Bad voice acting isn’t a new problem, but the depths at which it can sink can always surprise even jaded players like myself that thought they had heard everything. Sitting down with a game shouldn’t also require torture to the ears, but with the Xbox 360 game, Raven Squad, I have no choice if I want to finish it. Even if you had Tarantino onboard to write up some snappy dialogue, having someone with the pulse of an ice cube delivering the lines is just as bad as pulling the text off of a cereal box instead.
Seriously developers, if you can’t afford decent voice acting and feel that you have to do something like draft your local office personnel or familial relations “that think it would be easy and cool”, chances are, it will be a bad idea. Honestly, I’m not sure if that is what happened with Raven Squad, but I heard that it was what happened with another game, Chaos Wars.
If you have no choice but to go that route anyway, I would suggest spending some of your budget on acting lessons to ensure that your actors can properly pronounce words like “evac”, “tango”, and “beach”. There’s also something called “emotion”, too, that I heard makes a big difference between simply reading the script and getting into character. I heard actors sometimes do that.
But if you did hire actual actors and they turn out to be terrible, sending them back to acting school might not be a bad idea anyway.