Voice actors are oftentimes the unsung heroes when it comes to making our favorite gaming characters feel real. Sometimes a voice actor manages to go above and beyond, providing a performance that has enormous impact and defines a character even more with their performance than any other aspect of the game.
Best Voice Acting Performance Nominees
This year saw some heavy hitters and some new talents bringing characters to life in video games. They made us feel all kinds of feelings we were sure we were too old and grumpy to feel, but Brian Bloom beat them all for his amazing portrayal of “B.J. Blazkowicz” in Wolfenstein 2.
Best Voice Acting Performance of 2017 – Brian Bloom as William “B.J.” Blazkowicz
Wolfenstein 2 is a ridiculous game. The premise, the world, the robots… all completely ridiculous. You fight Nazi robots, dual wielding weapons as large as a man, on Venus. There should not be an incredibly core of humanity to this game, but there is. And it is thanks to Brian Bloom. His portrayal of “B.J.” Blazkowics as a man on the edge was simply incredible. From the opening moments of the game, as he wonders if he is damned to hell, to the ruminations of a man who is staring death in the face, there are layers to this performance that just make it rise above the rest.
Brian Bloom has a lot of experience, both acting and in video games, but I honestly struggle to see how he tops his performance in the Wolfenstein series. It should also be noted that doing voice work is not as simple as talking. These people are acting without props, sets, or scene partners. They are reading deep into a character, finding the core of the person over the course of thousands of lines of often disjointed dialogue. Conversation options in games are a given for most gamers, but we need to consider the layers of complexity that this adds to a performance. The voice actors are not merely reading a scene. They could be reading dozens of possible scenes, trying to find a way to provide the player with a consistent central character, no matter what option they take.
Bloom’s portrayal of a warrior-poet, a man of deep thought and violent action, did a remarkable job of establishing a character who should be ridiculous as entirely believable. It is easy to understand both the depths of “B.J.”‘s anger and the heights of his hope. For this reason, Brian Bloom wins our Best Voice Acting Performance of 2017 Award.