Troy Baker is going to be a bit more than just a voice this time around, as his latest work in Middle-earth: Shadow of War is also leading him to direct the game’s motion capture. Baker has played a variety of other characters such as Booker DeWitt, Joel, and Samuel Drake.
In Middle-earth: Shadow of War, Baker will be returning to the role of Talion, which is apparently one of his favorites. Talion is the protagonist of Shadow of War and its predecessor, Shadow of Mordor. A former Ranger of Gondor, Talion is possessed by the ghost of the elven smith Celebrimbor, and together the pair work to bring down Sauron from within.
Baker is going to be doing this a bit more literally though, since he’s going to be in charge of motion capture efforts for the game. This means that Troy Baker would also be working with Monolith’s cinematics director, animation director, and game director in order to help to work the motion capture poses and sequences into the game.
Motion capture allows for a smoother sort of movement than hand-animating each animation would be, and also helps to make more realistic faces to cut down on the uncanny valley (so long as it’s done well). In this sort of way, Troy Baker actually is Talion, doing all of his movements, his actions, and his voice, which is all recorded on the motion capture stage.
Middle-earth: Shadow of War promises to be bigger than Shadow of Mordor in every way, not just in area (as you’ll have even more regions to explore) but also in mechanics, as you’ll also get to lead an army of Orcs to conquer Mordor for yourself, fighting Sauron in a more conventional way.
Shadow of War will be coming out on October 10 for Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC.