Mark Meer or Jennifer Hale?

#1 Edited by Kash_1095 (77 posts) -

Who do you think does a better Shepard?
Honestly I'm going with Mark Meer. His acting is more subdued, though I think that suits the character better. Switching between Paragon and Renegade choices sounds more natural with his voice.
Mark Meer all the way.

#2 Posted by AgentJ (8994 posts) -

I'd say Hale is slightly better, though I may be biased having enjoyed some of her previous work.

#3 Posted by zyn (2765 posts) -

Jennifer Hale.

#4 Posted by HatKing (6519 posts) -

I'm going with Meer.  It might just be because I'm used to him and have used it all the way through both games.  I don't much care for Hale's "I'm a gruff soldier chick" voice.  She does sound better when she lightens up and is just talking to people.
#5 Posted by Kash_1095 (77 posts) -

^ That too. I'm super used to his voice from the first game.

#6 Edited by Garrus (545 posts) -

In no way am I sexist or trying to give a sexist motive here but I really just cannot take Fem Shep seriously in the parts where there's a funny renegade interruption, and paragon speeches just seem like some kind of lecture as opposed to a threatening message that Male Shep gives.
It's like the looters part on Omega..  I know it's not an interruption but it's still a renegade root comment.
Looter 1: "What are you gonna do? Shoot me?"
Shepard: "If I have I have to?"
It just does sound better with Male Shep.

#7 Posted by xyzygy (10596 posts) -
@Garrus: I totally agree with this. Because the dialogue is exactly the same for both male and female Shepard, I feel that the script was meant for a much more masculine role and it does sound kind of weird with Jennider Hale saying it. 
In terms of the actual voice actor, I do think that Jennifer Hale is good though. I just think that Mark Meer is a better Shepard.
#8 Posted by Yummylee (23507 posts) -

Despite Jennifer Hale not being the best choice for a character like Shepard, and it shows sadly, I still prefer her performance over Mark's.
#9 Posted by Garrus (545 posts) -
@xyzygy: Yeah pretty much, would add more hassle to Bioware for adding a slightly different script for each Gender but it would add replayability too I think.
And yeah, as you said, it's just a masculine based script, to me it also seems that way, but I also think like other people said, Male Shep just says things more casually and more threateningly at the same time.
I feel Fem Shep stresses things too hard or she just doesn't have the impact in the words that Male Shep has.
#10 Posted by laalipop (51 posts) -

While a renegade female shepard is cute, Renegade was meant for the male shepard hands down.  

Overall though I think Hale has a better overall tone that fits with the other actors better.
#11 Posted by Roboyto (88 posts) -

While i generally love Jenny Hale in whatever role she is doing, I kind of hate the voice she uses for FemShep. Meer certainly has some problems with his performance but I still prefer him as Shepard

#12 Posted by Brendan (8808 posts) -

I like playing as male Shepard, but Jennifer Hale does a better job much of the time.  I wish someone was in the studio with Mark during recording for the intense action scenes to say "More emotion, Mark!  More emotion!"
#13 Posted by Yummylee (23507 posts) -
@Brendan said:
"I like playing as male Shepard, but Jennifer Hale does a better job much of the time.  I wish someone was in the studio with Mark during recording for the intense action scenes to say "More emotion, Mark!  More emotion!" "

I agree, its why I was so proud of him during the renegade option with how you handle the batarian bartender when playing as male shepard.. ''DRINK IT!...NOW!!'' ;P Can actually feel the anger and intimidation.
#14 Edited by Venatio (4656 posts) -

Gonna go with Jennifer Hale, I'm playing a female Shepard and she is a way better voice actor then Mark Meer 
She's one of the reasons I'm playing as a female Shepard in the first place 
Mark just doesn't have alot of emotion in his voice

#15 Posted by Intrepid (188 posts) -


I personally enjoyed Hale's Shepard with most of the game.  But there are moments when Meer's subdued inflections were more appropriate.  At times it felt like Hale was going over the top a bit.
#16 Posted by Whisperkill (3045 posts) -

Yeah, Female Shepard sounds kind of like a man, or one of those super strong willed, yet annoying as hell women. 
Male Shepard works better

#17 Posted by SefaRed (130 posts) -

Jennifer Hale is an automatic choice for me, as I always play female characters in RPG's, plus she was great as Bastila in KoTOR.

#18 Posted by PenguinDust (12842 posts) -

Easiest question ever...Jennifer Hale. 

#19 Posted by ImperiousRix (3095 posts) -

Mark Meer is a better Paragon Shepard. 
Jennifer Hale is a better Renegade Shepard.

#20 Posted by haggis (1674 posts) -

Meer reads every single line the same way. He drones. I don't like him all that much, but he's still better than what we get in most games these days. Jenn Hale, on the other hand, does a much better job. She actually tries to *say* the lines, rather than just read them. Meer's renegade didn't bother me as much, but his paragon ... horrible. Absolutely horrible. Hale comes off much better both ways, in my mind.

#21 Posted by Garrus (545 posts) -
@Killjoi: Yeah, I agree with some of the points giving it some thought again. I think it's mostly a case really where some moments are better with a Fem Shep and others are just better with a Male Shep.
#22 Posted by AndrooD2 (241 posts) -


#23 Posted by AuthenticM (4247 posts) -
@ImperiousRix said:

Mark Meer is a better Paragon Shepard. 
Jennifer Hale is a better Renegade Shepard.

#24 Posted by Spiral_Stars (481 posts) -

Male Shepard just sounded awful. Just awful.

#25 Edited by General_D23 (1210 posts) -
@ImperiousRix said:

Mark Meer is a better Paragon Shepard. 
Jennifer Hale is a better Renegade Shepard.


