Ok, maybe they don’t actually fight to the death. And it’s not really Deus Ex: Human Revolution’s Adam Jensen, or Far Cry 3’s Vaas. Instead, it’s their respective voice actors Elias Toufexis and Michael Mando doing a not-quite-impromptu interview at the Canadian video Game Awards. It’s fantastic watching, speaking volumes about their talent. It’s also quite funny how Elias’ actual voice is that of Jensen, while Mando pretty much is Vaas.
Glaring at you across the box of Far Cry 3’s cover, he sits in sand as if born from it. A human head – dead? Alive? Between? – is submerged next to him, as if he’s bored playing with it. The gaming world was in awe and fear of Vaas from the first time he narrated the definition of insanity. This madness and darkness and all-round Conradian horror pulsates out of every moment Vaas is on-screen. Delivered to us through the brilliance of Michael Mando, Vaas as a whole came into existence through Mando’s brilliance – not through original planning. As if he’d tapped into and did his summoning from some dark realm, Michael told me of his own journey into Far Cry 3’s background “insanity”, with the incredible clarity of focus that makes his performance in Far Cry 3 the best performance in any medium of 2012.
I get you guys. I understand why you were upset when we named Claptrap the voice of gaming in 2012, instead of Michael Mando’s superb turn as the antagonistic Vaas in Far Cry 3. But here’s the thing: Michael Mando was far more than a mere voice behind a microphone. The man brought skill, talent and believability to a role that stretched beyond the audio, and into physical acting as well. So to address that injustice, our favourite contrarion Tauriq Moosa has gone and spoken to Mr Mando - and he revealed something interesting.
Well what do you know? When Vaas, Far Cry 3’s not-quite-main antagonist was first designed he was half blind and bald. A very revealing article on IGN shows off the cycle of how Vaas, one of last year's most enigmatic video game characters came to be.