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Out of the Shadows!

Posted by Adam Badke

Hot on the heels of last week’s in-engine community teaser video, today the Eidos-Montréal Thief team is incredibly excited to bring you the first official trailer for Thief!

Eidos-Montreal’s Thief allows players to experience the fantasy of being Garrett, THE master thief on PC, PS4 and other next generation consoles. To learn more about the trailer, I spoke with Narrative Director Steven Gallagher and Audio Director Jean-Christophe Verbert to answer a question that we know has been on the minds of our fans.

So, I’ll cut right to the chase here... On behalf of the community, I have to ask: was Stephen Russell ever considered for the role of Garrett?

Steven: Yes, absolutely, Stephen was considered quite heavily. We actually had him in for some preliminary vocal recordings in fact.

Jean-Christophe: Yes, it was actually very early during development at that time that we had him involved, before we made the decision to record our actor’s voices and their movement at the same time using a full performance capture technique.

What’s full performance capture?

Jean-Christophe: Fans at home might have seen a little bit about this during our earlier Game Informer coverage, actually. It’s when we capture the full performance of an actor all at once – the voice, movements and facial animations, all in one take. The actors all wear a full mocap suit, including a microphone, a helmet and a face-tracking camera, and we record the entire scene with every character, all at once.

What are the benefits of a full performance capture?

Jean-Christophe: Immersion. Being able to capture the voice at the same time as the actors' movements and facial expressions, all while the actors play off each other, delivers a much more convincing experience than traditional techniques of recording each characters' dialogue separately and then animating everything by hand afterwards.

Steven: Yes, exactly that. Immersion. We want Thief to be a really rich, story-driven experience. Being able to deliver the narrative in the most convincing and believable way is a really important part of providing that experience.

So, back to Stephen Russell then. Why did using a full performance capture technique effect your decision?

Steven: With the new visual of Garrett we'd created, we found that there was a disconnect that we couldn't ignore between the concepted character and Stephen’s voice today.

Jean-Christophe: Yes. And to answer your question directly, the actor playing Garrett needed to be able to perform his own stunts. 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.

Steven: 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... It’s a nice thought, but honestly, it wouldn’t make sense for anything else other than nostalgia.

Thanks guys.

We’ll be bringing you more from the guys on the first official trailer soon. Plus, hot on its heels, we’ll also be introducing you to the voice of Garrett himself. To top that, we’ll also be bringing you the very FIRST, exclusive, in-game footage of Thief in just a few days. Looking forward to sharing more with you all!

Let us know how you enjoyed the trailer in the comments below! For more on Thief, check out the official forums and don’t forget to like Thief on Facebook!

Comments

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whosthat

When I read that a new thief game was coming, I thought "FINALLY!!!!". I know its just a trailer, but I just didn't get that "Thief " feeling from it. I hope there's more trailers with in-game footage. PLEASE don't f@#k this up!!

HavocXtreme

This

Quote KRIZTOFFERSWANK, "James Earl Jones voiced Darth Vader just fine and I don't think anybody felt there was a disconnect between body/stunt and voice performer. I think that is the weakest reasoning conjured up. Russell being older also doesn't matter because he IS Garrett for crying out loud.

Will the new game even feature the low-wattage "electronic baroque" ambient (and sometimes industrial) music by Eric Brosius? Will the digitally-painted cutscenes still be there? Or is this new game basically throwing away many of the elements that made "Thief" so strongly unique and fascinating?

If Eidos are dead-set on not bringing in Stephen Russell to reprise his role (and I have zero interest in a Garrett not voiced by him, and Garrett is one of my favorite video game characters), I hope they at least have the sense to bring back Benny Sinclair so that Russell is still attached in some way. Or do you need mocap for a bumbling oaf as well?

Previously, "Thief 4" was a must-buy-no-matter-what. Now it's relegated to I'll-keep-my-eye-on-it-and-see-what-the-reviews-are-like."

KriztofferSwank

James Earl Jones voiced Darth Vader just fine and I don't think anybody felt there was a disconnect between body/stunt and voice performer. I think that is the weakest reasoning conjured up. Russell being older also doesn't matter because he IS Garrett for crying out loud.

Will the new game even feature the low-wattage "electronic baroque" ambient (and sometimes industrial) music by Eric Brosius? Will the digitally-painted cutscenes still be there? Or is this new game basically throwing away many of the elements that made "Thief" so strongly unique and fascinating?

If Eidos are dead-set on not bringing in Stephen Russell to reprise his role (and I have zero interest in a Garrett not voiced by him, and Garrett is one of my favorite video game characters), I hope they at least have the sense to bring back Benny Sinclair so that Russell is still attached in some way. Or do you need mocap for a bumbling oaf as well?

Previously, "Thief 4" was a must-buy-no-matter-what. Now it's relegated to I'll-keep-my-eye-on-it-and-see-what-the-reviews-are-like.

olivetum-th

Maybe it wasn't well-handled saying that you are declining my right to be nostalgic. You are just killing it in some way changing his voice.

olivetum-th

I think that replaying original games for nine years after DS and waiting four years after announcement of Thief 4, brought most of Garrett's fans to the point of nostalgia. As ZenKat posted "the only reason this development project exists and you're currently employed is nostalgia" We've been waiting for a long time to meet Garrett again and to hear his voice. Why are you declining my right to be nostalgic about it?

