Performance is a loaded term. So much goes into capturing the look and feel of a character in games these days. Vocal performances can add texture and nuance to a script that would otherwise be unremarkable. Motion capture can make what would be stiff feel real. Vocal performances in games require so much more than that of other mediums. Not just in terms of hours spent in the booth, but hours spent building relationships between characters. In this second year of the pandemic, teams worked further apart with fewer resources. Each performance felt a little more special as it connected us to people around the world and to characters we now love. With that in mind, here are the recipients of this year’s Golden Lance Award for Best Performance.
Winner: Jen Taylor (Halo Infinite)
Jen Taylor pulled triple duty in this year’s Halo Infinite, reprising her role as Cortana and Dr. Halsey as well as playing new character The Weapon. Each role was executed perfectly and helped elevate the crucial beats in the campaign’s story. Lines delivered with precision ensured the individual personalities and mind sets of each character were clearly translated to the player. Yet we were also able to feel any and all similarities the three characters shared with each other. It was a triple duty truly deserving of Vocal Performance of the Year.
Runner Up: Greg Chun (Lost Judgement)
This year Greg Chun reprised his role as Detective Yagami in the follow up to Yakuza series spin-off Judgement. Chun perfectly captures the disgraced fallen lawyer again in Lost Judgement. It is no coincidence Chun is on his way to becoming one of the most popular voice actors in the industry after his work on games like Call of Duty, Yakuza, and Final Fantasy VII Remake. Not to mention the lead VO role in the English version of Netflix series Squid Games.
Chun’s work in Lost Judgement is expansive and includes a wide range. The cinematics in Lost Judgement could be the equivalent of two movies. In addition to countless lines of action dialog and even some signing. Yet Greg Chun’s performance in Lost Judgement is not just broad, it is nearly immaculate with how persuasive it is.
Runner Up: Adam James (Chorus)
Chorus had several characters with great voice acting associated with them. But one that stood out the most was Nara’s ship Forsa. Forsa was abandoned by Nara and tortured before becoming the ship he is. Actor Adam James really captured the portrayal of a character betrayed and the extremes he went to just have Nara understand how he felt. From the multiple scripted scenes where the two mend their bond to just simple banter while exploring or fighting. He will always be memorable to me.