The worst of the year

Daryl Dixon (from The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct)

Daryl Dixon is one of the most popular characters on AMC’s zombie drama, The Walking Dead, so it was a natural fit to see him star in the game based on the show. Unfortunately, actor Norman Reedus didn’t seem all that enthusiastic about the project: It sounds like he’s just rushing through his lines. But he can take comfort in knowing that the voice acting was the least of Survival Instinct’s problems.

Bishop (from Aliens: Colonial Marines)

Aliens: Colonial Marines ends with Bishop uttering three simple words in the most robotic way possible: “We got everything.” You can almost hear actor Lance Henriksen slapping himself in the head out of disgust, boredom, or both. It sounds like he just gave up.

In a way, I don’t blame him. Henriksen’s return to one of his most iconic roles proved much less than triumphant with Colonial Marine’s shoddy shooting mechanics and a dull story that only complicates the mythos established in the films.

Mika (from Killer is Dead)

Mika (Stephanie Sheh) is what happens when you attempt to cram several anime tropes into one character. Her exaggerated naiveté and squeaky voice make you want to slice your ears off. One of the most captivating mysteries in Killer is Dead is why Mondo Zappa, its katana-wielding hero, continues to keep his annoying assistant around.

Ghat, Rimat, and almost every villager (from Zeno Clash II)

I’ve never played the Zeno Clash games, so I won’t even pretend to know what’s going in the video, but it doesn’t take long to realize that the acting is pretty horrible. In just one minute, you’ll hear the generic, gritty voice of the main character, Ghat (Eric Gusky), the emotionless performance of his sister, Rimat (Elyse Poppers), and a cast of secondary characters that sound so bad it makes you wonder how they got their jobs at all.

Joel McHale (from this year’s VGX awards show)

OK, the Spike TV’s VGX awards show isn’t a game, but we’re counting it anyways. A few weeks ago, many gamers brandished their pitch forks and lit their torches when they saw comedian Joel McHale co-hosting the VGX. I like McHale’s work on shows like Community, and I believe his fellow cohost and game journalist, Geoff Keighley, when he said that McHale is actually an enthusiastic gamer. But the man’s brand of humor just didn’t mesh at all with the program. Some of his jokes sounded like they were just making fun of the audience for watching the show in the first place.

He (or maybe VGX’s writing staff) even scraped together tired stereotypes about reclusive basement-dwelling nerds and adult diapers to make his point. Yuck.

Anything we missed?

This isn’t a comprehensive list of all the good and bad performances in gaming this year. What were your favorite moments and why? Let us know in the comments!