Little more than a week after Hollywood rolls out the red carpet for its Oscar party on February 26, BioWare will be offering a star-studded affair of its own with Mass Effect 3. The high flying sci-fi action RPG series known for its cinematic qualities has assembled a huge cast of voice actors from across the entertainment industry, and is looking to close out Commander Shepard’s epic saga with a bang.
BioWare has announced that the cavalcade of Mass Effect 3 talent will include mainstays of the series like multiple Emmy and Golden Globe award winner Martin Sheen (Apocalypse Now, The West Wing) as the enigmatic Illusive Man, and Seth Green (Robot Chicken, The Italian Job) returning as Joker. Tricia Helfer will once join Joker as the Normandy’s A.I. EDI, while Yvonne Strahovski (Chuck) returns as Miranda and Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix) returns as crime lord Aria T'Loak.
Canadian voice actors Mark Meer and Jennifer Hale are back as Male and Female Shepard, but there is plenty of new blood to go along with them. It is now also confirmed that G4TV and InsideXbox's Jessica Chobot will be lending her voice and likeness to the new character Diana Allers.
For those who may have missed the casting announcement of Freddie Prinze Jr. (although we don't know how that's possible), the former teen heartthrob will be voicing new squadmate Lieutenant James Vega (who was featured in the first issue of the Mass Effect comics).
BioWare and EA have also released a trailer highlighting all of Mass Effect 3's voice actors and sharing some of their perspective of work on the game. Similar to the featurette that detailed the technical aspects of ME 3's voice overs, it shows off a few snippets of new game footage and is well worth a four minute viewing for some behind-the-scenes insight.
Any casting decisions are sure to bring about a fair amount of skepticism, but so far The Prinze seems to be doing alright as the burly, musclebound Vega. Here's what he had to say about the new gig, and why he jumped at the chance to be a part of it:
“I have always loved science fiction and I have always loved games and Mass Effect is really the first time both come together successfully. It is a completely immersive game where you really feel like you’re part of this journey inside this universe. It will make you think, you will care about the character you are playing, and you will care about the characters that you bring into battle with you.”
In case you had any doubts about the voices matching the faces - or how closely Jessica Chobot's real appearance was modeled - have a look at the new screenshots now:
You'd have to be living under a rock to not know that Mass Effect 3 is gathering hype that's almost as epic as the game itself. That said, the full listing of cast members is another incisive reminder of how the video games are drawing more attention from the movers and shakers in Hollywood. Be it the expertly crafted motion capture of Uncharted 3 or the mesmerizing narrative of Heavy Rain, games are constantly pushing the boundaries of what can and can't be done - and we hope Mass Effect 3 blows them away.
Ranters, what do you think of Mass Effect 3's current cast? Are there voice actors or screen actors you would like to see added to the game?
Mass Effect 3 releases on March 6, 2012 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.
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