Halo 4 is the most emotional title in the franchise – at least in terms of acting – according to Cortana actor Jen Taylor, who has discussed 343’s approach to dialogue recording and how she was allowed to “go a little crazy” this time. Beware potential spoilers.
In an interview with NBC News, Taylor revealed that Halo 4 as the first game that saw both herself and Master Chief actor Steve Downes recording dialogue together in the same sound booth.
On the matter, Taylor said, “That’s the first time it’s ever happened. We’ve never been in the room together. So our connection is pretty intense. To have somebody go through any kind of an emotional scene there with you — it makes it more real somehow”
” It feels more authentic to work off of somebody, “Taylor continued, “Even the happy-go-lucky scenes and the wry scenes are more fun. Steve and I get along incredibly well. So it made it more emotional, more intense. Everything is more heightened because you are experiencing the journey with someone else.”
VG247 played a fair bit of Halo 4 at the preview stage, and yes, both Master Chief and Cortana share a lot of engaging scenes together, as the latter deals with rampancy brought on by her diminished life-span.
On playing the increasingly berserk Cortana in Halo 4, Taylor revealed her experience, “I was given very different work to do this time. The character is going through some big changes. She has quite a different journey in this game from what she’s ever had.”
“So I got to do some different things. Did I approach it differently? Not really. I tried to stay as authentic to her as I could. She’s just on a different path, if that makes sense. But it was fun. Really fun.”
It’s not all emo and plight however, as Taylor discusses her original brief for Cortana back when Halo: Combat Evolved was being developed. The descriptor still stands.
“You know, when I was initially cast, something the guys at Bungie said to me was, ‘This character is in your head all the time. She is your best guide and the best aid that you have — the only guide and the only aid really.”
“So we don’t want her to sound naggy, we don’t want her to be a pain.’ They wanted her to be like the girl next door, your best friend that you want to hang out with.And she’s that and so much more, because she is so smart.”
“Obviously she knows more than we could possibly know. It’s always fun to play a character that is powerful in that way.”
Halo 4 is out November 6th in all territories. Expect to find out more about Chief and Cortana’s struggle at the review phase.