The first MGL Voice Artist Spotlight feature of 2017 is here and we are starting with one of the biggest games of the year too. Horizon Zero Dawn is coming either February 28 or March 1st to PS4 and PS4 Pro depending on your location. And we’re about to be introduced to a new PlayStation character along with it. Voice actress Ashly Burch is Aloy in Guerrilla Games’ new IP and may well become a new PlayStation icon.
But what does she, and the supporting cast of this game bring to the story and characters of this new title?
If you’ve not read our Voice Artist Spotlight feature before it works like this. We look at the history and performances of the chosen actor and also what they could bring to their role. We also look at the other cast and what potentially it means for the game. Plus we give you some bonus content, including the full cast list, details and a collection of videos on the game itself to save you clicking around.
As always, we want to know your thoughts too so get in the comments and let us know what you think. Will Aloy and Ashly make for a legendary character? Have your say at the end of the article.
What Voice Actress Ashly Burch Brings To Horizon Zero Dawn
Here we have someone who is a true gamer actress and a great choice to play Aloy. One part of Horizon Zero Dawn that is pivotal to it being a PlayStation classic is the story and its characters. Since we don’t know much about that part – Sony and Guerrilla have done a good job of keeping it all quiet – I had been wondering if it’s potentially one of the areas of the game to worry about.
But looking at the cast, I am very impressed with the list of actors bringing this world to life. And Ashly taking the lead here, following an amazing performance as Chloe in Life is Strange, could not be a better choice from my point of view.
Looking over her work, Ashly has played some cool characters including Tiny Tina in Borderlands 2 in her early voice acting career. She was also in the fantastic Awesomenauts as Ayla before moving on to other roles down the line. I personally enjoyed playing and making my own ideas in Project Spark where she was Avalon.
But ultimately, the emotionally driven story of Life is Strange is what really stands out to me. Not only was she Chloe, she also played some other roles too including Stella and Taylor. So even within one game she has a good talent range not to mention acting a number of eventualities too.
Being so pivotal in this acclaimed game has launched her career forward as since then she’s worked on a number of titles, but this one is the stand out performance for me.
Taking the experience of what is an episodic story game into a big RPG like Horizon is a big step up, but has similar qualities. Conversations with people seem very Mass Effect style and with that it’s important to feel connected with your character, and feel those choices you make. Just like in Life is Strange where the game can play out in a number of ways, Ashly is going to need to play a few different versions of her character almost.
Having seen it first hand I think she will do a great job of this, and I expect what stands out about Aloy. Unlike Nathan Drake or Kratos, she’s not going to be a set character. Your Aloy will be different to mine based on the decisions we each decide to make. Especially with choices in conversations being based on emotion rather than a simple “good or bad” style system.
This is something I’m really looking forward to in the game itself and her performance.
Aloy, Can She Become A New PlayStation Icon
The other thing I’ve got to point out is, everything about Aloy is cool! Her weapons, mysterious background and movements are all very fluid. I can’t wait to play more of the game after about 30 minutes of it at an event in the UK.
What’s really enjoyable from my time playing it is how Aloy drops in little comments as you play. She says things in context to what you are doing and little details like that stand to get us very attached to her in general play.
Will Aloy and Ashly make this character to the standard of other PlayStation legends? Well I personally think so BUT, for that to happen the story must be right along with the build of the game. If technically they deliver and the writers truly get it right (more on them later), Aloy will become iconic.
As I said, the fact each player will build their own Aloy in a way as they make choices through the story really does give her massive potential as a character.
Ashly will play a big part in this and I can’t wait to play the full thing and experience that for myself. She’s a great choice here and will do it justice, but can’t do it alone. Let’s check out the supporting cast in the next section.
A look At The Supporting Cast
One name that stands out is Killzone and Infinite Warfare(review) actor David Harewood. A fellow Englishman and someone who’s always great in his performances. Despite the concerns, I loved the COD IW campaign and his performance was excellent.
And here we have the next piece of the puzzle… Who is going to be the villain of this adventure? The corruption of these robotic creatures is happening from somewhere or someone. I want this to be a great villain, with other supporting ones from the tribes and areas in the world as we’ve seen already.
After all, a great villain is what truly great stories need.
An RPG also needs a good sized cast and we also see some quality voice acting on the list. This includes Bryan Larkin, an actor from the movie London Has Fallen along with a number of games titles. He was part of the Quantum Break(review) cast that, whatever you think of the game, had a great story.
Neil Newbon who was recently in Kingsglaive also brings some more British acting talent to the cast. And Fringe actor Moishe Teichman comes in with some maturity to the cast playing Aloy’s mentor. Another voice actress in Kosha Engler also joins the crew here and after a number of games including Homefront The Revolution and Divinity Original sin brings in some more gaming experience playing a number of roles.
All in all this looks a solid cast… But it also looks a little thin too. I think the fact David Harewood’s character is a secret suggests that will be more revealed. Maybe some more people will go on this list too once some embargoes lift.
Delivering On Great Characters and Stories
Ultimately it’s more than just actors that will make this game’s story and it’s characters great. The writing needs to be good with a solid overall plot that makes this come together.
A good job they have Fallout New Vegas writer John Gonzalez on the case for this game. Not only has he written parts that great game but he also contributed to the great Shadow of Mordor(review). Experience of such big games and missions that come with it bode well. Hopefully it all comes together because this is a concern area for me purely out of not knowing rather than fact.
This is something I’ll look at in the next Horizon Zero Dawn feature later this week.
As for the cast, right now I have no worries. There are some great actors in here and I think it’s going to be well performed, let’s just hope technically the game holds up and we don’t get any strange things happening to the faces to disrupt it.
Check out the full cast, game info and some more videos to enjoy in our final section gamers.
About Horizon Zero Dawn and Full Cast List
Horizon Zero Dawn is an exhilarating new action role playing game, developed by the award winning Guerrilla Games, creators of PlayStation’s acclaimed Killzone franchise, exclusively for PlayStation 4.
As Horizon Zero Dawn’s main protagonist Aloy, a skilled hunter, explore a vibrant and lush world inhabited by mysterious mechanized creatures. Embark on a compelling, emotional journey and unravel mysteries of tribal societies, ancient artefacts and advanced technologies that will determine the fate of this planet, and of life itself.
- A Lush Post-Apocalyptic World – How have machines dominated this world, and what is their purpose? What happened to the civilization here before? Scour every corner of a realm filled with ancient relics and mysterious buildings in order to uncover your past and unearth the many secrets of a forgotten land.
- Nature and Machines Collide – Horizon Zero Dawn juxtaposes two contrasting elements, taking a vibrant world rich with beautiful nature and filling it with awe-inspiring highly advanced technology. This marriage creates a dynamic combination for both exploration and gameplay.
- Defy Overwhelming Odds – The foundation of combat in Horizon Zero Dawn is built upon the speed and cunning of Aloy versus the raw strength and size of the machines. In order to overcome a much larger and technologically superior enemy, Aloy must use every ounce of her knowledge, intelligence, and agility to survive each encounter.
- Cutting Edge Open World Tech – Stunningly detailed forests, imposing mountains, and atmospheric ruins of a bygone civilization meld together in a landscape that is alive with changing weather systems and a full day/night cycle.
Horizon Zero Dawn Cast
|David Harewood||Not Confirmed|
|Ashly Burch||Aloy (voice)|
|Bryan Larkin||Various (voice)|
|Kosha Engler||Solai / Nora|
|Neil Newbon||Warrior – Various|
|Will Bowden||Warrior / Various|
|Mitchell Mullen||Fernund / Vashad|
|Moishe Teichman||Mentor (voice)|