Voice acting in video games is easily one of the most essential elements for titles with it. Obviously, it’s not that big a deal for games that don’t have their character speak. But more and more, video games feature fleshed-out worlds with deep characters, and having their voice ring out to showcase who they are is vital. We can all think of video games that have excellent voice acting and ones that make you cringe with every word they say. For the Bayonetta franchise, the lead Umbra Witch was voiced by Hellena Taylor, who also voiced the character in Super Smash Bros. However, rumors abounded that she wouldn’t be present for Bayonetta 3.
It turns out those rumors were correct, as the director for the game revealed that circumstances would prevent Taylor from reprising her role for the third main title. However, before you think that the character is doomed, a worthy replacement was found in Jennifer Hale. If you feel like you know that name, you’ve definitely heard her voice. Hale is one of the most-respected voice actors out there, as she’s done numerous roles across multiple forms of media.
In terms of video games, she’s the voice of “FemShep” in the Mass Effect Trilogy and the small voice acting done for Samus Aran in the Metroid Prime games. Add that to her extensive catalog of voices for cartoons and anime, and you can rest assured that she’ll do Bayonetta just fine. Of course, we know how she sounds through the trailers and teasers we’ve already had.
Platinum Games Director Yusuke Miyata spoke on the transition from Taylor to Hale.
“Various overlapping circumstances made it difficult for Hellena Taylor to reprise her role. We held auditions to cast the new voice of Bayonetta and offered the role to Jennifer Hale, whom we felt was a good match for the character,” said Miyata.
Miyata acknowledges that fans will be nervous about Hale assuming the role, but he notes that her performance was “way beyond” what they expected of her. Given how Platinum delayed the game’s release until they knew it would match their expectations, if they say Hale is a good Bayonetta, so should you when you hear her in full.
Focusing on the title itself, Bayonetta 3 will not only continue the Umbra Witch’s journey, but she’ll face new threats and unleash new powers. Her latest enemy is the Homunculi, artificial creations threatening the world. However, she won’t be alone in facing them, as a new character in Viola will arrive to help out. She’s a witch-in-training and wields a sword that’ll help her play differently than Bayonetta when the time comes to control her.
Add that to an assortment of new demon powers, fusions, combo attacks, etc., and you have a match made in Inferno.