With inFamous: Second Son , Sucker Punch Productions has crafted a great superhero open-world game. From the powers the protagonist Delsin Rowe is capable of wielding, to the impressive mobility given to the player making exploring such a joy. I couldn’t help but notice something was off while enjoying my time with Infamous Second Son. It took a minute but I finally figured it out. It was the voice acting.
Specifically that of Delsin Rowe. Voiced and modeled after the talented Troy Baker, who seems to be well on his way to be the next Nolan North. I had an issue with Mr. Baker’s voice. As you may know, Baker was recently one of the main voices in Saints Row IV . Alongside the superpowers that Saints Row IV had as well, the excited voice antics of Baker were fun to experience in tandem.
Unfortunately, those very voice antics hampered my investment into Delsin Rowe. When the script called for a low or normal volume voice, Troy Baker was fine and I was fully into the character. However, when things kicked up a notch, that’s when memories of Saints Row IV popped up. Whenever Delsin Rowe started a district showdown with the D.U.P. or was rocketing high in the sky from launching off a vent, you can easily close your eyes and picture your male Saints Row IV character. Excitable Troy Baker seems to sound the same no matter how hard he tries. I smile every time I hear this side of him, yet it causes trouble when a previous game he voiced is still fresh in my mind and many others.
You may think that I’m just being too picky about Baker’s voice in Infamous: Second Son, and you could be right. What actually makes this more than nitpicking to me is some similarities that are combined with the voice acting, namely the powers Delsin Rowe wields. With the neon powers, Delsin gains the ability to race across the streets of Seattle as well as scale tall buildings in a single run. In Saints Row IV, this exact mobility is given to the player, albeit on a more grandiose scale. Between the voice and powers, I never could shake the image of my Saints Row IV character out of the back of my mind.
After contemplating over all of this, I came to the conclusion that we need to be more careful of how often a certain voice actor is used. I have no ill will against Troy Baker and think he is a awesome performer. I would just like a little more time in-between gigs with his voice used for the lead character in a game. If I had my pick for Infamous: Second Son, I would have looked for some fresh talent that could bring something different to a character such as Delsin Rowe. Either that, or I would have picked a TV or film actor if the budget wasn’t an issue. Someone like James Roday from Psych. Acting like a punk while being able to turn on the seriousness when called for would have fit Delsin Rowe’s character like a glove. What would be your choice?