Video game technology has come a long way since the first video game was created, roughly 60 years ago. And one of the most helpful tools in making video games has been the process of Motion capture. Motion capture in the entertainment industry had its beginnings in film with animator Max Fleischer who traced over frames of live-action film to give his characters more fluidity in their movements.
And in video games Virtua Fighter 2 was the first to use motion capture as we know it today, using a mo-cap suit that picks up the actor's movement. Motion capture has made video games look and feel more realistic. It helps bring more life into the characters that players control, and makes players feel more attached to the characters as they guide them through their story. Here are 10 Of The Best Mo-Cap Characters, Ever.
10 Cole Phelps - L.A. Noire
Rockstar Games, the company behind popular video game series where players are criminals and outlaws came out with L.A. Noire in 2011, a game where you're actually on the side of justice. You play as Cole Phelps, a 1947 detective for the LAPD as he solves crimes and makes his way through the different departments. L.A. Noire was the first time Rockstar deviated from their RAGE software and used a custom engine that included motion capture technology from MotionScan.
It used 32 cameras trained on each actor's face to capture their facial expressions that were then translated into in-game animation. It was key to the game's interrogation system as players had to read witnesses' facial expressions to decipher whether they were telling the truth, a lie, or withholding information.
9 Leon Kennedy & Claire Redfield - Resident Evil 2
Resident Evil is a franchise full of dedicated fans that expect a lot out of the games, especially when it comes to remaking the older ones. Despite Resident Evil 2 being over 10 years old, fans expected the remake to hold true to what really made the game great. And it did, retelling Resident Evil 2's story with the stunning visuals available with modern technology.
Leon S. Kennedy, Claire Redfield and other characters got some fresh new looks with the remake as Capcom used the faces of real people for their game models. And though plenty of fans were on the fence about their looks, they loved the gameplay that used motion capture technology, using the actual actors who voiced them.
8 Kratos & Atreus - God of War
The 2018 God of War game brought many changes to the series. It takes a step back away from Greek mythology and into Norse mythology. Kratos has a new look, a new weapon and a son, Atreus, who shares the spotlight as the game's second protagonist. And instead of revenge, Kratos is on a journey to fulfill the last wish of his wife and bonds with his son as the two faceoff against monsters and Norse gods.
Even Kratos' actor changes as Christopher Judge replaces T.C. Carson as his voice and motion capture actor. Judge's height and build were more suited for the way the game was shot, and his chemistry with Atreus' actor Sunny Suljic made him the perfect person to take up the Kratos handle.
7 Nero - Devil May Cry 5
Devil May Cry 5 is the sixth game in the series and features many fan favorites of past games and a few new faces. The game focuses on Nero as Devil Bringer is cut off and stolen by a mysterious cloaked man and he fights off a demon invasion with the help of Dante and the mysterious V.
Though the face models for the characters are different from their voice actors, the voice actors (Johnny Yong Bosch as Nero) provided the motion-capture for many of the scenes in-game.
6 Senua - Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
From the team behind Heavenly Sword and DmC: Devil May Cry, Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is a game that's a combination puzzle-solving, psychological horror, and hack-and-slash action. Players take on the role of Senua, a Celtic warrior who travels to the Norse underworld of Helheim, to take back the soul of her deceased lover from the goddess of Helheim, Hela.
Senua's voice actor and motion capture actor are Melina Juergens', who was originally only a stand-in as the motion-capture equipment was tested. Juergens' performance is raw and emotional, which helps make Senua's struggles that much more powerful.
5 Nathan Drake - Uncharted Series
The Uncharted series is one Naughty Dog's most successful and popular series. Ever since the first game, motion capture technology has been used to give the game it's strikingly realistic graphics and to properly catch all the subtleties of their actors' performances.
Nolan North both voices Nathan Drake and is his motion-capture actor through every game in the series. Nolan North and the other actors were encouraged to improvise scenes as well to give them a more natural feel, with North himself mixing his own personality with Drake's to give a better performance.
4 Kait Diaz - Gears 5
Gears 5 is the most recent installment in the Gears of War game series. The fight against the Swarm from Gears of War 4 continues as the game focuses on Kait Diaz as she, Marcus, JD, and Del uncover the truth of the Locust and of Kait's family connection to them.
While other games in the series used motion capture, this is the first one that uses performance capture, where the actors who voice the characters are also their motion capture actors. Laura Bailey returns as both Kait's voice and motion capture actor.
3 Every Character - Mortal Kombat Series
The Mortal Kombat series has always used techniques that let them recordings of people acting out the movements of their different characters to use in the game. Before they had their actors dress in the character's costumes and had them perform in front of a screen, film it and then edit it on a computer. But from Mortal Kombat 4 and onward they used motion capture.
The games in the Mortal Kombat franchise have been produced using the same studio since the 1980s that has been specially outfitted for the use of motion capture. The flawless way the characters in Mortal Kombat 11 look and move is a testament to how practice makes perfect.
2 Kara, Markus & Connor - Detroit Become Human
In Detroit Become Human androids exist in the not so distant future. They're built to satisfy any needs their owners have, obediently. Except, recently there has been a rise of androids going "deviant" exhibiting behavior that suggests they are sentient creatures. The game follows 3 androids, Kara who deviants to protect the daughter of her abusive owner, Markus who deviants and leads his people through a revolution, and Connor, an android tasked with hunting down Deviants.
Quantic Dream, who has used motion capture for previous games, used it for Detroit Become Human as well, employing more than 250 motion capture actors that include Valorie Curry, Jesse Williams, and Bryan Dechart as Kara, Markus, and Connor, respectively.
1 Joel & Ellie - The Last Of Us
In The Last of Us, the United States is ravaged by a mutant outbreak of the Cordyceps fungus that leaves the majority of society in ruins as those infected are turned into aggressive almost zombie-like creatures. Most survivors are hardened individuals who either live in oppressed military-run quarantine zones or brave dangerous lands outside. The story focuses on Joel, a smuggler and a teenage girl Ellie who he has to escort to the headquarters of a rebel force known as the Fireflies.
Joel and Ellie's characterization and relationship development were greatly influenced by the chemistry that their motion capture actors Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson, respectively, had with one another. About 85% of the game's animation was done using motion capture. Together Joel and Ellie take players on an engaging story that's filled with both heartbreak and hope as players watch them work together to survive.