Bubak75

Developers, I played all Thief games. I love this game serie. Without voice Stephen Russel this game will not be a full-fledged . His (Stephen Russel) voice is Garretts voice!!!! Sorry, but this is reality.

Random_Taffer

I really want to be wrong about this, but this full motion capture business really feels like nothing but a gimmick akin to 3D movies. Smoke and mirrors.
If it's a first person game, how the heck does full motion capture of the main character improve immersion? Don't you have to be in third person to see him talking?

Are we really going to feel "immersed" during a third-person cut-scene?

I hate to say it, but it sounds like simply a marketing ploy to sell the game as "improved immersion." And I REALLY doubt sacrificing Russell- an essential part of the Thief experience- was worth whatever improved "immersion" the player gets from seeing their character from the outside for a few moments in an uncontrollable cut-scene.

We don't want Giovanni Auditore da Firenze.
We want Garrett.

Moscato1

Those reasons are just....well, let me say that If I could pay 60 bucks to have this game never even happen, I would.

Emeshke

Garret without Stephen Russel is Indiana Jones without Harrison Ford... he IS the Thief feeling. If it's still possible, make him say those lines...
though i'll buy the game whatsoever...

LightstormStudios

Oh, and I'll be buying Splinter Cell: Blacklist, even though the decision was made NOT to cast Ironside as Sam...

LightstormStudios

Wow, MasterForger, thank you for answering on behalf of all Thief fans. Almost no fans buying the game? Give me a break...

Why the hell is everyone jumping ship on this great franchise? Not even giving this a shot? Taking your ball and going home?

Look, I get it; Russell is ingrained in our brains. We enjoyed 3 Garrett adventures with Russell's voice in our headphones. Listen to the trailer again. It's not like it's friggin' TERRIBLE. A whiny teenager? C'mon…

Do you guys always stomp your feet as you go upstairs when you don't get your way? I am looking forward to this game because I am a TRUE fan of the Thief franchise. I will buy this game because I am confident it will be developed with the same verve as the originals. Russell or not; Bad reviews or not.

And I have a feeling each of you bitching about the absence of Stephen will do the same. You might even PREORDER.

MasterForger

Change to Russel or suffer the consequences of almost no fans buying the game

Agent_Smashing

I'll still play the game, but what a horrible decision, there are tons of other games that manage voice acting over character stunts, hell that indicated a better voice actor: someone who can sound like they're performing actions when they're not! Stephen Russell is Garrett, you've made a HUGE mistake, nothing against the new guy but his voice doesn't work for me. He sounds like a whiny teenager.

SuuperTommyy

It's disrespectfull towards the fans and Stephen Russell to go for another voice actor. Hitman Absolution managed with mo-cap and the original voice actor, why can't you? Stephen Russel IS Garrett, no one else can do it like him.

I've lost a lot of interest in this game because of this. No one can do sarcasm like Stephen Russell. You just blew it.

ZenKat

You do realize the only reason this development project exists and you're currently employed is nostalgia?

Please stop using the word "immersion" after you've wasted so much time experimenting with the 3rd person perspective in a Thief game.

somesortofmech

Whatever the motivations were to NOT use Stephen Russell, the reasons TO use him are obvious and vital. The team who made DXHR went to great lengths to pay homage to the original DX games while still making their own unique modern experience. THAT is what made their game such a landmark.

It would serve the thief4 team to humble themselves to the idea that the character ase was is greater than their vision of who he could be. So why not make the voice (which is inseparable from the character) FIT a new vision, instead of arrogantly insisting that your new vision of Garrett trumps other aspects of the original character... in this case reffering specifically to the voice.

SkotosemeFlac

Stephen Russell not being the voice (any? any? verify this will you?) characters, especially Garrett, in this reboot sucks.

But it is not a deal-breaker for anyone who hasn't honestly lost their mind.

SomekindofDevil

There is nothing and never will be like Garrett speaking with a voice of someone else than Stephen Russel. Call me hater but I'd rather forgive you focusing on action than changing his voice. For now this game can rot in hell, I won't play it. And how it could help with immersion if it's first person camera so gamer won't see Garretts face almost all the time?

