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Rune II: Decapitation Edition
Developers: Studio 369
Release: November 13th 2020
Role: Heimdall

Rune II is described by developers Studio 369 as "a tale of betrayal, rebirth, and revenge"- a fitting allegory for the game's well-documented development troubles and for the bleak scenario facing the deities of Midgard. I play the mighty Norse god Heimdall with the rumble of wounded dignity, a respected figure brought low by Loki's deception, and coming to terms with a complete loss of control that prompts a desperate eleventh hour move: resurrecting a mortal champion to act in his stead. As well as providing voiceover for various Rune II trailers, I also produced placeholder dialogue for the Gods Odin, Thor and Loki at various stages of the game's production.
From what I heard and experienced during my tour,
the voice acting is nothing short of amazing. -The Nerd Stash
The voice acting additions, combat improvements, more focused questlines and Action RPG feel for the most part, work wonderfully. -Game Tyrant
Transient
Developer: Stormling Studios
Release: October 28th 2020
Role: Randolph Carter

H.P. Lovecraft meets Cyberpunk. Delve deep into a dystopian world and investigate what is happening to you and your friends in a domed city. Solve puzzles, hack systems and plug in to explore other dimensions. Discover a truth that might tear apart your sanity and question your very existence.
In Stormling Studios' Transient, I portray protagonist Randolph Carter, an outlaw hacker-for-hire who accidentally stumbles across a terrifying truth. I played Carter like his augmented world is always a few decibels too loud, leading to a constant low-key migraine that brings his voice to a hush. This lends itself naturally to the understated protagonists of Tech-Noir classics like Blade Runner and Dark City.
The eerie voice acting overlaid with Bioshock-esque atmosphere prompting the player to enter their own memories has me hyped to jack in to the matrix and inject this game directly into my brain. It’s gritty and beautiful at the same time.
-Akupara Games
The game is fully voice-acted with solid performances. -Game Pitt
Excellent work has been done in the performance of the dialogues and the general voice acting, as well as in the music where cold synths of a future dystopia intertwine with Oriental melodies forgotten in time, and provide an air of mystery. -Ragequit GR
Transient also has great voice acting for all of its major characters. -Monster Vine
Beautiful Desolation
Developer: The Brotherhood
Release: Feb 26th 2020. Roles: Atum, Bra' Bones, Grave, Narchee

Beautiful Desolation is a 2D isometric adventure game set in the distant future. Explore a post-apocalyptic landscape, solve puzzles, meet new friends and make powerful enemies, mediate conflicts and fight for your life as you unravel the secrets of the world around you.

Set in a future South African landscape, The Brotherhood's Beautiful Desolation focuses on two estranged brothers ripped from their original timeline, looking for a way back home. I play four supporting roles. Atum is a zombified drunk whose brain has been commandeered by a worm-like parasite called the Fley. Driven to physical ruin, the host's final stop is an obscure tavern where he encounters player-character Mark Leslie (Julian Casey, Assassin's Creed, Far Cry).
For the performance, I wanted a disparity between the voice of host and parasite to give the impression of two minds in one body. The host is soused, giddy, even promiscuous (and yes Chris, I did have a few shandies for the role, I'm method like that!). The parasite is harsh, desperate, throttled and always in danger of losing control.

I also played zealot-cum-barkeep Bra' Bones, a Cockney publican with a glint in his remaining eye. Grave, a mechanical warrior poet I played as a well-spoken Stratford thespian, which I think creates an interesting dissonance next to his formidable physicality. Finally, there is the chronically depressed creature Narchee: a disembodied human skull effectively enslaved by drones that force him to act as their topographer.
The brilliant Ryan Cooper (you’ll remember from STASIS and CAYNE), and his brother Glen are on the cast. -Christopher Bischoff, The Brotherhood
The game has a talented cast of voice actors. Known names like Julian Casey, Sarah Williams, and Ryan and Glen Cooper help bring the characters of Beautiful Desolation to life. -Keen Gamer
Ancestors Legacy
Developer: Destructive Creations
Release: May 22nd 2018
Roles: Boleslav, Truvor
Ancestors Legacy is a squad-based real time strategy with a strong focus on tactics. Inspired by medieval European history, it brings to life four different nations and their conflicts, usually solved by war.
I play the first King of Poland, Boleslav the Brave, and the bloodthirsty Viking Truvor; both men are driven by a ruthless, unrelenting aggression. The character performances were wrapped in (physically exhausting) live sessions.
Storytelling is done with elaborate images that portray great emotion, along with intense voice acting. This really draws the player into the action, making you another member of the squad, not just a person behind the keyboard. -Gaming Lyfe
The music and voice acting were all great, I didn’t cringe at any accents or feel like they hired cheap voice actors throughout the Viking campaigns. -Game Pitt
The game has amazing voice acting, and it really stood out in all the individual stories. Each historical event was well told, always engaging, and never felt dull. In my opinion, the narrative was also very well-paced. -Lords of Gaming
Tapestry-like cutscenes, intriguing storylines based on historical events and solid voice acting all round. -VG Almanac
Solstice Chronicles
Developer: Ironward
Release: July 26th 2017
Role: The Marine
Battle for survival against waves of Martian mutants in this tactical shooter. Using the skills of your drone companion, make fight-or-flight decisions that drastically alter the threats you face. Will your choices lead you to freedom... or your doom?
After voicing the trailer for Red Solstice, I was asked by developers Ironward to return for Solstice Chronicles: M.I.A. I play the sole surviving corporate marine caught deep behind enemy lines, whose only hope for survival lies in an unlikely alliance with a rebel drone (Fran McClellan).
Surprisingly, the developers have already managed to include some great voice acting, which is a positive sign. -Keen Gamer Now, there are cutscenes that introduce your character, as well as some exceptional art and voice acting. -Esports Edition
The Highwayman
Director: Oliver Chater
Release: September 15th 2016
Role: Narrator
In the Winter of 2016, I travelled to the chilly Old Post Office deep in the Arthurian land of Tintagel, for a University of Falmouth production of The Highwayman, based on the 1906 poem by Alfred Noyes. I portray the narrator who bears grim witness to a treacherous tryst. Director Oliver Chater and Producer Henry Isaksen invited me on board after their successful Kickstarter campaign, and to return to the University for additional ADR work.
Highlights include chewing the fat with Poldark and Doc Martin stalwart Rory Wilton, enjoying the splendid National Trust building for the day, and working with a vibrant young crew. The Highwayman was entered into The National Film Festival for Talented Youth among others, and Ben Sutcliffe's excellent score took the runner-up spot at the 2017 LA Shorts awards.
Brigador
Developer: Stellar Jockeys
Release: June 2nd 2016
Role: Audiobook Narrator
Private Ranulph Kinny swears his Mongoose- an eight foot-tall powered armor suit- is trying to kill him. Even his sergeant is acting paranoid, invoking the Saints and keeping the platoon battle-ready, just in case. Everything changes when a mysterious broadcast blankets the city and triggers an all-out civil war. Now, Kinny and his power-suited platoon fight for survival as their city crumbles around them. Welcome, Brigador.

I took on the mammoth task of turning Brad Buckmaster's 2016 novel Brigador into an 7-hour audiobook, serving as a companion story to the video game of the same name. It was the first audiobook to release on Steam, with a 100% user rating and a 4.8/5 rating on Audible. For the performance, I honed what I facetiously call my "Sean Bean" voice. It has become something of a running joke in my household that my performances are often met with comparisons to the world's most famous Sheffield United fan, even when I'm actively trying to avoid them...
The rustic aspect of a Northern English voice seemed appropriate for this visceral military tale (as well as being an accent I could hold for 80,000 words). The challenge came in demarcating the characters from the narration. At one point, I was speaking in a coarsened Northern accent to interpret the grizzled Sergeant Koenig, then a mocking impersonation of it from his own subordinates! The Spacer faction is non-terrestrial, mostly cruel, cold and snobbish. For the marooned Spacer Pilot, I took inspiration from Twin Peaks' The Man from Another Place, and Gman from the Half-Life series, emphasising the wrong words and an unsettling cadence, like he is a chameleon merely passing for human.
Enter Ryan Cooper, who did an equally impeccable job on giving voice to Brad [Buckmaster]’s writing. -Hugh Monahan, Stellar Jockeys
I usually loathe military / tactical driven sci-fi, but between the fleshed out world of Solo Nobre, Brad Buckmaster's excellent writing, and the sublime narration talent of Ryan Cooper, I can't help but fall in love with this book. -Audible Review
The big surprise came in the form of Brad Buckmaster's Brigador novel and subsequent audiobook, narrated wonderfully by Ryan Cooper. -Permanent Beta
The narrator does a stellar job throughout, with his performance being able to describe the one battlefield multiple times, but subtlely altering his tone to emphasize each soldier's perspective. -Audible Review
Stasis
Developer: The Brotherhood
Release: August 31st 2015
Roles: John, the Man, Boland
In the distant future, aboard a seemingly abandoned spacecraft, John Maracheck awakes from stasis. He must push himself to new physical and emotional limits and unravel the mysteries around him. John is in tremendous pain, his wife and daughter are missing, and time is running out as the Groomlake plunges further into the swirling blue methane clouds of Neptune...

