Halo 4, developer 343 Industries’ first entry in the hugely popular franchise, will be decidedly darker than previous entries in the series, according to Cortana voice actress Jen Taylor.
Speaking to NBC News (via Polygon), Taylor said that recording voice work for Halo 4 proved to be very different from her previous work in the series.
The drama has been ramped up significantly in the next chapter of Cortana and Master Chief’s story, and 343 Industries tried something different — something unusual in the industry — to help convey all of that emotion: They put Taylor and Steve Downes, Master Chief’s voice actor, in the same room.
“That’s the first time it’s ever happened,” Taylor explained. “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. 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.”
In Halo 4, Cortana is revealed to be going “rampant,” which happens when an AI nears the end of its natural lifespan.
“The character is going through some big changes,” Taylor said. “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.”
Halo 4 is due out November 6 exclusively for the Xbox 360.