brim with secrets, twists, and turns, that I’m sure one will go insane when just thinking about it. Fortunately, to guide you through the madness, you have a helping friend by the name of Atlas. An Irish speaking, no nonsense family man, who’s just trying to do the right thing and help his family. This would be the case, if it weren’t for the fact that Atlas isn’t nearly what he seems to be. He’s got to be trustworthy though right? With his formerly mentioned Irish tone, his ability to flow one sentence with the next and, most importantly, his deceptively slick personality. Atlas is one video game personality that shines among the rest and is a narrator for the ages.
4. Rucks (Bastion)
The indie gem that rocked the world, there’s nothing quite like Bastion. Especially when you feature the smooth tones of Logan Cunningham as the voice of the narrator, Rucks. The sort of dry wit, complimented by a sense of irony goes a long way when understanding what Rucks is all about. It’s interesting to say the least, as Rucks guides you through the in-game world, you begin to gain a bigger understanding of everything as a whole. Not so much so that there’s anything given away right from the get go but there’s just enough there to peak your interest throughout. That’s what Rucks does so effectively, he manages to peak your interest about events past to a point where you just can’t wait to find out more.
3. Unnamed (Spider-Man)
I have to say, I don’t think there’s anything that will match Bruce Campbell’s narration in the Spider-Man video game series. The witty, clever, and, overall, entertaining dialogue that is spouted off during the tutorial sections of the game is, arguably, the most interesting thing about the games themselves. There’s just something about listening to a man mock you, only to hear him follow it up with a criticism about the sandwich that he’s eating, that just holds so much humour value. Value that, for the most part, Bruce Campbell himself can only bring. A personal favourite quip of mine is when, quite clearly, Bruce informs you not to try what you’re seeing at home because the buildings aren’t nearly tall enough for you webswing on. It may not be the funniest bit but Campbell just brings so much life into it. Frankly, there will always be funny and clever narrators, however, there is just one Bruce Campbell.
2. GlaDOS (Portal)
GLaDOS, Portal’s murderous, test-obsessed AI, manages to play role of narrator almost too well at first. Her tone and speaking style sounds like something you could get by messing around with a Vocaloid program for too long, yet her actual voice (performed with mechanical gusto by Ellen McLain) is pitch perfect. Her melodic tones offer a reprieve from what would otherwise be a lonely experience in the first game. GLaDOS is friendly at first, if a little morbid. She’s funny, with nearly every line she says earning at least a chuckle if not a full-blown laugh. Basic gameplay tutorials become quotable sound bites, and you can’t wait to hear what darkly comic commentary she has for each room. Then, as the game appears to wind down, her instructions and quips take on a much darker undertone, building up to one of the best twists in any game of the past decade. A game’s narrator can be the player’s best friend at times, but as GLaDOS shows, they can also be your worst enemy.