Konami Pre-E3 Show - Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Well, it’s been an emotional few months since we last heard from the game, with confirmations from Kojima that Snake’s/Big Boss’s iconic voice actor, David Hayter, was to be recast. Today, we finally found out who is to replace him, and the news is kind of mixed: The new voice actor has been revealed as the star of hit series ‘24’, Keifer Sutherland.

Now, on the bad side, many are going to be unhappy that Hayter has been recast, myself included. On the surface, it seems like a completely unnecessary move on Kojima’s part, with many people unwilling to accept the recasting as being needed at all, but there are reasons for this change of character. The first reason is completely subjective, but it’s a reason I can get behind: Big Boss needs to age, to change. As he ages, his voice actor needs to change and adapt to the situations the character will find himself in. This brings me to the second reason, which is more so a technical problem.

As Kojima stated, they wanted to fully utilise the FOX engine as much as possible, meaning the use of motion capture and voice acting as a single package, in order to make everything on screen seem more believable. The demonstration showed Keifer talking while acting; this is something Hayter could not have done. Hayter puts on his voice, it isn’t natural to him, something people would know if they’ve ever seen videos of him in the studio. This was highly evident during the making of MGS4, as he had a very hard time portraying an older Snake. The new engine requires the voice actor to be face captured while they talk, so the mouth and muscle movement is believable to audiences. With Hayter not using his normal voice, this unfortunately made him the weak link in the chain. Everybody else on the cast list uses their natural voice, this is also the reason why the Japanese voice cast remains unchanged, because there is no disconnect between their voice and their face. It sucks, but it’s what it is.

At the end of the day, the series has been going for a very long time now, and the thing I’m most excited about is the gameplay. With MGSV being the first fully open world game in the series, and the tech behind it looking better than ever, this is sure to be a real treat of an experience. What better way to bring that point across than to give us an actor that could whisk the part away to new heights, giving us even greater emotional depth. Personally, as a massive fan of the series, I’m quite looking forward to seeing what Keifer brings to the table. I don’t think it would be fair to write him off just yet. Faith is all that is needed here.

Check out the reveal trailer below

Comment 1
George Prax's picture

Naturally there were some financial issues too, Kiefer Sutherland is a big star and having his name attached to the game will mean good things for Konami, but he's a great actor with an amazing voice for this kind of thing, so while the hardcore fans might be upset, I see this as a positive. I know that a lot of people might have an issue with it in the sense that his voice is very distinctive and the fact that he's played Jack Bauer for so long might come to the forefront when people first hear him, but I think they'll forget about that rather quickly.