Throughout the Half-Life series, we have come to know three things about Gordon Freeman:
- He is a physicist.
- Because he is a physicist, he has a beard.
- He is completely fine with murdering authority figures.
It’s hard to know anything else, because Freeman doesn’t speak. Right on the heels of telling us that Half-Life needs to be scarier, Valve CEO Gabe Newell said that they have found the perfect person to voice Gordon in the next Half-Life iteration: nobody.
“We’re not philosophically opposed to this, but we don’t have any good reasons to do it. Right now making your companions more interesting and compelling seems a more fruitful avenue to explore.”
Freeman’s ability to seduce women with silence is enviable, and the Half-Life formula has been working very well. So why mess with perfection? Perhaps Valve can come to some sort of compromise by allowing Freeman to communicate in sub-sonic grunts, like an elephant. Maybe that’s what he’s been doing all along.
(Besides, the only person who should be allowed to touch Gordon Freeman’s voice is Ross Scott of the hilarious machinima Freeman’s Mind.)
Silent characters go back to the days of the first RPGs. Even Mario could be argued to be a silent character. If there’s one thing that Valve should update for the next Half-Life, it’s the Source engine. Sure, the physics are great, but the graphics look like GoldenEye. How are we supposed to satisfy our bloodlust with merely semi-realistic headshots?
How do you feel about silent characters? Do you think Freeman is an underdeveloped character? Do you want to hear his voice? If so, who should voice him?