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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 July, 2003, 08:18 GMT 09:18 UK
Different game, same voice
Why do all game voiceovers sound like Clint Eastwood, wonders Daniel Etherington of BBCi Collective.

Brute Force
Brute Force: Do you feel lucky?
Playing the new Xbox shooter Brute Force, one element that should come as no surprise to gamers is the voice acting, notably that of Tex - the first of four characters you control in the game.

Yup, Tex comes from the school of gruff characterisations that sound like someone doing a Dirty Harry impression.

The best known example of this mini-phenomenon is special-ops tough guy Solid Snake from Metal Gear Solid who is voiced by David Hayter.

But other examples of the Eastwood-style laconic, gravelly voiced hero include Master Chief in Halo, Jack Wade in Headhunter and JC Denton in Deus Ex.

Mark Hamill's post-Star Wars career has consisted almost exclusively of involvement with video games and cartoons.

And, although he often plays the cackling nutter, even his work on Wolverine's Revenge took the Dirty Harry route.

You almost expect these guys to ask a fallen foe if he feels lucky, punk.

Action heroes

Mr Hayter is a notable case. He has long been voice acting for English dubs of Japanese anime cartoons, but his career these days is especially interesting.

Clint Eastwood
Maybe one of the big video game companies ought to bypass the impersonators and offer Eastwood himself a gig

As well as being a Clint impersonator for the Metal Gear games, he is a successful screenwriter, having worked on both the X-Men movies. Now he is involved with the sequel to Pitch Black.

Today, big games increasingly have big names involved for the voice-acting - Ray Liotta and Dennis Hopper are just some of the actors involved in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.

Mr Eastwood himself is 72. Having just about acknowledged that he is past playing the virile action hero, he really ought to acknowledge that he is past playing the romantic lead to young actresses and needs to do some serious thinking about the projects he directs and produces.

Maybe one of the big video game companies ought to bypass the impersonators and offer Eastwood himself a gig.

He is, after all, pretty well qualified to voice a gruff, Dirty Harry-esque video game action hero.

Daniel Etherington writes for BBCi Collective, exchanging views on gaming, music, film and culture.

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