Pretty much this. Both actors kind of falter in both areas, but I feel these are where they are best. 
Of course, both have their moments in Paragon and Renegade, but Meer is better with Paragon and Hale is better in Renegade in my opinion.
#26 Posted by Andorski (5469 posts) -

Mark Meer for Renegade Shepard.  His dry delivery just makes it sound more condescending.

#27 Posted by MushroomSamba (183 posts) -

Hale by a long shot. I can't imagine Shep sounding any other way.

#28 Edited by Doublechops (35 posts) -
@PenguinDust said:

" Easiest question ever...Jennifer Hale.  "

Totally agree, I wish they would used the female Shepard in more artwork and wallpapers, promotional materials.
#29 Posted by CaptainObvious (2990 posts) -

Meer all the way.

#30 Posted by Luccaface (220 posts) -

I would probably prefer Hale if it wasn't for the huskiness.  I just can't imagine someone talking like that all the time in real life.  It's almost like Hale is doing the voice of a person doing a voice.  Still, I think her deliveries tend to fit the context of the various situations during the game better than Meer, who at times sounds like he's simply reading a line with no direction.  Overall, I don't really feel one is that much better than the other, so I prefer Meer just because I mostly play as a male Shepard.

#31 Posted by Afroman269 (7440 posts) -
@ImperiousRix said:

Mark Meer is a better Paragon Shepard. 
Jennifer Hale is a better Renegade Shepard.

#32 Posted by Hitchenson (4708 posts) -

Jennifer Hale, by far. Not to say Mark Meer's VO isn't good, it's just I find Hale's VO to be far superior. 

#33 Edited by Ghostiet (5708 posts) -

Jennifer Hale for the win, most def. While she can improve at some points, she still makes come-ups sound like come-ups, threats sound like threats, jokes like jokes and she acts her lines instead of reciting them. Besides, she is a very good actress overall, she manages to pull a lot of totally different voices and remain barely recognizable (although the fact that she played Bastila Shan, goddammit, is a fucking turd in her portfolio).

Mark Meer is so fucking stiff in that role that he makes the Renegade choices unintentionally hilarious, apart from the "indigenous assertions" bit where his stiffness actually works better than Hale's actual acting. Though his voice fits very well to the default Vanderloo-Shep physique.

#34 Posted by EvilTwin (3312 posts) -

I think female Shepard has much better inflection when she needs it.  She's actually, you know, doing voice acting.  Mark Meer makes it so obvious that he's reading his lines in a room by himself with little context as to why he's asking the questions he's asking or saying the lines he's saying. 

#35 Posted by hinderk (704 posts) -
@PenguinDust said:
" Easiest question ever...Jennifer Hale.  "
#36 Posted by Superfriend (1648 posts) -

Default male Shepard looks/sounds waaay too "male-model" for my taste. You just know you´ve got a problem when the female version of your character sounds (and looks depending on your editor skills) much more badass. So, yeah I think his voice may be suitable for Paragon, but since so many parts of the second game are notably darker, I think a rougher interpretation of the character is better.

#37 Posted by BeachThunder (13306 posts) -

 Definitely Hale, Meer's delivery is sometimes very forced and emotionless. Although, I'd say Meer is better in some badass renegade moments. But he's not very good at acting drunk.

I'd be interested to see how much people's opinions are shaped by which gender they usually play as. BTW, I played through both games as a femshep.

#38 Posted by natetodamax (19421 posts) -

Definitely Mark Meer. I can't stand Jennifer Hale's voice. Also: 

#39 Posted by Lelcar (940 posts) -

Jennifer Hale is a much better actor than Mark Meer. Seeing that comparison video confirmed it.
#40 Posted by Hashbrowns (680 posts) -

I'll put it this way:  Mark Meer reads his lines, and Jennifer Hale acts.
#41 Posted by BeachThunder (13306 posts) -
@natetodamax:  heh, awesome. I just wish his Mass Effect dialogue sounded that natural.
#42 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7597 posts) -

The male Shepard is totally wooden.
Actually had to restart the first game around the point where I got to the Citadel the first time around, because I just couldn't stand him.  Really awful voice work.

#43 Posted by General_D23 (1210 posts) -
@BeachThunder said:
" @natetodamax:  heh, awesome. I just wish his Mass Effect dialogue sounded that natural. "

See, that's the thing. Meer can totally do a better job and completely one-up Hale, but it seems like he's instructed to read the lines like he does.

I think Meer does an awesome job as it is, but the fact that he can do even better and dispel these complaints against him while being seemingly held back is just a tad baffling to me.

#44 Edited by Enigmatical (152 posts) -

At the moment, I've gone with Meer as Renegade, Hale as Paragon.
I like the idea of my female character being a -good- person more than her being a -bad- person.
Although, at least in Mass Effect 1, Renegade Meer is laughable... 'cept when he punches that reporter, that was awesome.

#45 Posted by atomic_dumpling (2513 posts) -

Both are not entirely convincing as war-proven soldier-types. They hardly ever shout, much-less give proper orders.

#46 Posted by Bam_D_Leprechaun (820 posts) -

Hale,  I cant seem to take Meer seriously

#47 Posted by MetalGearSunny (7465 posts) -

Mark Meer is crazier hair. Thus, he is better than Jennifer Hale. 

#48 Posted by CL60 (17120 posts) -

I'm honestly surprised by the amount of Jennifer Hale love...her voice just really annoys me when she is playing female shepard.

#49 Posted by Atlas (2567 posts) -

Jennifer Hale, without question. She is among the highest echelon of video game voice actors/actresses working today.

#50 Posted by Nexas (644 posts) -

Fem Shep sounds way to cartoony for me. I prefer Meer's nonchalant "I don't give a damn" attitude.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.