Stasis is the acclaimed debut title of South African siblings Christopher and Nicolas Bischoff, known professionally as The Brotherhood. The game was credited with breathing new life into the outmoded point-and-click adventure genre. Alec Meer of Rock, Paper Shotgun said, “Stasis punches so far above its weight that I almost can’t believe it exists.” Patrick Hancock of Destructoid said, “There are scenes in Stasis, especially towards the end of the game, that I'm not sure I'll ever forget.”
I played the beleaguered protagonist, a school teacher whose ship is waylaid by the unscrupulous Cayne Corporation en route to a family vacation in the far reaches of the solar system. I portrayed John as the 'every-man', but with a softness born from a privileged lifestyle- holidaying on the moon of Titan must surely be above the pay grade of most.

To Rafael Serrato of Bit Cultures, I spoke at length about my preparation for the performance: “I didn’t want John to come across as a lesser imitation of similar characters. The role was not overly stylised or managed, so I had the freedom to attack it from a unique perspective and put a lot of myself into the performance.”
“It is important to internalise the character, reflect on the themes of the story and how the characters attract and oppose each other. Family is the central theme of Stasis, and all three lead characters symbolise this in their own way. John has an arc, which I look for in characters. It was vital that he be vulnerable, uncertain and slow to harden to the horror. If the player can connect with the character, they then consider the uncomfortable question: how would I cope in this situation? That is the essence of great horrors, they shine a light on our own lives.”
“The process was gruelling, but very satisfying. Being the archetypal every-man, and a husband and father to a young child, John is an instantly empathetic character. The role represented a great opportunity because many parts are more fantastical, or inherently not relatable. I favour roles that I can humanise. For John, authenticity was crucial; a less than genuine performance would distance the character from the player.”
“I produced upwards of ten disparate takes per line so that John’s tone would be in keeping with Chris’ vision for the scene. Frustration often got the better of me and Chris [Bischoff] wound up with a database of my numerous curses, sighs and lip smacks. To emulate John hyperventilating, I sprinted around the block before recording. I acted in pitch darkness to put the onus on my imagination and remove visible distractions. John’s tears became my own. When he screamed out in agony, I recalled the indelible memories of past injuries. I even threw up for real!“

Kim at Later Levels asked for my thoughts on the game and its developers, The Brotherhood: “I was an early-bug tester and a beta Kickstarter backer, so I played it a couple of times before release. For a one-man development, Stasis is a minor miracle really, and serves as inspiration to other small teams. It has been spoken about in the same breath as peers like SOMA, which had several team members with years of experience between them. The game has a timeless quality and won’t really age in years to come. Chris should be very proud of what he has achieved.”
“It was always an open-door working relationship with the Bischoff brothers. Chris trusted me enough to get on with my performance, which was liberating. I drip-fed him the lines so he could implement them on his schedule, and this became an organic way of building the voice work into the game. If I were compelled to revisit takes, he was more than happy to receive them.”

When asked how John compared to my previous roles: “It’s funny. I looked back at my previous work the other day and John is the only character who actually converses with other characters. Being mostly narrators, the others address the player directly. So, the action / reaction dynamic of John’s dialogue is what sets him aside from my other roles. I wanted to impart a rawness, a genuineness to John and be satisfied I’d done all I could to make him sound like a real person in an unreal situation. If I had screwed up in making John relatable, I don’t think I could have forgiven myself. There was only $130K+ behind the game and thousands of expectant backers.”

My thoughts on ‘that’ surgery scene: “It was the toughest scene for me because it was so hard to imagine. A character sobbing over all manner of upsetting revelations is achievable because the actor can draw on their own upsetting experiences and the tears are real. But performing open spinal surgery on yourself while you are still awake? Has that ever actually happened?
“To prepare, I studied a similar scene in the movie Prometheus, albeit the character’s motivation is different. Shaw is desperate to remove her foreign-body from a position of religious and motherly disgust. Her reaction is natural, and therefore the horror lies more in the revelation of the creature than in her slicing herself open. John’s foreign-body is not causing him any immediate consternation, besides blocking the path to his daughter. The decision is on him – and thus the player, to push the button knowing full well what’s coming.
“I pictured Rebecca [John’s daughter] as I was screaming, as that is the only way John could get through it without passing out. This is however a scene I would have recorded differently if I had the time again. It’s a bit tamer and more inward than I would have liked at points; I should have just gone hell for leather until I blew my voice box. The sequence itself though is wonderfully realised in its sheer body horror and becomes one of the game’s most memorable scenes.”
Ryan is such an amazing artist to work with that I find it hard to imagine a project that he wouldn’t be involved with. -Chris Bischoff, The Brotherhood
You have to clamber into the machine and operate on yourself in excruciating detail. Props to John's voice actor, who emits many, many convincingly tortured noises. -Forbes
John's rage, his naked horror is perfectly conveyed by the well-motivated English voice actor. -PC Games (Germany)

