Subscribe To Why Marvel's Spider-Man Recorded All Of Spidey's Dialogue Twice Updates
For a lot of games it's not uncommon to have a voice actor or voice actress record the same line multiple times. Usually, though, the multiple takes are because the actor may want to get a certain kind of inflection correct, or maybe it's because the audio director wants to achieve a certain kind of emotional range . We've seen multiple examples of actors giving a certain line a few different expressions, including one infamous case from BioShock: Infinite that included getting an actor to shed tears in real life in order to capture the raw emotion for a certain sequence. For the recently released Marvel's Spider-Man, there was a completely different reason for why all of Spidey's dialogue was recorded twice and it had nothing to do with trying to capture a certain kind of emotion from the voice actor.
Kotaku editor Kirk Hamilton shared a tweet featuring a short 51 second clip from Insomniac Games' open-world super hero title. The clip -- as mentioned in Hamilton's tweet -- offers two completely different takes on the lines that Spider-Man says. There's a couple of examples in the montage that features Spider-Man at rest, and Spider-Man while swinging. During his resting moments or while standing still, the voice actor, Yuri Lowenthal, delivers the lines in a halcyon fashion, whereas when he's swinging, fighting, running, jumping, or exerting himself in anyway, the lines are delivered with a bit of strain and you can hear it in his voice as if he's actually web-slinging throughout Manhattan while talking.
It's definitely something you can very easily notice throughout the game, and it absolutely does add to the experience. It was probably one of the few pet peeves about Rocksteady's Batman: Arkham games, which is probably the nearest comparison to Marvel's Spider-Man, but as Hamilton points out, it's a lot of hard work and a tricky engineering conundrum to solve given that you have to have the actor(s) repeat the lines twice for every single conversation, which I imagine can be both exasperating and quite expensive for the studio.
According to audio director Alex Previty, this neat little feature can happen in between lines, but it was a little too difficult to setup where it could take place mid-sentence.
It's definitely one of those features that some developers like Insomniac Games are doing in order to elevate the game to the next level, something you don't oftentimes see in other open-world titles that simply aim to excel in a particular niche. You might notice this kind of immersion-breaking occurrence in games like Assassin's Creed while characters are fighting or climbing things, or in games like The Evil Within 2, Final Fantasy XV or Horizon: Zero Dawn while characters are engaged in intense boss fights while talking.
The line delivery is usually based around if characters are standing still or in a neutral position, even though players are oftentimes running amok and moving about while character dialogue is taking place. Instead of having Lowenthal deliver the lines in a neutral fashion, the audio director and creative team decided to have a second set of lines on the ready that could take place while Spider-Man is on the move or fighting off baddies. It definitely adds to the overall cinematic quality of Marvel's Spider-Man.