Eidos Confirms New Lead Voice Actor For Thief

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Eidos Confirms New Lead Voice Actor For Thief

Eidos Montreal says the voice actor portraying Garrett in the Thief reboot needs to be able to perform his own stunts.

The Thief trailer released on April 1 looked not entirely bad but the absence of Stephen Russell, the man who so effectively portrayed the lead character of Garrett in the first three games, made fans of the franchise somewhat less than happy. And now, despite hope that the voice in the trailer was just a placeholder, Eidos Montreal has confirmed that Russell is in fact out.

Russell was considered "quite heavily" and was actually brought in for some early voice recordings, but the studio eventually decided to record voice and movement at the same time with a "full performance capture technique," and that left the veteran voice actor out in the cold.

"The actor playing Garrett needed to be able to perform his own stunts," Audio Director Jean-Christophe Verbert explained. "Garrett's a really athletic guy. We could have pasted Stephen's voice on top of the actions and stunts of someone else, but this wouldn't appear natural. It really wouldn't make any sense to capture the full performance for our other characters, but not for our star."

"We're absolutely huge fans of Stephen's work on the classic Thief games. But when it came down to it, we ultimately realized that holding onto Steven as the voice of Garrett just for the sake of our nostalgia would be like wanting to cast Sean Connery again in the new 007 movies," Narrative Director Steven Gallagher added. "It's a nice thought, but honestly, it wouldn't make sense for anything else other than nostalgia."

It's arguable that nostalgia is the entire basis for making Thief 4 - it's a new game in a 15-year-old franchise, after all - but if you wanted to be argumentative you could simply point out the rather large body of work that already exists in which professional voice acting is effectively laid over animated characters, or ask why it's even relevant in what is, as far as I know, a first-person game. That's not to dismiss Eidos' explanation outright, but it is a tricky position to argue; regardless of what you think of it, however, the bottom line is that Russell is out, new guy is in and, aside from slapping your name on the inevitable petition, there's not a thing you can do about it.

Source: Eidos Montreal

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I dont get why people will get (because they will) so angry about this, like seriously, someone could decide to make a Timesplitters or a Conker Bad Fur Day (some of my favorite games) sequel and change the voice actor that I wouldnt mind. I would prefer to have the original, sure, but its not like it ruins the game, especially with Thief.

PS: And the guys easily justify their choice here

Well, at least they had a reason

Still waiting to hear from you, Konami

Andy Chalk:

It's arguable that nostalgia is the entire basis for making Thief 4 - it's a new game in a 15-year-old franchise, after all.

Except it's no longer Thief 4, it's a reboot.

I like the James Bond analogy they used, it's right on the money. Sure there's a difference in that you can tailor the body to fit the voice in games as opposed to films where overdubbing is unnatural, but there comes a time when you have to let go of the past.
It's a 15 year old franchise, this isn't like DmC where they're completely butchering the mythos, it's an evolution of the game to bring it into the modern industry.

This may inevitably bring some aspects of 'broadening' the gameplay to appeal to a wider audience, but honestly Thief fans should just be glad the project is actually alive, rather than it fading into obscurity- like Timesplitter, or being done poorly- like Duke Nukem Forever.

Just happy they're making a new one.

Andy Chalk:
But when it came down to it, we ultimately realized that holding onto Steven as the voice of Garrett just for the sake of our nostalgia would be like wanting to cast Sean Connery again in the new 007 movies,"

He's not THAT old!
image
Still it's good for consistency. Who's voice did they use for the trailer?

DVS BSTrD:

Andy Chalk:
But when it came down to it, we ultimately realized that holding onto Steven as the voice of Garrett just for the sake of our nostalgia would be like wanting to cast Sean Connery again in the new 007 movies,"

He's not THAT old!
image
Still it's good for consistency. ho's voice did they use for the trailer?

They used the new guy for the trailer. That's what started the whole thing, because fans were upset that Russell wasn't in the trailer.

josemlopes:
I dont get why people will get (because they will) so angry about this, like seriously, someone could decide to make a Timesplitters or a Conker Bad Fur Day (some of my favorite games) sequel and change the voice actor that I wouldnt mind. I would prefer to have the original, sure, but its not like it ruins the game, especially with Thief.

PS: And the guys easily justify their choice here

Except the older games have always been in first person, so they shouldn't even need to motion capture Garrett.

Is this a reboot or a sequel, cause if it's a reboot then using a new VA makes sense.

