Some unheralded Halo 5: Guardians news came out of E3 this week amidst the flood of other announcements and videos. Mike Colter was quietly replaced as the voice actor for Spartan Locke, the leader of Fireteam Osiris and the other playable lead character in the Xbox One exclusive.
Veteran voice actor Ike Amadi has replaced Colter as the voice of Spartan Locke in Halo 5. His IMDb page was updated to reflect the change and also shows that he’s been providing voices in video games since 2008. He’s done work for Mass Effect 3, Grand Theft Auto V, and Knack, among others.
Amadi actually revealed the news earlier in the week via his Twitter account.
— Ikè Amadi (@AfricanWrdsmith) June 12, 2015
Colter is not completely removed from Halo 5. His likeness is still being used and the recent Sprint video documentaries show him doing motion capture work.
Reddit user LairdM was among those that noticed that Spartan Locke’s voice changed in the gameplay demo of Halo 5 during the Xbox E3 media briefing. It was a good catch, and one that might have only been noticed by those who had listened to Locke in the added Halo 2 Anniversary prologue and epilogue scenes.
Amadi’s Tweet above suggests that the change happened before the “Hunt the Truth ad campaign. If so, it went by unnoticed as comments at the time centered around how clever 343 Industries and Microsoft was with the dueling commercials between Master Chief and Spartan Locke.
The change is subtle as Colter and Amadi have similar deep baritone voices, but Amadi’s work does show more range than what Colter demonstrated in Halo 2 Anniversary and Halo: Nightfall.
What sparked the change from Colter to Amadi is unknown. I’ve reached out to Microsoft for a comment, but it could be for any number of reasons. There could have been a schedule conflict for Colter and his work as Luke Cage on the upcoming Netflix series Marvel’s Jessica Jones. There’s also the possibility that 343 Industries needed a little more out of the voice of Spartan Locke as it would be paired up with some truly distinct voices such as Keith David as the Arbiter, Nathan Fillion as Buck, and Steve Downe’s iconic voice as Master Chief.
Whatever the reason, Spartan Locke is expected to be a major character in the Halo franchise going forward. A switch just months before the October 27 release of Halo 5 to the Xbox One definitely raises some eyebrows.
[Images via Halo Waypoint, IMDB]