Uncharted 4’s Bruce Straley and Neil Druckmann are the “most brilliant directors” Troy Baker has ever worked with, according to the veteran voice over artist.
In an appearance on Greg Miller’s last ever Up At Noon show for IGN, Baker paid tribute to the Naughty Dog developers, describing them as being “made of steel”, and not crumbling under pressure.
When questioned on his relationship with the pair, which began when Baker was cast as Joel in The Last of Us, he said: “I’m consistently and constantly humbled and impressed and inspired by those guys… As a game designer, the way that [Straley’s] mind works leaves me in the dust. Neil is a very accomplished game designer as well, so having that asset, as well as being the most brilliant directors I’ve ever worked with, [they’re] just phenomenal.”
He added that the pair often have often butted heads with each other, and with Baker himself, over the creative direction of Uncharted 4, but added that it was because they all want the best for the franchise: “I’m fortunate in that I have people, and creative partners that I work with, in Neil and Bruce… We can tussle if we need to, and argue when we need to, because all that we care about, at the end of the day, is that our good is our better, and our better is our best.”
Baker was also questioned over the fact that he took on the role of Nate Drake’s older brother Sam in Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End after the removal of Todd Stashwick from the role. The actor responded that recastings happen “all the time”, and compared it to the example of Marty McFly being recast in Back to the Future – as well as revealing that he was not the original choice to play Rhys in the Borderlands series.
He added: “It was actually just, ‘We want to take the character in a different direction, we want to take the story in a different direction’, and so there was a lot of stuff that changed. And I really applaud Naughty Dog for being able to come in and go, ‘Okay, let’s roll up our sleeves, let’s get really, really dirty, and let’s do this.’ It’s just, things happen, and you’re like, ‘Okay, you’re clearly talented, but this isn’t working the way we want.’ It not a reflection on the actor, it’s just the story changes; the character changes.”
Baker also spoke about coming into the Uncharted franchise as a “huge fanboy” of Nolan North, and described the series as producing bigger and better hits than the films it took a lot of inspiration from, Indiana Jones.