Same idiocy they pulled for Splinter Cell and the new actor for Sam Fisher. I call it actor since they seem to love that full motion capture acting BS. We want the proper VOICE actor since that's the principal element of the characterization of Garrett that we experience as players. I don't want a bunch of fancy cutscenes that are obviously the main reason for kicking Russell to the curb. One of the great things about Thief was the subtlety of the cutscenes and the thoughts and comments we got from Garrett while playing the different levels, coming across different stuff.

When I saw the trailer I didn't really care either way about the different voice actor. Now that the reason is "oh, we want someone young who can do stunts BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT VOICE ACTORS NEED TO DO" I'm getting this game at an extreme sale price on Steam if I get it at all.

I was fine up until that stupid chase and jump out the window bit. Thief was about making sure nobody knew you were there, getting in and out as quietly as possible. And the fact that they have Garret doing stunts bothers the shit out of me. Garret was not a stunt man. Stunts are how you show off and Garret was not a show off.

Andy Chalk:
there's not a thing you can do about it.

Yes, there is.

I won't buy the game :)

Well at least they had their artistic reasons and they stated it right from the start. This is more than the usual PR from your standart developer

In other news, the lead developer must be a good cook, the PR Officer must know how to tap dance, and the CEO must look good in a bikini.Are they actually going to to have Garrett say a ton of stupid repetitive one-liners every time he performs a QTE?

That's it, I quit. The video game industry is full of chuckle-heads who want to superimpose gimmicks on top of actual game-play and depth.

Andy Chalk:
"The actor playing Garrett needed to be able to perform his own stunts,"

So the guy will be talking and swordfighting at the exact same time...? Because a lot of movies, the thing they seem so desperate to mimic, have these innovative things called "stuntmen" who are called when the actor doesn't need to be seen or heard close-up during the actual stunt, seeing as the skill set for driving a car while on fire and the skill set for memorizing a page of text and reciting it with proper emotion rarely overlap.

But I guess that's impossible here, what with the full-motion video that has the actual actor visible in closeup at all times and not some future sci-fi 3D representation that could be played by multiple people without it being obvious....

I have no horse in this particular race, never having played Thief, but this excuse is so weak I'm still somehow annoyed.


CrossLOPER:
the CEO must look good in a bikini.

OH FUCK BOBBY KOTICK IMAGE IN MY HEAD NEED BRAIN BLEACH

kailus13:

Except the older games have always been in first person, so they shouldn't even need to motion capture Garrett.

This.
The fact that they need full body mocap for Garrett is concerning. I am not sure what kind of game are they making. Steampunk Mass Effect with stealth elements, third person action game, what is it precious, what is it, or will be whatever? This is troubling news. I was looking forward to play the new Thief but I am not anymore.

Formica Archonis:
OH FUCK BOBBY KOTICK IMAGE IN MY HEAD NEED BRAIN BLEACH

Can someone good at photoshop get on this please.

Undomesticated Equine:

kailus13:

Except the older games have always been in first person, so they shouldn't even need to motion capture Garrett.

This.
The fact that they need full body mocap for Garrett is concerning. I am not sure what kind of game are they making. Steampunk Mass Effect with stealth elements, third person action game, what is it precious, what is it, or will be whatever? This is troubling news. I was looking forward to play the new Thief but I am not anymore.

The only reason I can think of is if it's third person. As much as I enjoy Assasins Creed, I do not want Thief to turn into it.

That's a very weak excuse. As they said, they could've just used the stuntman's motion and Stephen Russel's voice - and no, it wouldn't feel unnatural. It worked great in many good games in the past.

They are obviously not going to give this franchise the respect it deserves. If they don't care about Thief's nostalgic value, then let them rely on gamers unfamiliar with the franchise to buy their game. We'll see how well that will work. If it'll get good reviews, I might buy it on a Steam sale months after release.

kailus13:

Formica Archonis:
OH FUCK BOBBY KOTICK IMAGE IN MY HEAD NEED BRAIN BLEACH

Can someone good at photoshop get on this please.

Undomesticated Equine:

kailus13:

Except the older games have always been in first person, so they shouldn't even need to motion capture Garrett.

This.
The fact that they need full body mocap for Garrett is concerning. I am not sure what kind of game are they making. Steampunk Mass Effect with stealth elements, third person action game, what is it precious, what is it, or will be whatever? This is troubling news. I was looking forward to play the new Thief but I am not anymore.

The only reason I can think of is if it's third person. As much as I enjoy Assasins Creed, I do not want Thief to turn into it.

They stated some actions make you go into third person but majority of the time your in first person...

Korten12:
They stated some actions make you go into third person but majority of the time your in first person...

So they're messing with the camera, thus ruining any sense of immersion and flow? Everything I hear about this game makes it seem worse.

Do I lament the loss of the original voice actor? Yes. He was amazing, he was probably half the reason the Thief games were so awesome.

