Troy Baker says voicing Indiana Jones was 'biggest challenge' of his career

Actor also speaks of his work relationship with video game designer Hideo Kojima on the upcoming game Death Stranding 2: On The Beach

Famous voice actor Troy Baker will voice Indiana Jones, a role made famous by Harrison Ford, in a new video game. Photo: Getty Images; Bethesda
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Video game voice actors don’t often reach celebrity status.

However, that isn't the case for Troy Baker, who has become one of the more recognisable voices in the industry. He is known for working on famous games such as Batman: Arkham City, Resident Evil 6, Mortal Kombat X and perhaps most notably, The Last of Us.

Baker’s emotional and sympathetic performance as protagonist Joel Miller in The Last of Us earned him praise and accolades from critics and fans alike.

His next big role is voicing the archaeologist adventurer Indiana Jones in a new video game published by Bethesda Softworks.

Speaking to The National while in Abu Dhabi for Middle East Film & Comic Con, Baker says he knows he has big shoes to fill in voicing a role that was made famous by Harrison Ford.

“It was absolutely my biggest challenge, perhaps in my entire career,” Baker says.

“We knew immediately what we wanted to do and what this needed to be. Our game takes place between Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Last Crusade. So, we know that we needed this to feel like Harrison Ford in 1981.”

The first trailer for the game, titled Indiana Jones and the Great Circle, was revealed last month and shows gameplay from a first-person perspective as Jones takes on Nazi soldiers in his quest.

“We've shown you just as a small amount of the game so far. But [Bethesda] have said that you will be going back and forth between first and third [person perspective],” says Baker.

He says that being able to play the title character from a first-person viewpoint is also a distinct advantage.

“For me as a gamer, I want to be Indy, right? And there's nothing that to me feels more satisfying than when I'm the one doing the whip. We've seen third person action-adventure games that feel very Indiana Jones. To me, this is a very fresh take.”

The game is set for release later this year on the Xbox Series X/S.

Another big project coming up is Baker's role in Death Stranding 2: On the Beach, which was revealed recently during Sony’s State of Play presentation last month. The game is a sequel from Hideo Kojima, who has long been one of the gaming world’s most beloved auteurs. His games have a massive global fan base, and there’s always interest in what he's going to create next.

Baker previously appeared in several of Kojima’s Metal Gear Solid games and is set to return as Higgs Monaghan in the second Death Stranding game. In 2019, Baker not only appeared in Death Stranding, but also had his likeness captured for the game as Higgs. The character in the first game cut a darker figure, draped in black and wore a gold tinted skull mask.

The nine-minute video trailer revealed Baker’s character in a new form, clad in red armour and sporting an electric guitar that shoots lightning at enemies.

“Higgs is very much like a Babushka [doll]. There are masks within masks, within masks,” he says. “I don't even know where [Kojima] pulled his inspiration from. It plays into the narrative, and you understand why he looks the way that he does.”

Death Stranding 2 is the fourth Kojima game that Baker will feature in, and he says a lot of the working relationship between the actors and the Japanese game developer is based on trust.

“He's entrusting Norman [Reedus] and Lea [Seydoux] and myself to bring our best, to do this job,” says Baker.

“But for a lot of people who are coming into this new, it's like you walk into this sound stage where there's no set, there's no costumes, there's no real props and you're having to completely do the theatre of the mind and imagine this.”

Baker adds “it's a challenging way to work, but it is a great way to work because it's all about trust and he's got such an incredible team of people that work with him to take that vision and execute it.”

Baker says that Kojima is not someone who wants to rest on his laurels, as he always wants to push boundaries of what can be done.

“He's always wanting to challenge himself. He just wants to connect with people. He just wants the things that he makes to connect with people in such a real way that he changes the industry,” Baker says.

“And he's been doing that since Metal Gear, to create an entire system of the way that we play games, how we think about stealth combat, everybody points back to him.”

Death Stranding 2: On The Beach is set for release in 2025

Updated: February 16, 2024, 3:04 AM