Seeing as Uncharted 4 is now available to purchase, and with countless critics showering Nathan Drake’s latest adventure with massive praise, we here at GameSpew thought we’d take a look at our Top 10 favourite games that star Nolan North, the voice actor for Nathan Drake, as a prominent character.
This is no easy feat, as Nolan North has been voice acting for what seems like an endless list of game projects, and with so many stellar performances choosing just 10 is big ask! But we’ve scoured through his back catalogue and compiled a list of what we consider to be Nolan North’s 10 greatest performances. See if you agree!
10Halo 3 ODST (Kojo Agu aka “Romeo”)
The voice cast for the ODST team is great in general, but Nolan North still slots himself in-between the other roles. Obviously being a part of a team means that he isn’t given as much dialogue as his other roles in other projects, but it’s nice to have him alongside the rest of the cast.
Personally, I didn’t get why Peter Dinklage’s performance was scrapped in lieu of Nolan’s. Both voice actors did their part well, and Dinklage did fit the role perfectly with his voice. Putting aside all of the backlash from fans about Dinklage’s shaky performance, North still brings his A-game to the table here, and gives an equally great performance that shows that however a character is portrayed, North can bring a new perspective for that character to the table.
8Crash Bandicoot Series (Dr. N-Gin)
Speaking of different perspectives, whilst Crash Bandicoot‘s Dr. N-Gin has been voiced by a handful of people over the years, Nolan North’s has the most charisma and energy to the role easily however. The parts of N-Gin’s dialogue that break his voice in his iconic “mad-man” voice are extended further with Nolan North, and the personality taken to new extremes with North behind the wheel. Comparing all of the voice actors to each other, North’s interpretation of the character (whilst being limited to maintain canon within the character) is a nice balance between old and new.
7Batman Arkham Series (Penguin)
An American voice actor pulling off a British accent is no easy feat. We British say a lot of strange things, in strange ways, so well done Nolan North on pulling this one off. It’s the American equivalent of British actor Hugh Laurie’s American accent in House M.D.: flawless, and full of character.
6Prince of Persia (The Prince)
When I heard that the series was being rebooted, one of my first concerns was who was going to voice the Prince. For many, the Prince’s voice was iconic. Who could replace him? Nolan North gave a very charming and suave performance, one that borrows a lot from Nathan Drake’s character, but ultimately becomes its own by the end. Taking the quirky and cheeky personality of Nathan Drake, and pushing it further, Nolan creates an endearing and loveable character by the time the credits roll.
Speaking of Nolan’s quirky and silly personality in his voice acting, Deadpool is a perfect fit for him, as he’s clearly comfortable with taking the wacky and going to town with it. Definitely the right voice actor for Deadpool.
4The Last Of Us (David)
In contrast to his quirky nature, Nolan North proved that not only on this occasion as we’ll see in the next entry, was he able to pull himself out of his playful nature, and embody a more serious and mature role. David became one of North’s best roles simply because of where he takes the character’s voice and tone. David’s charisma and charm gets him close to people without them realising it, and when he gets close enough, that’s when he’s at his most dangerous. A sly talker who appears harmless on the outside, but is a dangerous killer on the inside; David is the worst kind of villain to face against.
3Spec Ops: The Line (Martin Walker)
The game surprised everyone with its unusual take on an action military shooter. Expecting the usual AAA approach to violent war scenarios, the game took a different approach and treated the source material with the utmost respect. Nolan North delivered the same approach to his voice acting, exploring the more desperate and relatable aspects of the human condition, he made Martin Walker a real person with fears, anxieties, and regrets.
2Assassin’s Creed (Desmond Miles)
In contention for the award of his most recognisable character, North’s role as Desmond Miles is a constant from entry to entry in the series. Whilst the ancestors playing the protagonists of the games are always voiced by a new actor, Desmond Miles’ role always went to North. This is perhaps his most neutral role, and he doesn’t sway too much from his default personality to see the character through his adventure. That’s not a bad thing, as this makes him relatable as a modern day “everyman” who Desmond is projected to be from the start. The personality comes out through the ancestors we play as, whereas as Desmond is being dragged along for the ride.
1Uncharted (Nathan Drake)
Between Desmond Miles and Nathan Drake, it’s debatable which role he’s best known for, but this is certainly his most effective. Nathan Drake is the all too-endearing adventurer we’d all love to be, and be with. His cheeky humour, cocky attitude, and ability to wriggle his way out of tight situations makes him a very adaptable and improvisational character at his foundations. We see Drake go through various personality shifts as the series progresses, with the second game bringing a more darker and troubled Drake into the spotlight, and Uncharted 3 nearly bringing Drake to his demise as he pushes himself beyond his limits to achieve the impossible, with his personal interests and problems clouding his judgement. The fourth instalment seems to be taking him in an all-new direction entirely once again, and it’ll be interesting to see how North interprets that once more.