But I'd still rather have a new Thief game (and I mean a THIEF game, you cram any inappropriate action/shooter bullshit in there, Eidos, and I will personally make it my mission to take a massive dump in the game box and leave it outside the studio's doors. And no cutting the game out half way through like you did with Human Revolution, either. I don't want another cock-tease) than sulk around for something like this.

Seriously, Don't Fuck This Up! I had no expectations for Human Revolution, since the 2nd game was so horribly bad, but Thief 3 was still a good game, despite falling short of it's predecessors.

kailus13:

Korten12:
They stated some actions make you go into third person but majority of the time your in first person...

So they're messing with the camera, thus ruining any sense of immersion and flow? Everything I hear about this game makes it seem worse.

Ehh, I wouldn't be so pessimistic yet. There's a bunch of 3rd person stuff in Human Revolution as well, and that worked out much better than I would have though (and I'm a massive fan of the original Deus Ex). It makes even more sense in Thief since there's a fair bit of acrobatics to be done. I just hope they don't get rid of the light/darkness stealth mechanic like they did in HR. It worked in HR, but it's too much of a core Thief mechanic.

I do hope to god that 3rd person stuff doesn't mean combat and action stuff or some horrible parkour thingy. The guys at Eidos aren't stupid enough to try that... Right?

VladG:

kailus13:

Korten12:
They stated some actions make you go into third person but majority of the time your in first person...

So they're messing with the camera, thus ruining any sense of immersion and flow? Everything I hear about this game makes it seem worse.

Ehh, I wouldn't be so pessimistic yet. There's a bunch of 3rd person stuff in Human Revolution as well, and that worked out much better than I would have though (and I'm a massive fan of the original Deus Ex). It makes even more sense in Thief since there's a fair bit of acrobatics to be done. I just hope they don't get rid of the light/darkness stealth mechanic like they did in HR. It worked in HR, but it's too much of a core Thief mechanic.

I do hope to god that 3rd person stuff doesn't mean combat and action stuff or some horrible parkour thingy. The guys at Eidos aren't stupid enough to try that... Right?

Why does it need acrobatics though? You can complete the entirety of Thief 2 at walking pace if you're good enough!

As to the parkour, they're already stealing the plot from Dishonored.

kailus13:

VladG:

kailus13:

So they're messing with the camera, thus ruining any sense of immersion and flow? Everything I hear about this game makes it seem worse.

Ehh, I wouldn't be so pessimistic yet. There's a bunch of 3rd person stuff in Human Revolution as well, and that worked out much better than I would have though (and I'm a massive fan of the original Deus Ex). It makes even more sense in Thief since there's a fair bit of acrobatics to be done. I just hope they don't get rid of the light/darkness stealth mechanic like they did in HR. It worked in HR, but it's too much of a core Thief mechanic.

I do hope to god that 3rd person stuff doesn't mean combat and action stuff or some horrible parkour thingy. The guys at Eidos aren't stupid enough to try that... Right?

Why does it need acrobatics though? You can complete the entirety of Thief 2 at walking pace if you're good enough!

As to the parkour, they're already stealing the plot from Dishonored.

You *could* complete the game at walking pace, sure. You could also stack up on Rope Arrows and explore, jump from chandelier to roof-beam and giggle (obviously in a gruff, ironic way) at the silly guards walking obliviously below. Quite frankly that's one of aspects that made the game great: exploration and diversity.

Again, I've seen a better implementation than I would have expected of this limited 3rd person thing in Human Revolution, so I am at least willing to give Eidos the benefit of the doubt. It's also encouraging that they said most of the game will be in first person.

As long as they stick to the core aspects of Thief, I don't mind a little eye-candy.

I actually expect most of this mo-cap work will be done for the cutscenes. There's some evidence to suggest that they might use some high-quality in engine work instead of videos. A fine line to walk, certainly, since the subtle, very lightly animated cutscenes in the other games worked really well with the whole theme and style of the game.

everyone know that mark hamill and kevin conroy were hired by batman devs to make all motioncap stuns... wait... ooooohh

PS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sGkiolDeE0
i guess for edios fans are not important...

PS2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=a6zqFsYuhX4#t=25s

VladG:
You *could* complete the game at walking pace, sure. You could also stack up on Rope Arrows and explore, jump from chandelier to roof-beam and giggle (obviously in a gruff, ironic way) at the silly guards walking obliviously below. Quite frankly that's one of aspects that made the game great: exploration and diversity.

Why have I never tried this before? You sir are now my friend.

VladG:
Again, I've seen a better implementation than I would have expected of this limited 3rd person thing in Human Revolution, so I am at least willing to give Eidos the benefit of the doubt. It's also encouraging that they said most of the game will be in first person.

