In George Bernard Shaw’s satirical play Pygmalion, flower girl Eliza Doolittle is coercively instructed by Mr. Henry Higgins to pose as a genteel duchess not only in manners and dress, but in lingo as well—a role which espouses far refined a speech for Eliza to emulate. Conversely, in Tom Hooper’s biopic The King Speech, Prince Albert (later known as King George VI), while possessing all the posh to converse in a cultivated discourse, mercilessly lacks the ennobled tongue to speak it, thus compelling him to receive the necessary phonetic lessons to mellow out his stammers. Eliza and Prince Albert then are antipodal—indeed, each one has what the other one severely lacks. Therefore, both characters are distinguished by their voices, and both have a different story to tell and a personal adversity to surmount. The same is precisely true for the voiceless character that could come from a silent film or from a modern videogame; he or she still has an anecdote to share regardless of their verbal shortcomings.
So when Visceral Games decided to give the mechanical engineer Isaac Clarke a voice in Dead Space 2, who has remained practically mute in the original Dead Space, they also had to give him a new personality to go along with it. Because, as it turns out, it is inevitably difficult to tell a story like the one in Dead Space 2—a story that refocuses its tension on the monsters occupying the human psyche rather than those on the outside—without having its leading character utters a grievance or a closer examination on what is truly going on. In other words (and pun is desperately intended here) what has resulted from this voice transplant is two Isaac Clarkes: one whose psychology is the same as the player, and one who is diagnostically different.