Just who is Troy Baker? He’s an American that you may have heard voicing Vincent in Catherine, Two-Face in Batman Arkham City, and Snow in Final Fantasy XIII. The list goes on and on but that is quite the resume. The top of that resume is Booker DeWitt in BioShock Infinite.
In a recent interview with The Escapist, Baker talked about his voice acting experience with the newest game from Irrational Games. Joining the BioShock voice team is quite the accomplishment and no easy task. The implications associated and what’s expected from anything BioShock has the bar set quite high.
"I suppose my first step was to freak out and ask Ken [Levine] what the hell he was thinking!" Baker said in preparing for the role, and deciding how best to give Booker his personality with the help of Irrational Games' creative director and co-founder Ken Levine. "I'm a huge fan of Bioshock and the thought of shaking things up on such a fundamental level was…horrifically disconcerting. Coupled with that the 'golden rule' of FPS that you don't voice the player, I was justifiably nervous.
"Ken has drilled a phrase in my head: 'Drain the swamp.' Something about that phrase really resonated with me. Basically, it means to strip myself of all the ideas I have and normal choices I would make to try to make something better and just trust the writing and more aptly, trust the character."
I really like Baker’s view on his understanding the importance of this roll. His quotes even show that he understands what is important to game voice acting. I tip my hat to that. Huge bonus points as well for being familiar with the BioShock series. He’s right, voicing the person behind the action in an FPS is quite the difficult task. Those who do it usually voice ‘larger than life’ ego heavy characters who cliché into one liners. DeWitt will be far more complicated and indepth.
From the trailers and what I’ve seen from game footage, I have to admit Baker is doing an excellent job so far. While focus is often on Courtnee Draper and her work with the voice of the female protagonist Elizabeth, it’s good to see someone covering the character you actually play as. I have no doubt the duo will wow us all in BioShock Infinite with their passion and chemistry. This is such a highly anticipated game in my eyes.