Codemasters wanted to take the latest innovation from their successful Dirt franchise one step further, so they decided to bring a new storytelling experience to Dirt 5 and did so with top talent. These include Troy Baker and Nolan North, and players get to know their characters through a series of podcasts that take place before and after major events during the game, which also add weight and gambling power to the races themselves. Baker plays the role of Alex A.J. Janicek, who is more of a mentor to the player and guides them in their rivalry with North Bruno Duran. Recently, he had the opportunity to talk to Baker about the character he’s playing in the game and he was excited from the very first pitch.
First of all, they have included history in the franchise and even in the kind of games that historically has not tried to include it, said Baker. When the team introduced me to the character and how his story fits into the player’s story, I was addicted.
When it comes to the role of AJ, the character will guide you not only through the story, but through all the elements Dirt 5 has to offer, and there’s something to see.
The purpose of the story and the characters, especially in games, is to help immerse the player, said Baker. DIRT 5 invites you to make a career, to follow your own path, literally and figuratively. In order to introduce you to this world and to show you how to evolve in it, it becomes necessary to give you advice, a mentor. It follows that we need to write a story, not only to explain how AJ becomes a mentor, but also to determine why he should be YOUR mentor. So when you make crucial decisions about your race or your career, you no longer hear an informal voice, but a VUD that speaks. You listen to your coach. You listen to the experience. You listen to A.J.
AJ is someone who is at the top of his game, but not necessarily in the limelight like other people in the same situation, and you get to know him and his mentoring style by playing.
AJ approaches life with the same pragmatism and humility, Baker said. There’s no sense of bragging or bragging. He’ll laugh in front of the cameras, but he won’t go looking for them. He sits more comfortably in the chair than on stage. He never predicts he’s the best. He just knows it’s true. But this fact lacked pride and instead praised the realization that someone else could take his place.
One of the most interesting aspects of this narrative level is the way it spreads, while one learns more about the characters and their personalities through podcast conversations, just like real stars do at the beginning or after a big event, giving it a sense of authenticity.
The freedom the Codemasters team gave us to add levels of authenticity is exactly what every actor has challenged for years, says Baker. So it’s his. They provided us with so much material, both in terms of characters and script, that we felt very comfortable to explore the timeless and see which nuggets we could fall on spontaneously. Under these conditions you can always find gold. The moments of rivalry, although certainly at the service of the story, are quite organic and authentic.
We don’t know what A.J.’s waiting for, but Baker is willing to play the piece again if he gets the chance. Every day of the week and twice on Sunday, Baker said. The only thing I’m most interested in at AJ is playing the game and seeing what crazy careers and tracks I can make.
Baker has played a lot of different characters over the years, so we had to ask whether AJ could deal with everyone he had spoken to in the past, who it could be and why?
It reminds me of Booker DeWitt. If there’s no other reason, to see the torch and hear them whispering cars. It’s a lot easier than hooks and blimps, Baker said.
This Dirt 5 Bioshock crossover looks pretty cool.
Dirt 5 is November 6th and will be available on Steam, PS4 and Xbox One.