_Wep0n

come on, the fact that russell is not playing garrett is a pity, but not a serious concern... there are alot more questions which arise from this trailer... the music for example. it appears tu be a huge departure from the original. and what i missed was a certain steampunky tone... and still wondering what the heck is going on with the hammerites/pagans/zombies... only gameplay footage or an extensive trailer/interview could answer these urgent questions...

for me, the only important thing is to get the tone right. they might manage that whitout russells voice, but there is currently no proof that it feels like a thief game. the trailer feels more like dishonored than anything else...
i am still looking for a distinction. the distinction between "just a good game" and "a brilliant thief masterpiece".

adhaaltair

Taking a huge guess here based on what I've seen in the video for Game Informer's coverage on the full performance capture for Thief...pretty sure the actor who plays our new Garrett (including voice) is Romano Orzari. It looks like him in the GI mocap coverage vid!!! AC fans like myself know and will recognize him as Ezio's dad from AC2, Giovanni Auditore. He was also in the short film "Assassin's Creed: Lineage" where he also played Giovanni. I don't know for sure but I'm confident it's him who is our new Garrett. I'm actually pretty excited for this!!! I think it'll be great :) I do miss that Stephen Russell won't be Garrett but I understand why....it's a reboot, new look so new voice. I'm still excited and can't wait to play Thief again!!! It's been too long!!! 10 years.....just have to wait a bit longer :) Thanks Thief development team for bringing back a legendary game :)

spencer161

I too feel the need to voice my distaste for the studio's decision to go with a voice other than Stephen Russell's. Stephen's voice makes Garrett the character he is. What if Ubisoft had decided to change old Ezio’s voice in Assassin’s Creed Revelations because his voice wasn’t “athletic” enough (despite his old age)? The character of Ezio (whom we spent three games playing as doing all sorts of athletic things) would no longer be Ezio. Just like Garrett is no longer really Garrett. "Reboot" or not, the studio's reasoning of "Because Garrett is especially athletic now, we didn't want to use the original voice because it didn't fit. So we're going to axe the most important and defining characteristic of the main character in favor of our mocap actor with the added benefit that he apparently possesses a more athletic voice”. This is an absolute F.U. to fans and to Stephen. Eidos and Square will do well to heed the call of true fans - the one’s who have played the games since the late 90s and have supported this new game since 2009 - and bring Stephen back to the role he created. It is NOT too late.

GarretDenton

Please Eidos Montreal bring back Stephen Russel. The original character won many awards and praise from various gaming publications. Why? Because of the voice acting that Russel lent to it. As you play throughout the series you really learn alot about Garret, not just from what he says, or how he says it, but something that transcends explanation. In other words, Stephen Russell is the soul essence to Garett and Thief.

Random_Taffer

If only Garrett had some kind of...mask or something to cover his mouth and fix those pesky mocap issues...

Comparing the likeness of casting SR to casting Sean Connery as Bond was not only completely bogus but, frankly, disrespectful. It's bad reasoning and you know it. The fact that you had Stephen in and STILL went with someone else is really horrible. As posted above, other games have had separate voices to the mocap actors. You're doing the long-time fans and yourselves a disservice here.

If you stick with this same guy (Jason Statham with a thinly veiled accent), you should ditch the mechanical eye and change the main character's name to Gary.

SneaksieManfool

No Russell > No Garrett > No Buy

uurnge

I'm out.

TheMich

No. No, no, no, no. I'm sorry, but this is all wrong. Russell is inextricably associated with Garrett - his voice work has *defined* him. The community's desire to have him back might be only nostalgia, but here's the thing: the whole franchise is coming back because of nostalgia!! The fans want the original character back, and with that, the original voice actor. EM, you're making the biggest mistake possible!

There are many arguments that can be put forth in favor of Russell, but let me just reply to this post. Here, it is stated that this decision is motivated by the new mobcap technology and argue that having a different voice would ruin immersion. There are many reasons why this is absolutely wrong: first of all, the discipline of voice acting has been around quite a while, and because of this dubbing is not a problem. Voice actors of great talent (like Russell) have done this for years. Think of all animated films or foreign movie dubbing. If what is written in the post were true, nobody would watch those because of lack of immersion. We've had a great example of this working just now - in Bioshock: Infinite, Elizabeth has two separate actresses for the mocap and the voice! Look how great that rendition is!

Secondly, if you're looking for immersion, then know that changing the actor for a well-known and beloved character is possibly the thing that would hurt immersion the most: maybe for newcomers it wouldn't be a big deal, but for everyone else it would, since playing again as Garrett with a different voice would be too jarring and off-putting. Think of going to see the new Iron Man movie and realizing that the actor playing Tony Stark is not Robert Downey Jr., but someone else slightly similar. It would be weird, alienating and, most of all, it would have dire consequences for the filmmakers!

Lastly, I can't fathom why this is an issue at all. We're talking about the slight differences in lip-synching of a character that is meant to be played in first person and that covers the lower half of his own face. Come on!

Please, please reconsider your decision and change course of action now while you're still in time. I can guarantee that you won't regret it and nobody will mind the fact of having two different performances for the voice and mocap of Garrett. Call Stephen Russell now and it will be a win-win situation. IO interactive recognized their mistake in the nick of time for the last Hitman, don't be the ones to set this kind of precedent. Observe what's happening with the new Metal Gear and Splinter Cell! Do it for the franchise, do it for yourselves, and do it for us fans.

LukeDevoux

I'm glad to hear that Stephen Russell was considered an can see why you decided to not go that route, Thank You for at least attempting that. I am wondering about Garret's Right eye, seeing as how he got his real eye back at the end of Deadly Shadows, should be an interesting story behind that.

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