As long as they stick to the core aspects of Thief, I don't mind a little eye-candy.

I actually expect most of this mo-cap work will be done for the cutscenes. There's some evidence to suggest that they might use some high-quality in engine work instead of videos. A fine line to walk, certainly, since the subtle, very lightly animated cutscenes in the other games worked really well with the whole theme and style of the game.

Those cutscenes were the only thing I didn't like about the previous games. They just seemed so stilted.

In the words of Penny Arcade's own Tycho Brahe, "Loot at what you've done! NOW MY BRAIN IS COMING OUT."
Games industry, you are Literally Trying To Kill Me. David Hayter not voicing Snake in the next Metal Gear, Lucasarts closed down and Star Wars 1313 cancelled, and now new voice actor for Garrett, and for seemingly stupid reasons. So many things that give me just a slight little urge to start slamming my head against the wall.
Until this game comes out and I can play it for myself, I'm gonna go skulk in the corner and continue being pessimistic.

So let me see:

-Compound bow? Check.
Does it fold? Check.

-Emphasis on action? Check
Use of slow motion? Check

VladG:

Ehh, I wouldn't be so pessimistic yet. There's a bunch of 3rd person stuff in Human Revolution as well, and that worked out much better than I would have though (and I'm a massive fan of the original Deus Ex). It makes even more sense in Thief since there's a fair bit of acrobatics to be done. I just hope they don't get rid of the light/darkness stealth mechanic like they did in HR. It worked in HR, but it's too much of a core Thief mechanic.

You mean cover-based stealth?

It was great but gave you godlike powers. It removed any real tension of getting caught as you see them without you getting seen.

kailus13:
snip

The chandelier and wall beam hopping thing you could do really well in a later mission, somewhere in a manor house right before or after a seaside/dock type level if memory serves (damn you modern PC, why won't you run my Thief?!). It also gave you great access to the side rooms without having to disturb doors. But a lot of levels have quite a bit of verticality in them if you explore.

kailus13:

Formica Archonis:
OH FUCK BOBBY KOTICK IMAGE IN MY HEAD NEED BRAIN BLEACH

Can someone good at photoshop get on this please.

I already stuck spark tits on a guy for this site once, not doing it again!

but in bioshock infinite, Elizabeth had 1 person for mo-cap, 1 person for voice, and 1 person for face... What the hell. This is like what the russian bastards did with Postal 3 - kill off the game and not even look for the original voice actor (Rick Hunter).
at least this is a reboot. and no pre-order untill Yahtzee gives it at least as good as Thief 2!!!

Zombine3D:
but in bioshock infinite, Elizabeth had 1 person for mo-cap, 1 person for voice, and 1 person for face... What the hell. This is like what the russian bastards did with Postal 3 - kill off the game and not even look for the original voice actor (Rick Hunter).
at least this is a reboot. and no pre-order untill Yahtzee gives it at least as good as Thief 2!!!

Well, for one thing you'd be hard pressed to pre-order a game that's already been out for a while. Unless you invent time travel (and wouldn't that shove a big black steel cock up the arses of all the assholes who call gaming a childish time waste).

Also it won't be as good as Thief II. It simply can't. There isn't enough of an audience today for a AAA game like that to be actually profitable.

Most gamers lack the patience and the mindset to deal with a true Thief game, and I don't see Eidos pumping a ton of money into a niche game.

That being said, it doesn't mean that the next Thief can't be a good game. Human Revolution showed us that (or at least it would have if they could have actually finished the game instead of cutting it half way through and covering the stump with the world's crappiest ending)

Formica Archonis:

kailus13:

Formica Archonis:
OH FUCK BOBBY KOTICK IMAGE IN MY HEAD NEED BRAIN BLEACH

Can someone good at photoshop get on this please.

I already stuck spark tits on a guy for this site once, not doing it again!

I asked for bikini, not spark tits! But please do elaborate on the matter.

"We did this because it's what you wanted despite the fact that you never said it was.

Also, you can't return our gift."

Eidos: We Asked For This But They Just Shit In A Box And Pretended It Was The Same Thing

bla bla... thats why nolan north will voice garrett this time.

oh man.

lets hope everybody except gilbert godfried turns them down and they have to go with him...

kailus13:
I asked for bikini, not spark tits! But please do elaborate on the matter.

I got a bit weird in the comments to a news item and then-Editor-in-Chief (current Features Editor for Polygon) Russ Pitts had an impromptu contest. Winners got "something awesome", which turned out to be a sexy sexy badge.

Perhaps the thread had best speak for itself: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/jump/7.298866.11865080

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