I have never heard a videogame character sound so vulnerable and human [...] It's better than a lot of VO work in some AAA games out there [...] A great deal of the game's intensity is a result of Ryan Cooper's performance. -Grimbeard Diaries
The player-character [John Maracheck] is well developed, in part thanks to some fantastic voice acting. -Game Rant
"[Cooper]'s performance in Stasis is excellent and reflects the dark atmosphere perfectly. [...] Whether John is screaming in pain or catching his breath from shock, his voice work captures these heavy, extreme moments greatly. -Bit Cultures
The story is engaging and the voice acting remains top-notch throughout.
-Flickering Myth

In terms of characters, the game is almost entirely carried by John, masterfully voiced by Ryan Cooper, who perfectly descends into the role and is able to convey anguish with every sentence he utters. -Adventure's Planet (Italy)
In this grim return to the Stasis universe, expectant protagonist, Hadley, wakes up in a facility. Where is she? Why is she there? And, why do they want her baby? Help panicked and anxious Hadley find her feet and brave stomach-churning situations to break free, by solving puzzles in this free horror adventure game. Each step will uncover colorful character stories as you help Hadley find her way out…
In January 2017, The Brotherhood released a free DLC chapter to the Stasis story, called CAYNE. I played two supporting characters, the nameless man who assists protagonist Hadley (Sarah Anne Williams, Skullgirls, League of Legends) from an unseen location, and Danie Boland- a vulgar engineer who comes to realise he won't be walking out of the facility. As of writing, Cayne has a Metascore of 75% and a Steam user rating of 78%.
Stasis
Developer: Postmod Softworks
Release: December 3rd 2014
Role: Jonah
The Old City: Leviathan is described as "an experiment in first-person exploration that focuses entirely on story. All that exists is you and the world. Set in a decaying city from a civilization long past, The Old City: Leviathan puts the player in the shoes of a sewer dwelling isolationist." The Washington Post described the game as an “experiment in literary gaming.“ Known colloquially as a 'walking simulator', the game is my first major credit as a voice actor; I played the protagonist (and sole character) Jonah.

I discussed my experiences in a 2015 interview with Rafael Serrato of Bit Cultures: “It was here I understood the responsibility of the voice artist, in co-ordination with the devs, to form a fleshed-out character that will engage the audience. There was a theatricality in Jonah’s dialogue, so I interpreted him as a worn-down actor of sorts. How many times has he approached that specific brick arch and launched into the same over-rehearsed soliloquy? For how long has he been shambling that facility like a ghost caught in a self-imposed cycle? Surely way before the player arrived. There is a subtle horror to the role.“

To Kim of Later Levels, I went into more detail about the challenges of the role: “Getting into the head space of someone who has spent too much time alone, but has a keen philosophical mind and forms these unique insights into the meaning of life. He comes from a very different place to the average person and therein lay the challenge of making him relatable.
“I put Jonah into terms I could understand, as an actor of sorts. More specifically, someone whose life has become an act, who created Leviathan to avoid the pain of the unknown. Maybe we all create our own personal Leviathan as we get older. Jonah’s life views become his lines, rehearsed to the point of banality, the theatrical pauses more deliberate with the years. Only when he is exposed to the uncertain does the child in him break out. Jonah manages to rekindle a deep ember of childlike curiosity that helps him get off his ass and leave his self-imposed prison.“
The lone voice actor does fine work, carrying the game emotionally and sounding convincingly detached from reality. -Adventure Gamers
Quality voice acting and a haunting soundtrack that matches the melancholic atmosphere of the game. [...] The actor providing the voice for the protagonist did a very good job of making the soliloquies sound convincing. -Game Ramble
Ryan Cooper, the narrator, also does some of the best voice acting I have ever heard. -Lair of the Wolf Dragon
Another title in the growing walking simulator genre that combines beautiful graphics and great voice over work into a readily playable title. -The Refined Geek
I found [Cooper] to be rather excellent. [...] As I continued, as more and more was uncovered, the game's narrative began to take hold, and I really have to say for that, I think the voice is excellent. -Angry Centaur Gaming
The graphics are great, the sound and voice acting are phenomenal.
-Metal Arcade



Background image copyright of The Brotherhood.