Good gravy does Batman: Arkham City have some fine voice-acting. Almost every character in the game, from the biggest crime bosses to the littlest thugs, is played by an actor who delivers his or her lines with gusto and energy. It goes such a long way towards making Arkham City feel vital and believable, and towards making Arkham City the terrific experience that it is.
The cast of Arkham Asylum was top-notch, and many of the actors from that game return to reprise their roles in the sequel. But with such a fleshed-out rogues' gallery, there are a lot of new faces, as well. I thought it'd be fun to turn to Arkham City's IMDb page and put faces with voices. I left out any characters whose appearance comes as a surprise—these are just the folks that most people already know about.
Kevin Conroy as the Batman
What more is there to say about Conroy? Reprising the role he's played so well in numerous Batman outings, from The Animated Series to Arkham Asylum, Conroy continues to kill it as the Caped Crusader, effortlessly conveying Batman's psychotic determination to triumph over evil, even in the face of his own destruction. Be sure to check out our own Evan Narcisse's interview with Conroy from last week's Comic-con.
Troy Baker as Two-Face
Baker is becoming something of a known quantity in video game voice-acting, playing Vincent in this year's Catherine and more notably, playing the protagonist, DeWitt, in next year's highly anticipated Bioshock: Infinite. I chatted with Baker some at PAX, and he is a totally cool dude, clearly into games, how they're made, and how acting can make them better. Check out him and his Infinite costar Courtnee Draper as they get really super into capturing a particularly emotional take for Bioshock: Infinte.
Stana Katic as Talia al Ghul
Katic is well known for her role as Kate Beckett in Castle (in which she acts alongside geek hero Nathan Fillion), and brings some nice gravitas to her part as Batman's occasional love-interest-slash-super-challenging-megalomanic Talia al Ghul.
Mark Hamill as The Joker
Doubtless the most talked-about performance in the game (and perhaps in gaming), Hamill goes to town on his part as The Joker with terrible ferocity. What a performance. And it sounds like it may well be the last time he takes up the Joker's mantle. If it is, what a note to go out on.
Corey Burton as Hugo Strange
I can't quite figure out why there aren't any good pictures of Mr. Burton out there, but every search turns up the same couple of headshots. Anyhow, when I hear Strange's calculated, menacing voice, I don't really picture this guy, but there you go. Voice acting!
Wally Wingert as The Riddler
Wingert is another old voice-acting pro, doing voices for a number of recent games. But my favorite role of his has got to be Rufus in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. Ruuufus! Oh wait, that's the wrong movie.
Tasia Valenza as Poison Ivy
Ivy makes a limited appearance in Arkham City, but Tacia Valenza reprises her role from Arkham City with flair.
Danny Jacobs as Victor Zsaz
Jacobs might give my single favorite performance in the game, in a different kind of role that plays itself out over the course of Arkham City's story. I always liked Zsaz, one of the more jacked-up villains in the Batman universe, and I wanted to see more of him in Arkham City. Got my wish!
Grey DeLisle as Catwoman
A singer and voice-actress, Grey DeLisle does a fantastic job playing the sultry, vengeful, borderline psychotic feline ninja Catwoman. [Update:Holy crap you guys, I had no idea she played Azula on Avatar: The Last Airbender. No wonder Catwoman rules!]
Jim Piddock as Alfred and Calendar Man
Well there's an unusual role-pairing. Alfred appears in the game only over Batman's earpiece, but it's still nice to hear the crotchety old guy on the other end of the line. Calendar Man, however, is in the game, and is tied to a tricky achievement, too. Jim Piddock is something of a Hey! It's That Guy, mainly due to his appearance in Christopher Guests' films like A Mighty Wind and as the commentator in Best in Show. (Hmm, it sounds as though there might be a mistake on the IMDb page, and Piddock might only play Alfred, with Maurice LaMarche voicing Calendar Man in addition to Mr. Freeze.)
Maurice LaMarche as Mr. Freeze
LaMarche brings a great solemnness to his performance as Mr. Freeze, one of my personal favorite Batman characters. Nice to see him in the game without getting lost in the shuffle among all the other super-villains. (Hmm, it sounds as though there might be a mistake on the IMDb page, LaMarche may voice Calendar Man in addition to Mr. Freeze. If so, good work, LaMarche!)
Tom Kane as Commissioner Gordon and Mayor Quincy Sharp
With a more limited role in this game than he had in Arkham Asylum, Kane still brings a good amount of desperate gravitas to his performance as Gotham City mayor Quincy Sharp.
Tara Strong as Harley Quinn
Another of the most enjoyable performances in the game, Strong runs the gamut from angry to tragic to sad to turned-on, lavishing each line in Harley's trademark ridiculous accent.
Nolan North as The Penguin
This one came as a surprise, given how Mr. North has been typecast in the eyes of many as Uncharted's Nathan Drake, or at least, a "Nathan Drake-Type." He is all but unrecognizable in his role as Penguin, re-imagining Oswald Cobblepot as a savage cockney street thug with a Bat-sized bone to pick.