Peter Dinklage’s delivery in Destiny is still awful
I enjoyed the Destiny beta. But if there’s one thing I have to nitpick about, it’s Peter Dinklage’s voiceover as Ghost.
You may recall the Game of Thrones star came under fire shortly after Destiny’s First Look Alpha when it was discovered how awful his voiceover was as Ghost, the AI companion that flies alongside your Guardian and assists throughout missions. The role of Ghost is essentially to aid you on your adventures, providing detailed background on the places you explore and creatures you encounter. Without him, we’d never know that the Wizard came from the Moon, a line that was eventually cut from the Beta following the endless ribbing from fans and media alike.
To Dinklage’s defense, when Destiny’s Alpha hit, his dialogue was released without any sort of digital altering. It basically sounded like Dinklage reading lines as himself. Bungie promised changes were made shortly after Alpha, and to their credit they were. Destiny’s Beta featured a more computer-sounding Ghost.
Here’s the thing though, it still sounds terrible.
I don’t know if I’m being too harsh because I’ve already been pre-exposed to the Alpha voiceover, but even with the digital effects, Ghost sounds awful. I get that Dinklage is supposed to sound like a robot, but the delivery of the lines sounds like Dinklage reading lines as a human trying to sound like a robot. Instead of hearing a character, all I hear is Dinklage’s monotone delivery with a few beeps and buzzes before each line (you know, so we know it’s a computer talking).
It seems a little unfair to blame Dinklage solely for the way Ghost is. I honestly don’t know if he was guided to sound this way or if it is just his character choice. Or maybe it's as simple as bringing a video game character to life being different then doing the same on-screen for a television show character. I like to think Dinklage is more talented than what we're seeing with Ghost. I think Game of Thrones fans would agree with that. It's just not working right now though.
Ghost sounds bland and boring. I know, with Ghost being a computer and all, that bland and boring can sometimes work. But the problem with Dinklage’s Ghost is that it’s not clear what type of AI he’s going for. Is he trying to create a Cortana-type AI in which you can form some kind of bond with? Or is he trying to sound like a straight-forward computer AI with no personality?
Right now, I can’t tell -- and that’s the biggest problem. His delivery is straightforward and analytical, but occasionally you’ll hear snippets of Dinklage trying to breathe life and personality into Ghost. Compounding on top of the problem is that the effects still don’t do enough to mask his voice. It sounds like Dinklage trying to sound like a computer that’s struggling with personality. Adding a few bleeps in front of his generic delivery does nothing for immersion.
Simply put, the character is a mess right now. I don’t know who’s fault it is (maybe both parties involved?) but something needs to be fixed before release. As I said, I enjoyed the beta. But playing through the entire story with Dinklage’s monotone dialogue might bore me to sleep.
Check out our playthrough of Destiny's beta to hear Dinklage in action. Keep in mind, it is Anthony Francis' opinion when he says that Dinklage's voiceover is excellent. To each their own I suppose.