When you think of racing video games, it’s hard to imagine a game investing in great actors and talent in voice acting, but Codemasters is willing to challenge the standards in its new release Dirt 5. And who better than the legendary Nolan North and Troy Baker to show us that racing games can include engaging narratives?
The duo, who already shone in established roles, will now bring rival pilots Alex “AJ Janicek” (Troy Baker, Joel from The Last of Us) and Bruno Durand (Nolan North, Nathan Drake from Uncharted) to life. At the invitation of the producer, we participated in a press conference with the actors and had the opportunity to ask some questions directly to both. Check out the best moments of the chat below!
Raising the narrative in racing games
Troy, how was your process to find AJ’s voice? How much has the developer delivered you ready with the character, and how much was your authorism?
“The reality is that it was a partnership, because they worked very well telling me who AJ was, and not only that, who they needed AJ to become as well. And all the information they gave me was not just an extensive biography, it was more in the style ‘so it happened to him, and it motivated him to be that way, that’s what put him behind the wheel’. Everything in AJ’s life was driven by passion. Even obstacles prove to be opportunities for him. ”
And how is AJ’s personality? How does your dynamic work with Bruno?
“It is easy to expect a stereotyped and exaggerated hero, but AJ is more like a thinker before speaking. And if that is your protagonist, by table, he also dictates how the antagonist should be. The force opposing AJ could never be a cartoon villain, like a Dick Swindler laughing by the side of the road making Machiavellian plans. The dynamic here is more like the Beatles versus the Rolling Stones, about how Bruno can motivate AJ to become a better driver and person.
In this context, rivalry is not so much a problem, it is more of a teacher and motivator. Philosophically, it may seem like I’m exaggerating a little, but that’s really what attracted me in the narrative (laughs). So I love that this game is coming out now: racing games are usually about overcoming obstacles in your path, and I think we need that today more than ever. Here’s the story we want to tell you. What are you going to do with it? How will you show what you’ve learned? How will the world around you change? ”