Halo Wars 2 ViDoc: Character

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Halo Wars 2 ViDoc: Multiplayer is a video documentary by 343 Industries and Creative Assembly which discusses the characters of Halo Wars 2.


  • David Wilson : The process starts with character, right ? It starts with story and character and that drives everything else because all the detail and explosions and fidelity we add on top of that is nothing if you don't believe in those characters in the story they're telling you.

Creating Atriox and Isabel

  • David Wilson : I think one of the first things we did when Kevin was talking to us about it was “okay well these are the characters we have, who are the new people we want to introduce”, the biggest of which was Atriox.
  • Kevin Grace : We put a lot of effort into establishing a new enemy because you can have a great good guy but he really needs to have an equal bad guy, a brute who can outthink you as well as outfight you physically. It's a very different kind of a threat and so that's really where Atriox was born.
  • Frank O'Connor  : He was often sent on suicide missions and he always returned and that made him dangerous to the Covenant. So when we encounter him he’s at the crops of finding a way to amplify and strengthen an army.
  • Jeremy Cook : From a visual standpoint everything should look like it could hurt you or potentially kill you. We want to layer that on top of some of that recognizable covenant technology so lots of landing spikes, lots of layered armor, things that spoke to a Brute’s sensibilities and aesthetic choices. And then we've also given him little trophies, little very subtle elements that kind of speak to maybe what his past has been like. You know, things that could have just been from somebody that he's dispatched in the past and decided to just keep it and make it a part of this collection. But also the forms and function. Where the armor is at serve the role, you know, we'd be more protected around the core like it's chest and he’s got a larger shoulder pad because we've got an augmentic gauntlet, like this should feel like a bipedal tank.
  • Atriox : “Yes. Run, little demons.”
  • David Wilson : I wanted to have a reason for you to fear him, and the best way to do that is have Isabel tell you who he is and why we need to run.
  • Isabel : “Spartans? Thank God. We have to get out of here.”
  • Dan Ayoub : When we first meet Isabel she shows up in a way that we haven't seen IAs behave in Halo before. She's freaked out. When we created Isabel we wanted to make a different kind of AI. AIs are generally perfection. We wanted a flawed AI from the outset.
  • Jeremy Cook : We wanted her to be a little bit more rough around the edges. She's logistics so, she's you know kind of like the Tank Girl. Ripley for Aliens too is a big influence in that.
  • Isabel : “I need her down there with me.”
  • Captain James Cutter : “Isabel…”
  • Isabel : “Sorry, sir. After recent battle reports you should have figured out that there are rules around here. I intend to break one.”
  • David Wilson : We had a real task set out for us in finding not only the person who will be Isabel but what that voice is and I think we couldn't have had a better actress for the job.
  • Tiffany Webber : With the way that we shoot mo-cap it has to be the same person who are scanning for our character model. So this person not only has to look like the character but has to act like the character and has to sound like the characters.
  • Jeremy Cook : To get the likeness and fidelity that we really wanted the technology demands that you essentially cast who you want to be that character. It's a creative choice but it's also to showcase the best technology that's available out there. When it works it works so well, and you just get everything at once and you really breathe life into that character.
  • Dan Ayoub : So it’s like directing a movie right. At the end of the day, I mean cinematic has always been somewhat like that. But now you've actually got us in the studio directing these actors. The process has just changed so much. I really think those first cinematics of the original Halo Wars just kind of raised the bar for the industry as a whole and that's what we're doing again.
  • David Wilson : I think it's important not to miss you know the point that people love these characters that we're creating and that requires us spending time and effort making sure that they’re well-rounded and real. From the first word on the page, the first design we draw, the actors that breathes life into them to the final lighting and animation pass that we do here, every single piece needs to fall into place. There's a lot of people out there that expect a lot from this franchise.
  • Jeremy Cook : That is the most exciting thing when you are putting a face to a brand new character, you're creating a new digital life which is pretty awsome.