Move over, Lara Croft, there's a new digitally rendered heroine in town who's sure to keep gamers up way past their bedtimes.
No Doubt's Gwen Stefani lends her voice to the title character in "Malice," an action-adventure game due this fall for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox, according to a spokesperson for game developer Sierra Entertainment Inc. Stefani's bandmates, Tony Kanal (bass), Tom Dumont (guitar) and Adrian Young (drums), provide vocals for other characters in the game.
Three songs from No Doubt's latest album, Rock Steady, "Platinum Blonde Life," "In My Head" and "Detective," are also featured in "Malice," either in their original forms or remixed to suit the game's look and feel.
Stefani, who recorded her vocals last week, gives life to Malice, a hammer-wielding, magic-abusing teenager who travels back in time to right historical wrongs created by the evil Nefarious Rex, whom she must defeat in the final showdown. Twenty-two challenging levels, however, stand between Malice and her destiny.
Sporting red-haired pigtails, baggy jeans and a half-shirt, Malice could be Stefani's spunky little sister. "Malice and Gwen are both kind of bad-ass," said Dumont, No Doubt's most avid gamer. "There's an assertive, empowered nature to the way they approach what they're doing: Gwen rocking the stage, and Malice rocking the game."
The game's creators chose Stefani for Malice's voice because of the feedback they received from a focus group, according to the spokesperson. When asked who Malice most reminded them of, the No Doubt singer was the most popular answer among those polled.
"The Sierra people came to us and proposed that we put some of our songs in this game," Stefani said. "And then it kind of evolved into, 'Well, maybe you guys can be in the game and maybe do the voices.' And that seemed kind of exciting."
The bandmembers were so thrilled to take part in the production of "Malice" that the experience sparked a brief daydream of a creating a video game of their own. So what would "No Doubt: The Game" look like?
"It would be cool to be a band onstage in an amphitheater or arena full of audience members," Dumont said. "We would have weapons, and if there were audience members who were yawning or not participating, or maybe there are some evil guys, like pickpockets, we could shoot them."
"The guys with the laser pointers, kill them," Kanal added.
"Either kill them or maybe just hit them with paint balls," the ever-gentle Dumont said, prompting Stefani's suggestion:
Dumont then looked to Young, "You could hurl drumsticks at them."
"And maim them in the throat?"
Finally Gwen suggested a punishment to deal with her most annoying adversaries. "I could have a thing where I can laser the different girls who are biting my style too hard."